Support for those dealing with Legal Implications
I have specialist training to work with anyone who is worried about their sexual behaviour, or may be having sexually inappropriate thoughts. They may be at risk of committing a sexual offence, or of re-offending or have recently been arrested. This behaviour may be viewing illegal images such as child abuse, extreme sexual violence and bestiality. Voyeurism, exhibitionism and any behaviour that causes shame, fear, hurt and distress to others are punishable by law.
For many individuals, an escalation in pornography consumption and sexual acting out, can inadvertently lead to the viewing, downloading, collecting and storing of illegal images.
For some, the police have come to arrest them and the shock and ramifications are vast. A lengthy limbo of on average a year ensues while waiting for the forensic team to investigate, and then for an initial court date to be set. This then forces a realisation that damaging behaviours can no longer be ignored and minimised.
Others may be feeling uncomfortable with the direction their viewing or thoughts are taking them, no longer able to shake off the nagging feeling that what they are looking at clashes with values upheld in their day to day existence. They also may not recognise fully what constitutes an illegal image especially if rationalising they are on ‘safe’ mainstream sites.
Partners and families of someone who has committed a sexual offence suffer the devastating consequences. It is immensely isolating as it is understandably seen as a taboo so there are very few people they may feel able to talk to about their distressing situation. Professional support in this can be invaluable.
This link below is StopSo’s brief questionnaire assessing sexual risk and need for therapeutic help. It is completely confidential and will help you recognise if you need support in this area.
What does Therapy Address?
The aim of therapy if someone has been arrested and awaiting investigation is ultimately to seek to understand unhealthy sexual behaviours and work towards maintaining safer sexual expressions. For some the shame, stigma and anxiety of a pending investigation can lead to suicidal ideation, and therapy provides support towards emotional stability.
Those who have not yet crossed a legal line can be helped to avoid that first sexual offence.
It is not easy to reach out for support but this is the toughest and most important step. We would hold an initial assessment for me to gain your narrative. I would explain how therapy may be able to help you and what to expect going forward. This session helps to ascertain if I am the right psychotherapist to help you, and we would review regularly as to the direction and efficacy of sessions.
Therapy can be challenging, and there is no guarantee of someone working towards recovery and safe behaviours. However, if someone is committed to gaining insights and strives to control unhealthy thoughts and behaviours, then it can prove very successful.