Making Sense of Denial in Sexual Offenders: A Qualitative Phenomenological and Repertory Grid Analysis
|Blagden, N., Winder, B., Gregson, M. and Thorne, K.
Denial in sexual offenders represents the first barrier to successful treatment a clinician is likely to face. Most sex offender treatment programs devote significant time to overcoming denial, with most programs having a focus on disclosure and "accepting responsibility." This is the first study that has aimed to make sense of sexual offenders' denial through a rigorous qualitative analysis. The main objective was to explore the experiences and lived worlds of sexual offenders in denial. A qualitative phenomenological methodology combining interpretative phenomenological analysis and repertory grids was implemented. Ten incarcerated sexual offenders in categorical denial participated in the research. The analysis revealed the narrative, relational, and self-reconstructive properties of denial and discusses the role and function denial may be playing for sexual offenders. The results highlight that denial can be viewed as a form of "sense making" and that clinically relevant treatment targets can be elicited without disclosure. It is concluded that viewing denial as a barrier to treatment impedes constructive work with offenders, and implications for treatment are discussed.
|anything related to sexual assault; intervention; offenders; reporting/disclosure; sexual assault; situational factors
|Journal of Interpersonal Violence
|Vol 29 (Issue 9), pp. 1698 - 1731
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
|Web address (URL)
|16 Jan 2014
|Publication process dates
|22 May 2023
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