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Types of treatment

Therapy or treatment for sexual attraction to minors comes in three basic forms. More information about these approaches is given in succeeding pages.

  1. Sexual recovery programs - These programs are provided by private organizations, and are intended for those who voluntarily seek help at dealing with their feelings of attraction for minors, and often with any of the other paraphilias. They consider attraction to minors to be a form of sexual addiction. Many do not distinguish between minor-attracted adults and offenders.
  2. Sex offender treatment - Sex offender treatment has a singular purpose: to prevent minor-attracted adults from offending or re-offending. As part of this effort, it attempts to change sexual arousal patterns through behavior conditioning (aversion therapy) techniques, but places little or no emphasis on emotional health. Most men undergoing this kind of treatment have been court-mandated for treatment, so the approach is primarily adversarial.
  3. Counseling or psychotherapy - Little can be found in the literature about the use of counseling or therapy with minor-attracted adults. Those therapists who provide it outside of sex offender programs address issues of self-understanding, positive self-concept, the development of healthy relationships, and methods of coping with one’s sexuality and with society’s reaction to it.
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