The Thought Change System: An Empirically Based Cognitive Be…

The Thought Change System: An Empirically Based Cognitive Be...

Recent research in treatment of sexual offenders suggests that comprehensive cognitive -behavioral approaches may yield significant decreases in deviant acting-out behaviors. The current pilot study examined such a treatment called the Thought Change System, which is an empirically based cognitive -behavioral therapy, in a residential treatment center, existing in Portsmouth, Virginia. This system includes the identification of the functions of the negative thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and beliefs, and replacing them with transitional thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and beliefs, and finally alternative beliefs. The Thought Change System also implements the Case Conceptualization Method based an adaptation of the Beck (1998) suggested methodology of mode deactivation. The offenders were adolescent males, age’s 11-18, who have a history of failed treatment at prior placements or outpatient treatment centers. The results of this study indicate that a cognitive -behavioral methodology that addresses the underlying personality traits may be effective for severely disturbed sexual offending adolescents; evident by reduced psychological distress, reduced sex offending risk, and reduced aggressive beliefs. KEY WORDS: cognitive/behavioral treatment; juvenile sexual offenders; cognitive distortions; case conceptualization; sexual offender treatment



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