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The role of affect regulation in the treatment of people who have committed sexual offences

Gunst, E and Watson, JC and Willemsen, J and Desmet, M (2019) 'The role of affect regulation in the treatment of people who have committed sexual offences.' Aggression and Violent Behavior, 44. pp. 99-110. ISSN 1359-1789

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Affect regulation problems have been found to play an important role in the onset of problematic behavior, such as sexual abuse. The role of emotion and maladaptive coping has become relevant in both research and treatment interventions. Forensic treatments have been strongly influenced by conceptualizations of affect regulation that emphasize the control of emotional experience and expression. For a long time, emotions were treated as less important than cognition. However, the view of emotion as an adaptive resource and meaning system is now emerging in the forensic literature. General psychotherapy research has shown that improved affect regulation and deeper experiencing is associated with better outcomes in psychotherapy. These findings, in combination with the role of emotions in behavioral and relational functioning, are leading to a shift in forensic treatment approaches. In this paper, we review the literature on affect regulation in treatment programs for individuals who have committed sexual offences. The implications of this work for forensic practice will be considered. Finally, Emotion-Focused Therapy will be presented as a promising therapeutic approach for forensic treatment programs to promote clients' emotional engagement and processing, and to improve treatment outcomes.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0500 Psychoanalysis
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 05 Nov 2018 12:20
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 13:55

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