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Therapist Style in Sexual Offender Treatment: Influence on Indices of Change


This paper describes the results of our review of the broad process literature as well as summarizing two studies examining the influence of the therapist in generating changes in treatment targets among sexual offenders. We conclude that displays of empathy and warmth by the therapist as well as the provision of rewards for progress and some degree of directiveness, maximize the benefits derived from the procedures employed in treating sexual offenders. We also suggest the need for flexibility and encourage program designers not to so overly detail their treatment manuals that the influence of the therapist is minimized.

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Correspondence to W. L. Marshall.

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Marshall, W.L. Therapist Style in Sexual Offender Treatment: Influence on Indices of Change. Sex Abuse 17, 109–116 (2005).

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  • therapist influence
  • sexual offenders
  • process features