Monday, 22 June 2015

The Eikonophobiacs Are On the Move - Again

June 21, 2015

Permission-giving thoughts relating to child sexual exploitation material offending

“The children in the images were not harmed”: 

"Following on from the recent blog post detailing the development of the Children, Internet, and Sex Cognitions (CISC) scale, this post will further explore the findings from this research, focusing on the permission-giving thoughts endorsed by individuals with an offence related to child sexual exploitation material (CSEM).

The figure below provides examples of permission-giving thoughts endorsed by individuals with a child sex offence, as identified by Ward and Keenan (1999). A starting point in the research that colleagues and I carried out was to explore whether these thoughts can be applied to individuals with a CSEM related offence."

(Embedded Tweets, click date)


Published 24 Dec 2010; DOI: 10.1348/135532506X114608; Volume 11 Issue 2 (September 2006), Pages 155-339

A Fundamental Attribution Error? Rethinking Cognitive Distortions

"The notion of ‘cognitive distortion’ has become enshrined in the offender treatment literature over the last 20 years, yet the concept still suffers from a lack of definitional clarity.

In particular, the umbrella term is often used to refer to offence‐supportive attitudes, cognitive processing during an offence sequence, as well as post‐hoc neutralisations or excuses for offending.

Of these very different processes, the last one might be the most popular and problematic.

Treatment programmes for offenders often aim to eliminate excuse‐making as a primary aim, and decision‐makers place great weight on the degree to which an offender “takes responsibility” for his or her offending.

Yet, the relationship between these after‐the‐fact explanations and future crime is not at all clear. Indeed, the designation of post hoc excuses as criminogenic may itself be an example of fallacious thinking. After all, outside of the criminal context, post hoc excuse‐making is widely viewed as normal, healthy, and socially rewarded behaviour.

We argue that the open exploration of contextual risk factors leading to offending can help in the identification of criminogenic factors as well as strengthen the therapeutic experience.

Rather than insist that offenders take “responsibility” for the past, we suggest that efforts should focus on helping them take responsibility for the future, shifting the therapeutic focus from post hoc excuses to offence‐supportive attitudes and underlying cognitive schemas that are empirically linked to re‐offending."


March 20, 2011, doi: 10.1177/0306624X11402945 Int J Offender Ther Comp Criminol May 2012 vol. 56 no. 3 465-482

Making Sense, Making Good, or Making Meaning? Cognitive Distortions as Targets of Change in Offender Treatment


Most structured sex-offender programs are based on a cognitive-behavioural model of behaviour change.

Within this overarching theoretical paradigm, extensive use of cognitive distortions is seen as a central core symptom among sex offenders.

However, the literature on cognitive distortions lacks a clear and consistent definition of the term. 

It is unclear whether cognitive distortions are consciously employed excuses or unconscious processes serving to protect the offender from feelings of guilt or shame. 

In this article, the dominant cognitive-behavioural interpretation of cognitive distortions is contrasted with two alternative interpretations.

One is based on an attributional perspective and the notion of attributional biases. 

The other explanation is based on a narrative approach focusing on the action elements of cognitive distortions, that is, as something people do rather than something they have. 

Clinical implications of these alternative conceptualizations are discussed and illustrated throughout by a case example."


Received: 20 Aug 2012 Accepted: 28 Feb 2014 Published online: 07 Apr 2014

The Endorsement of Cognitive Distortions: Comparing Child Pornography Offenders and Contact Sex Offenders

(Embedded Tweets, click date)

No comments:

Post a comment