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Sex Offender Treatment Program

Group therapy is considered "best practice" in the treatment of sexual offending and is the primary intervention afforded to clients who have perpetrated offensive sexual behaviors and/or who have, by their own admission, engaged in inappropriate or high risk sexual behavior.

The group context and group process is explicitly utilized as the mechanism of change by developing, exploring and examining interpersonal relationships within the group.  A significant goal is for the process to expose a client's functioning as "offender" and work to understand and manage these dynamics accordingly and to apply this learning in their life away from group. 

The weekly therapy group uses a variety of treatment techniques including cognitive behavior therapy with specific assignments to facilitate client exploration, growth and understanding of the dynamics related to their acting out sexually and to develop plans for healthy sexuality and healthy living.  Specific task and process components of the program relate to treatment dimensions of active offending, denial, psychological factors, substance abuse, relapse prevention, sexuality, support environment, and empathy/restorative justice.

Duluth Institute offers several different programs aimed at different populations, including programs for adolescent boys, adolescent girls, adult men and adult women.

Adult Outpatient Sex Offender Treatment Program

This group addresses inappropriate and unhealthy sexual behavior.  Participants in the group may be court-ordered or referred by another source.

We have found the following are important components in the sex offender program:

  • the use of polygraphs;
  • team case management;
  • medication management;
  • collaboration with social services, corrections, courts, defense attorneys, and prosecutors.

Continuing Care Program

The goal of this phase of the program is to synthesize the learning a client has made in completing the tasks of the Primary Treatment and to demonstrate application of their learning through ongoing compliance with Probation/Parole requirements, active use of Relapse Prevention Plans, recognition of the dynamic nature of relapse and subsequently making an effort to modify plans accordingly, and to continue to share and support their growth and the growth of other group members.  A primary function of Continuing Care is to aid the client in moving forward with their life with a new understanding / appreciation for their intrapersonal dynamics.

Group Therapy / Education for Developmentally Challenged Adults who have Engaged in Inappropriate Sexual Activities

Individuals in this program may be referred by social workers or case managers, caregivers / guardians, other treatment providers, or court ordered.  The group content is educationally focused on healthy sexual behaviors.

Adolescent Healthy Sexuality Program

This group addresses inappropriate and unhealthy sexual behaviors.  Participants in the group may be court-ordered or referred by another source.  Family therapy is an important component.

Psychosexual Education

This is a component for anyone interested in learning about sexual functioning and emotinos.  The educational component involves lectures, guest speakers, pencil/paper assignments and group discussion regarding a variety of topics related to sexuality and sexual abuse.  Specific topics that are addressed include sexual behavior education, relationships, emotions, power and control, masculinity/femininity, healthy sexuality, communication and social skills, relationship skills, behavior cycles, empathy, cognitive distortions, etc.  Additionally clients receive support and education regarding their mental health or other developmental concerns from the education curriculum.

We follow a specific format that the Duluth Institute has developed adn revised over the years.

Significant Others Support Group

This group is offered several times throughout the year to provide education and support to those who are in a relationship with anyone who has engaged in sexually inappropriate or illegal sexual behaviors.  this includes parents, caregivers, and significant community support.

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