Evidence shows that sexual offenders have higher levels of adverse childhood experiences (ACE) than either the general population or other criminal populations. Historically, it was considered standard practice for sex offender therapists to dissuade their clients from addressing childhood trauma or adversity for fear of excuse making for his offending. The pathways model, which highlights etiology, made room for trauma treatment for offender’s ACE as a legitimate treatment intervention. The adaptive information processing model inherent in eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) trauma therapy is theorized to reorganize the maladaptively stored clustering of cognitions and emotions related to overwhelming or traumatic experiences such as childhood sexual abuse. We suggest EMDR therapy as a means of restructuring distorted implicit cognitions and personal vulnerability factors which are theorized to drive offending behavior. Through a comprehensive literature review, the authors considered 5 extant models in the sex offender literature and developed the offense drivers model. This model is designed to guide and inform EMDR therapy with sex offenders. A case example illustrates the implementation of this treatment process. A checklist of offense drivers is provided to assist in case conceptualization and treatment.
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Copyright © 2016 EMDR International Association
Ricci, R. J., & Clayton, C. A. (2016). EMDR With Sex Offenders: Using Offense Drivers to Guide Conceptualization and Treatment. Journal of EMDR Practice and Research, 10(2), 104-118. https://doi.org/10.1891/1933-3184.108.40.206
Journal of EMDR Practice and Research