Therapeutic climate of sexual offender treatment programs

  • Anthony Beech
  • Ann Scott Fordham
Research and Clinical Articles

DOI: 10.1007/BF02675066

Cite this article as:
Beech, A. & Fordham, A.S. Sex Abuse (1997) 9: 219. doi:10.1007/BF02675066


A measure of group atmosphere, the Group Environment Scale (GES), was administered to members and leaders of 12 sexual offender treatment groups: 8 were probation programs; 4 were conducted at a long-term residential center. The GES measured the following aspects of group processes: relationships within the group, personal growth of members, and structure of the group. Results suggested that the atmosphere of a group had an important influence on treatment change. A successful group was highly cohesive, was well organized and led, encouraged the open expression of feelings, produced a sense of group responsibility, and instilled a sense of hope in its members. A helpful and supportive leadership style was found to be important in creating an atmosphere in which effective therapy could take place. Overcontrolling leaders were seen to have a detrimental effect upon group climate. It is suggested that the employment of a group process measure, such as the GES, would be a useful inclusion to any outcome evaluation of treatment programs.

Key Words

group process group therapy sexual offender therapy sexual offending 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anthony Beech
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ann Scott Fordham
    • 3
  1. 1.Oxford Regional Forensic Service, Department of Foresnsic PsychologyFairmile HospitalWallingfordU.K.
  2. 2.The University of BirminghamBirminghamU.K.
  3. 3.Merseyside Regional Forensic PsychiatryLiverpoolU.K.

Personalised recommendations