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Where Do I Start? Guidelines for Clinicians (From Incest Perpetrator: A Family Member No One Wants To Treat, P 190-197, Anne L. Horton, Barry L. Johnson, et al, eds. -- See NCJ-121328)

NCJ Number
N C Davis; V D Granowitz; D D Levi
Date Published
8 pages
Therapists should include assessment for initial or recurring incest in their routine assessments of clients, because incest perpetrators often do not fit the common stereotypes.
Thus, they may be attractive, likeable, and intelligent. In addition, they often present themselves as the general population of clients with a seemingly typical range of initiating problems and diagnoses. To determine if a client is a perpetrator or a nonoffending partner of a perpetrator, the therapist should consider the client's personality style; the presence of sexual addiction; whether the client is an adult child of a dysfunctional family; whether chemical dependency is present; and whether the client is in a codependent role with a coworker, friend, or family member. Other issues to consider are physical or sexual abuse in the families of origin, personal boundaries and limits, religious backgrounds, and presence of children. Indicators that a child client may have been victimized include insecurity, perceptions of powerlessness, social isolation, physical or mental handicaps, the performance of adult roles with either or both parents or siblings, and whether a child can refuse a request and be respected. Family issues to consider include the length and nature of the current relationship, social isolation, former relationship histories, and communication patterns. Therapists should consider these issues with both the general client population and identified perpetrators and their families. 3 references.