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Mindfulness Styled Practices With Adolescent Sex Offenders (From Handbook of Sex Offender Treatment, P 42-1 - 42-18, 2011, Barbara K. Schwartz, ed. - See NCJ-243091)

NCJ Number
Carl Schwartz, Ph.D., J.D.
Date Published
18 pages
In discussing treatment approaches with adolescent sex offenders, this chapter presents a series of methods and modules that have been adapted from a variety of practices used to increase a client's ability to self-regulate his/her emotional conflicts and strengthen his/her capacity for empathic responses.
After years of study and research, many researchers agree that "mindfulness-style" practices reliably reduce physiological arousal and psychological stress. Mindfulness practices can be used as a direct intervention in redirecting cognition and providing new organization for a client's resources. With sex offender clients, the goal is to enable them to consciously control their mental attention. This allows them to focus on and more effectively regulate emotional responses. The modules are used to develop feelings and commitments to create and maintain a more true or higher self. Each of the eight modules presented is organized into components labeled "Preparation" and "Instruction." The "Preparation" section provides the user with some concept that the chapter's author uses to teach the philosophy and overarching purpose of the exercise. The "Instruction" section can be used to implement and guide the exercise. One module teaches clients to breathe mindfully, which begins the practice of noticing and developing awareness of automatic behaviors. A second module focuses on building rapport and group cohesion. A third module explores the "textures of interior space." A fourth module strengthens sensory/narrative feelings, and a fifth module explores emotions of yearning as fundamental to empathic structure. Remaining modules focus on vulnerability as the basis of protective emotions, a reduction in conflicted desire, and rehearsing new behavioral possibilities. 8 references