Although cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is touted as the predominant approach in sex offender-specific group treatment, a review of the field shows that the “behavioral” part of CBT has become minimal in relation to that which is cognitive. The authors discuss how a revitalized “behavioral sensibility” may help to enhance group treatment by focusing greater attention on directly observable behaviors. This clinical practice article presents an array of behaviorally-oriented techniques for conducting groups, beginning with the establishment of an operant group environment that supports behavior change; expanding empirical awareness of events occurring in group; streamlining interventions with non-verbal signals; targeted reinforcement of social interaction and bonding; and more. The article also describes several behavioral techniques designed specifically for sex offender-specific groups, which can enhance self-disclosure, social awareness, self-esteem, empathy, and management of deviant thoughts.
Effectively Utilizing the “Behavioral” in Cognitive-Behavioral Group Therapy of Sex Offenders
Published in the International Journal of Behavioral Consultation and Therapy, Dr. Jerry Jennings and Dr. Adam Deming discuss enhancements to cognitive-behavioral group-based treatment for those who sexually abuse.