Counseling for Sexual Misconduct

Annette Nay, Ph.D.

Copyright 2001

Dear Annette,

I am seeking the help of an LDS counselor on the subject of Sexual Behavior. I have a 14 yr. old son who has sexually touched his 6 yr. old sister. I have charged him and the court will be dealing with it soon.

What I would like help with is knowing what kind of treatment that I can request for him. On one hand I feel as though I am making mountains out of mole hills and on the other I want to deal with this so that it will never happen again. I son desires to go on a mission one day but I am afraid that the only mission he will serve will be in a prison if I do not get him help.

Please help if you can,

Troubled

 

Dear Troubled,

First, I want to tell you that you are not making mountains out of molehills. You are saving your son from the possibility of the life of a pedophile. There are only 2% of those individuals who ever recover fully. The rest must fight off the urge to reoffend every minute of every day. You are also trying to keep your eternal family in tact, stopping an incestuous relationship from developing, and allowing your son to gain the priesthood back to be able to go on a mission and marry in the temple.

What you are doing is not easy and I salute you! Women of lesser character would have swept it under the rug in hopes it would go away.

I am hoping that you have caught the problem early. You don't say how long this has been going on or how many incidences there were. If it has been caught early, then because of the age and because it is more likely that the behavior is that of sexual discovery than that which is promoted by sexual desire or deviation.

I spoke to a state licensed sex offender treatment clinician. She stated that the recidivism (the rate of reoffending) for clients going through sex offender training is about 10%. That means that 90% are staying out of trouble or haven't been caught again. She believes it is a good program.

She also said that offender's lawyers try to get a lighter sentence for their client. They do this by getting the courts to grant a second opinion. Then they go to psychologists they know who have a tendency to be lenient on their evaluation. This gives shows the client in a better light so the client doesn't have to undergo so much treatment. This is not what you want.

She said that the court evaluators are good at what they do and that they help get the offender the help s/he needs. If the court mandates sex offenders treatment, the court will also specify which type.

One is out patient treatment. They consists of living in the community while s/he attends a weekly session with the clinician and also a weekly group session. This continues on for two years.

The second type is living in a facility while the same treatment occurs.

Whether he is mandated for sex offender treatment or not I would suggest that he gets counseling by his Bishop. He needs to do this right now, anyway, since he needs to get this in the past as soon as possible to be able to show a long history of good behavior to be able to go on a mission.

It is highly important that the boy wants to make things right. If he is forced into undergoing counseling it will not do him any good. He must be a willing participant. There are many reasons that may be the right hook to gain his participation. These are:

Being able to go on a mission.

He wants to be a member in good standing in the Church.

He will be able to use his priesthood again.

He would like to be advanced in the priesthood.

He wants to have a decent relationship with his family, especially his sister.

He wants to be part of an eternal family.

He wants to be temple ready so he can marry in the temple.

He wants to make it right with God so he can confidently go to him with any of his problems.

When he goes to the Bishop you can expect:

1. He will be disfellowshipped for a time... Your son will not be able to take sacrament, or do priesthood ordinances such as passing the sacrament, or to say prayer for the group.

2. He will be assigned scripture study, prayer, and be expected to actively pursue repentance. The Bishop will outline how he is to do this.

If the Bishop feels it is more than he can handle then he will recommend a good LDS Counselor or use the services of the LDS Social Services.

You need to make sure that your son doesn't slide on the assignments the Bishop has given him. One way to do this is to take turns reading and then discuss what is read. If done in the right way this can be a supportive action not a police action.

I suggest you get counseling for you daughter. I have too many adult women who have been incested and have had their intimate lives with their husbands ruined because the incest issues were never addressed appropriately. She also needs to learn how to forgive your son for his trespasses upon her. I highly suggest a good LDS therapist who works with incest victims.

It may be a good thing to have the family use the next Fast and Testimony Day to pray for your son's recovery and for your family to be able to forgive him, especially your daughter. This should be discussed openly, kindly, and with love. Ask the Lord to give you the right words to talk to your family during Family Home Evening just before the next Fast Sunday. They can say their regular prays on the subject until then. To remind them of the subject, put up a paper in their bathroom urging them to Fast for your family goals. It is also important for the family to continue to pray for these goals daily and each Fast Sunday until they are met.

You may want to have your family's names on the temple prayer rolls during this time. You can do this by calling the temple and asking them to do so for you.

When your family's prayers have been answered, do not miss the opportunity as a family to thank the Lord by having the next a Fast Sunday be a Fast Sunday of Thanks.

I was going to address therapies for hard core sexual deviant behavior, but the feeling I get from the Lord is that this is not needed in this case.

I highly suggest you help your son to find the right reasons for truly wanting to go to the Bishop and go through the prescribed repentance. Then get him an appointment with the Bishop as soon as possible.

It probably good to let the Bishop tell him what he needs to do instead of you telling him in advance what will happen. It goes over a lot better under the influence of the spirit and with the loving concern of his Bishop.

If I can be of further service, please do not hesitate to write.

Best wishes,

Annette Nay, Ph.D.

Annette Nay Homepage


     
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