​​​​​​​Florida Psychological Associates LLC

Sexual Abuse and Treatment

A portion of Florida Psychological Associates LLC practice is devoted to the assessment and treatment of clients with sexual behavior problems, and those who have been molested. Most of these individuals are adolescents and children but often times may be adults.

People commit sexual offenses for a variety of reasons. As such, it is important that an individual who engages in sexual misconduct be thoroughly assessed so that the cause(s) of their behavior can be identified. It is a common misconception that all children who act out in a sexually inappropriate manner have themselves been sexually abused. This is not the case. Moreover, most minors who commit sexual offenses are not, in fact, predators. Re-offense rates for adolescent offenders who complete an appropriate course of treatment are actually quite low (less than 10%).

The key to developing an appropriate treatment plan is to first conduct a comprehensive assessment. This typically involves a review of relevant case materials; administration of psychological tests; and extensive clinical interviewing that includes the collection of both a general and a sexual history. Interviews are conducted with both the client and his/her parents/caretaker(s). Consultation with other involved professionals may also take place when indicated. Once the assessment phase is completed, treatment options are discussed and a plan of action is put into place.

When a child is a victim of sexual abuse, there is often concern that he or she will go on to abuse others. It is true that children who have been molested are more likely to engage in sexually inappropriate acts than children who have not been prematurely introduced to adult sexual behaviors. However, there are many children who survive the experience without ever acting out sexually. Once again, the key is properly assessing and, where appropriate, intervening with such individuals so that the risk of such behavior can be minimized.