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Difficult Connection, The
The Difficult Connection, 2nd ed
The Therapeutic Relationship in Sex Offender Treatment
by Geral T. Blanchard
The Difficult Connection: The Therapeutic Relationship in Sex Offender Treatment is intended to be a clarion call to therapists, reminding them of the healing power of relationships. It is this powerful alliance upon which all counseling techniques depend. This book may also serve as a primer for helping professionals who are preparing to enter the often arduous and challenging field of sex abuser treatment and management.
Treating persons who sexually abuse is one of the most demanding jobs of a mental health practitioner. Traditional mental health techniques are often ineffective with this difficult to treat population unless combined with specialized treatment techniques and a firm, caring demeanor. Because few professionals are trained to work with involuntary clients, they often experience frustration, anger and stress, reducing their ability to treat their sex offender clients effectively. Society’s tendency to punish rather than treat sex offenders adds to the pressure on clinicians to distance themselves instead of building the rapport necessary to good treatment.
Sex crimes generate emotions such as fear, anger and frustration in those who hear about them. The sex offender treatment specialist is no stranger to those feelings. Without proper guidance, supervision, training, and ongoing collegial support, professionals who treat sex offenders often face unresolved anger and stress. It is common for treatment professionals to begin unconsciously displacing their anger onto these difficult clients, especially clients that minimize or deny engaging in sexually abusive acts. This book articulates the necessary factors in the development of the psychotherapeutic relationship in the treatment of sex offenders. The Difficult Connection can help professionals keep the balance between effective treatment and maintaining a positive therapeutic relationship with a sexually abusive client. Good productive and positive treatment is good policy, and makes a contribution toward a safer society for us all.
- Societal Responses to Sexual Offending
- The Normality of Sexual Offenders
- The Mechanization of Treatment
- Who Owns Resistance?
- A Restorative Approach
- Compasionate Therapy