What can this self-help guide do for me?
Thank you for visiting this website – you have taken an important and brave first step towards managing your sexual thoughts and behaviour towards children and young people. We hope you find the information and exercises helpful in managing your behaviour and feeling more positive about your future.
There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach when it comes to addressing problematic sexual thoughts.
Not everyone with these thoughts experiences strong sexual arousal or has a sexual preference for children, although many do.
Not everyone thinks they might act on these thoughts. For some people the main concern will be coping with the thoughts themselves, rather than changing problematic behaviour.
But some people using this website will have offended or think they need professional support to avoid offending.
Why is motivation important?
Whatever your situation, motivation is key to using this guide effectively. Without motivation, the things you learn and strategies for change that you find out about won’t be of full use to you.
You must be willing to look honestly at your problematic behaviour, your ways of thinking, and how you perceive and manage feelings and situations. You must also be prepared to address old habits and unhealthy behaviour. You will need determination and persistence to make and stick to changes, and to use the techniques and tips that will help you manage your thoughts, feelings and behaviour.
What will I learn?
This self-help guide will focus on:
- improving your understanding of your problem
- understanding the links between thoughts, feelings and behaviours
- identifying your offence cycle (for people who have offended) or pattern of behaviour (for people who haven’t offended)
- recognising triggers and warning signs
- identifying risk factors
- outlining approaches to managing and changing problematic thoughts, feelings and behaviours
- identifying personal strengths, so you can build on these
- identifying healthy ways of meeting your basic human needs
- developing a risk prevention/management plan
- maintaining change
- where to get more help
Can the guide help me?
Sexual thoughts about children do not necessarily lead to sexual behaviour. This is true even though the taboo or forbidden nature of these kinds of thoughts can make them seem more powerful, compared with fantasies about legal sexual behaviours.
Acting on sexual thoughts, whatever they are about, is a choice. How someone behaves is not inevitable. You have the power to stop yourself from offending and this guide will give you the information and tools to help you manage your thoughts, feelings and behaviour. It will also help you to recognise and value your positive qualities and behaviour, because these can give you motivation and encouragement that will make you less likely to offend.
From our experience we know that it is possible for some people to change. A lot depends on the nature, content and power of the thoughts, including how long a person has had them and whether they also have age-appropriate sexual interests. It also depends on the commitment and motivation of the person.
Therapy aimed at fantasy modification is beyond the scope of this guide, although you will find some guidance on fantasy and techniques to help manage it.
You can talk to us
The experienced advisors on our confidential helpline can support you with any concerns you have and if you need help as you work through these webpages. If you’re not ready to speak to anyone yet, you can also get in touch with us online.