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Into the wild, out of the woods: A systematic case study on facilitating emotional change

Gunst, Ellen and Willemsen, Jochem and Desmet, Mattias and Watson, Jeanne C and Loeys, Tom and Vanhooren, Siebrecht (2019) 'Into the wild, out of the woods: A systematic case study on facilitating emotional change.' International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology. ISSN 0306-624X

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Abstract

Cognitive and behavioral treatment programs for individuals who commit sexual offences (ISOs) have shown significant but small effect sizes. A growing body of research points towards the importance of difficulties in affect regulation (AR) as a risk factor for sexual recidivism. On this basis, it seems important to target difficulties in AR in treatment. The current systematic case study investigates the potential contribution of Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT) to changing problematic AR in ISOs. Kevin was a high-risk offender with a traumatic history who met the diagnostic criteria of pedophilic and borderline disorders, with serious AR difficulties. Self-report outcome measures, observation measures and a biomarker were used to track changes in AR, psychological symptoms and distress during baseline (phase A), treatment as usual (phase B), treatment with an EFT component added (phase C), and follow up (phase A). Statistically significant change was found in AR, psychological symptoms and distress during treatment phase (phase B+C), however it is not possible to attribute these changes causally to EFT. An examination of the qualitative process data provides deeper insights into how the client reacted to specific EFT-interventions. Verbatim clinical vignettes are included to clarify key interventions, hindrances and mechanisms of change. This study provides preliminary support for the role of therapy to facilitate emotional change in ISOs.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: emotion-focused therapy, individuals who committed sexual offenses, affect regulation, trauma, systematic case study, mixed methods design
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0500 Psychoanalysis
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies, Department of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 09 Jul 2019 11:31
Last Modified: 02 Sep 2019 09:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/24948

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