From denial to acceptance of sexually offending behaviour: a psychodynamic approach

Nigel Beail (Consultant Clinical Psychologist, based at South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Barnsley, UK and University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK)

Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities

ISSN: 2044-1282

Publication date: 9 September 2013



Offenders who have intellectual disabilities like any one else may deny their offence. This paper reports a case study of a man who admitted his offence and them accepted probation with a condition of treatment. However, when he attended treatment he denied the offence. Thus do those providing treatment send them back into the criminal justice system or work with them try and help them accept what they have done and provide appropriate treatment to help them reduce future risk of offending.


In this case study the assimilation model was used to understand the process of change and monitor change through exploratory psychotherapy. The psychotherapeutic model was psychodymnamic.


The client demonstrated gains through the stages of the model toward acceptance of his problematic behaviour and continued to work on this through further psychotherapy.


The assimilation model offers a useful approach to monitor change in psychotherapy; but especially when the client does not accept the problem the rest of the world feels they have.



Beail, N. (2013), "From denial to acceptance of sexually offending behaviour: a psychodynamic approach", Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities, Vol. 7 No. 5, pp. 293-299.

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