Facilitators Views on Victim Empathy Work in Sex Offender Treatment and its Impact on Therapeutic Alliance
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
Participants on sex offender treatment programmes (SOTPs) seem to value victim empathy (VE) training exercises, despite there being little evidence to suggest that these reduce risk of reoffending. Participants also appear to value their therapeutic relationships. There has been very little research into SOTP facilitators’ views on treatment. This study explores whether facilitators also feel VE training is a useful part of treatment and if seeing empathy develop in offenders strengthens therapeutic alliance. 12 prison SOTP facilitators were interviewed. The transcripts were analysed using content and thematic analysis, there were six main findings. Facilitators were concerned that the perceived impact of VE was superficial compliance and the particular emotional aspect of VE training may help facilitators to empathise with difficult group members. This study contributes a facilitator perspective to the debate on including VE training in SOTPs, and suggests further research be completed into empathy constructs and how these apply to facilitators work.
Doctor of Clinical Psychology