What can this self-help guide do for me?
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Thank you for visiting this website. You have taken an important and brave first step towards managing your sexual thoughts and behaviour towards children. We hope you find the information and exercises contained in this website helpful in managing your own behaviour.
It is important to note that when it comes to addressing problematic sexual thoughts, there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach.
We acknowledge that not everyone with these thoughts experiences strong sexual arousal or has a sexual preference for children, although many do.
We also recognise that not everyone feels they are at risk of acting on these thoughts, and that for some the main concern will be coping with the thoughts themselves, rather than addressing problematic behaviour.
But we also know that some accessing this site will have offended or feel they need professional support to avoid so doing.
The importance of motivation
Whatever your situation, it is important to note that motivation is key to the effective use of this guide. Without motivation any understanding, insight and strategies for change that you acquire are of limited value.
You must be willing to look honestly at your problematic behaviour; your ways of thinking; how you perceive and manage feelings and situations; and you should be prepared to address old habits and unhealthy behaviour. In addition you will need determination and persistence to implement changes and to practice the techniques and interventions that will assist in managing your thoughts, feelings and behaviour.
This self-help guide will focus on the following areas:
- Improving your understanding of your problem
- Understanding the links between thoughts, feelings and behaviours
- Identifying your offence cycle (for offenders) or pattern of behaviour (for non-offenders)
- Recognising triggers and warning signs
- Identifying situational and environmental risk factors
- Outline approaches to managing/changing problematic thoughts, feelings and behaviours
- Identifying different interventions
- Developing a risk prevention/management plan
- Maintaining change
- Where to get more help
If you are concerned about your sexual thoughts about children, it is important to understand that sexual thoughts do not of themselves lead to sexual behaviour, even though the ‘taboo’ (forbidden) nature of these kinds of thoughts can make them seem more powerful, compared with more socially acceptable sexual thoughts and fantasies about legal sexual behaviours.
However, acting on sexual thoughts, whatever their nature, is a choice. Behaviour is not inevitable. You have the power to stop yourself from offending and this guide will provide you with information and tools to help you manage your thoughts, feelings and behaviour. It will also signpost you to other resources that can help.
Our clinical experience tells us that change is possible for some people. Much depends on the nature, content, and power of the thoughts, including how long they have persisted and whether they exist alongside age-appropriate sexual interests.
Therapy aimed at fantasy modification is beyond the scope of this guide, although you will find some guidance on fantasy management techniques in the fantasy section of the self-help module. Further confidential advice can be provided by one of our specialist staff via the helpline.