Over the last few years I have been asked to assess adolescent sex offenders either pre-trial or pre-sentencing. More often than not these adolescents have experienced trauma that predates their offences and often I recommended psychodynamic therapy in addition to the traditional sex offender treatment programme. I recommend this not just because it would be beneficial to the psychological development of the individual, but also because if (as is also common) the adolescent is emotionally under-developed as a result of their trauma, the psychotherapy will enable them to develop to such a point that they would be able to fully engage with sex offender treatment.
So last week I was asked to reassess an adolescent who was applying for parole whom I had recommended the above with concern that his mental health would deteriorate. I was saddened to discover that his mental health had worsened and I considered him to be of greater risk than two years previously. He had not received psychodynamic psychotherapy, but had been accessing sex offender treatment but had not completed it, in my opinion due to an inability as a result of his emotional incapacity. This left me feeling frustrated, but ready to improve awareness and try to change this.