Qualities of an expert Juvenile Sex Offender Therapist

By Matt Bulkley | Blog Education Series

STAR Guides Wilderness - Qualities of an expert Juvenile Sex Offender Therapist

There has been some controversy over juvenile sex offenders’ treatment programs and therapists, because most of these therapy programs have been developed based on treatment models for adult sex offenders. Recent studies have shown that there are huge differences between juvenile and adult sex offenders. So, these therapists and treatment programs may be missing the mark for the needs of today’s teen sexual offenders.

Because of these differences, youth who have sexually acted out are in need of a sex offender therapy program that has specifically been designed for them, like STAR Guides Wilderness Therapy program. This program was created and designed by professional therapists who specialize in dealing with adolescents who exhibit deviant sexual behavior. When you are looking for a therapist for a child who has committed a sexual offense, you should keep the following points in mind:

  1. The therapist should have extensive experience in working with adolescent offenders and performing psycho-sexual assessments on juvenile offenders.
  2. He/she should have the proper degrees and certifications that allow him/her to treat individuals with sexual behavior issues.
  3. Your first meeting with the therapist should allow you to discern how seriously he/she takes juvenile offenses.
  4. The therapist should do everything to make sure that the confidentiality of the adolescent is ensured as they participate in the therapy program.
  5. If the therapy program takes the adolescent outside of the home, then the therapists must be able to guarantee the parents that excellent supervision is provided to the teen.
  6. The therapist should be able to set boundaries for the offender, to ensure their and everyone else’s safety.
  7. The therapists should understand that they have to be a role model for the juvenile.
  8. They should stay up-to-date with the latest therapy techniques for juvenile sex offenders.
  9. He/she should provide the adolescents with the tools to cope with their urges.
  10. They should be able to provide relevant information to the parents of the juvenile, so they can help the teens manage their behavior.

These 10 qualities can help one find the right therapist for teen sexual offenders. These qualities are abundantly present in therapists in the STAR Guides Wilderness Therapy program. They have been working with juveniles that have committed sexual offenses for years. The program has helped many teens and young adults deal with their problems and become productive members of society.

About the Author

Matt is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has been working in the field of youth treatment and psychotherapy since 1995. He did his undergraduate work at BYU and earned his M.S.W. at the University of Utah. He has worked in a variety of treatment setting in his career ranging from wilderness therapy and residential treatment to outpatient treatment and state government.

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