The Prevention Project™Utah, USA is a global prevention-education effort addressing risky sexual thoughts, fantasies, and non-contact problematic sexual behavior in adult men and women. Founded and established in 2013 by licensed therapist Candice Christiansen, our mission is to provide accurate interventions, compassionate mental health support, and psycho-educational resources to men and women who experience risky sexual thoughts, fantasies, or have non-contact problematic sexual behavior. Our vision at The Prevention Project™Utah, USA is to educate the global community on the importance of providing accurate treatment interventions to mentally ill and neurodiverse individuals with risky sexual thoughts, feelings and behavior as well as mental health services to anti-contact, non-offending paedophiles. Our motto is "Everyone Deserves Support."
Accurate treatment for...
Legally Involved Non-Contact Sex Offenses, Risky-Dangerous Sexual Behavior, Sexual Preoccupation, Neurodiverse Issues, Mental Wellness for MAPs. For more information on the project's various treatment tracks, click on the Adult Prevention and MAP link.
Our project offers specific treatment tracks based on type of sexual issue and involvement in the criminal justice system. For instance, one track implements accurate treatment interventions for men involved in the various stages of the criminal justice system who have committed non-contact sex crimes* (some contact*) such as viewing and/or distributing child pornography, exhibitionism, and online solicitation of a minor, adult solicitation. As part of treatment, our project's licensed clinicians identify and treat men who have symptoms of sexual preoccupation(i.e., often referred to as hypersexuality or sexual addiction) as well as problematic pornography use including pornography addiction. This is especially important, since, according to psychologists Marshall and Marshall, “... a substantial number of sexual offenders meet criteria for sexual preoccupation, which is often referred to as ‘sexual addiction [and] sexual preoccupation has been identified as the dynamic factor most strongly predictive for reoffending” (Marshall & Marshall, 2012).
We are passionate about providing accurate treatment interventions to neurodiverse individuals who are or have the potential to be legally involved.
Unique to The Prevention Project™ Utah, USA is a specialized, collaborative treatment approach for treating offenders with neuro-diverse issues. Members of our clinical team along with community psychiatric and medical providers work together to address the distinct needs of men ages 17-75 with Autism Spectrum (AS), Traumatic Brain Injury (TB) or Parkinson's Disease (PD) who have engaged in risky sexual behavior that has resulted in the potential for or being involved in a legal intervention.
Research indicates that individuals on the Autism Spectrum who end up in the criminal justice system for non-contact sex crimes (i.e., viewing child pornography) do not have the same criminogenic features or needs as those who are neurotypical. However, all too often, AS individuals end up being sentenced to the same type and level of treatment as neurotypical offenders. Similarly, research on individuals with traumatic brain injuries suggests that depending on where the injury occurred in their brain, they may experience altered sexual preference (i.e., pedophilic interests). Finally, there is a wealth of research that highlights the often devastating psychological, social, and/or legal, consequences of paraphilic disorders, frotteurism (touching people but acting as if it was an accident), pedophilic tendencies (attraction to pre-pubescent children), and exhibitionism ("lewdness") in individuals with Parkinson's Disease.
Treatment for different Child Pornography (CP) Typologies:
Our project identifies and treats individuals with various child pornography typologies by incorporating The Good Lives Model into treatment. Our clinicians incorporate EMDR into individual therapy to assist men with learning how to regulate stress and challenging emotions as well as use Dr. Patrick Carnes Task Based Approach for treating sexual preoccupation.
CP Offenders with Paedophilic Interest: Research suggests that sexual interest in children and corresponding sexual gratification are significant motivators for most child pornography offenders. Offenders are known to use images to masturbate and validate their sexual interest in children. Some individuals use images to “groom” potential "real-life" victims (United States Sentencing Commission_Chpt 4).
CP Offenders with Problematic Internet Use: While most child pornography offenders are believed to have paedophilic interests, some individuals may be vulnerable to problematic internet use as a result of the following: Poor impulse control, emotional problems, lack of social and emotional outlets, and deviant sexual interests or beliefs. Thus, immersion into online child pornography becomes an alluring option. Problematic Internet pornography users often report negative career outcomes, social isolation, and depression (United States Sentencing Commission_Chpt 4). All of these issues are addressed at the Project.
Escalation of Porn Addiction: Some individuals who have used child pornography for sexual gratification report habituation to adult pornography and an increasing "need, craving, or urge" to identify novel and extreme images in order to achieve the same level of sexual gratification. Research suggests that individuals who have masturbated to child pornography become desensitized to images that may have been horrifying to them in the past.
No Known History of a Contact Offense: Many individuals who view child pornography have no known prior history of a contact sexual offense. This points out a significant gap since established risk measures for contact sexual offenders may not apply to the Internet offender population (Seto, 2014). According to Marshall and Marshall(2012), “Treatment should be differentially applied to offenders who are assessed as having different levels of risk for future reoffending." Similarly, according to the Need Principle, treatment level and type need to address “those features of offenders that research has shown to be predictive of recidivism." Dr. Latessa of the Center for Criminal Justice Research (2010) asserts, “Intensive Treatment for low risk offenders will often increase failure rates.” He adds, “Low risk offenders will learn anti-social behavior from higher risk [offenders]... [and it] Disrupts prosocial networks" (Latessa, 2010. What Works and What Doesn’t in Reducing Recidivism: Applying the Principles of Effective Intervention, School of Criminal Justice, University of Cincinnati, www.uc.edu/criminaljustice).
CP offenders on the Autism Spectrum: Some individuals who view child pornography are on the Autism Spectrum.Their issues related to being neuro-diverse vary from those who are neuro-typical. For instance, a young adult with AS may not fully comprehend the illegality of their inappropriate sexual behavior. The notions of “over” verses “under” age, appropriateness of certain websites including their sexual content, an intuitive sense of what is acceptable verses what is unacceptable, and a sense of rule of social behavior, are all implicit, making it very challenging for AS individuals to decipher right from wrong (Mahoney, M.J., 2009). As attorney and AS advocate Mark Mahoney, Esquire, explains, “What gets AS young adults into legal trouble is not abnormal sexual desires, but their tendency to express or pursue normal interests in a matter outside social conventions" (2009). Our clinicians understand the specific needs of individuals on the Autism Spectrum including those who are legally involved as a result of viewing child pornography. We provide accurate treatment based on their specific needs and neurodiverse issues.
ADdressing Non-Contact Criminogenic needs
Based on current research on treating non-contact sex offenders, our project has developed and incorporated curriculum, approaches, and programming that utilizes accurate treatment interventions for non-contact sex offenders based on risk, need, and responsivity principles. Aligned with Canadian researchers Marshall and Marshall (2015), our project treats individuals with the following criminogenic needs: 1) Attitudes tolerant of sexual crimes; 2) Self-regulation issues, particularly emotional regulation; 3) Intimacy deficits; and 4) Sexual deviancy (ATSA powerpoint, Treating Hypersexuality) . Along with this, as Quayle & Hayes (2014) suggest, non-contact sex offenders exhibit an increase in anxiety and depressive symptoms compared to hands-on sexual offenders. Social and intimacy deficits such as isolation and neglecting or damaging family, parenting, or romantic relationships are also noted in the research as significant among non-contact sexual offenders. Therefore, our project’s clinical and psycho-educational treatment approach entails teaching individuals how to effectively manage stress via accessing self regulation tools for dealing with difficult emotions, the components of healthy sexuality is (including consent, healthy sexual boundaries, healthy intimacy and respect), and how to interact and engage in all relationships in a prosocial, adaptive way. Treatment for individuals with neurodiverse issues incorporates their specific needs.