Q: What is your confidentiality policy?
A: Our organisation is committed to treating each person with compassion and respect and will keep their information confidential -as far as we are able within the terms of the law. Revealing to us that an offence has been committed does not necessarily mean we will disclose this information to the police, unless we were concerned that a specific child or vulnerable adult is at risk of harm. Our mission is to help you change your behaviour, not to punish you for it.
Q: As someone who feels worried about my behaviour, if I ask for a referral who will contact me?
A: Your details will be passed to the therapist on our list that is nearest to you. They will contact you directly.
Q: Do I, the client, pay a fee for this service?
A: The therapist will let you know what their hourly fee is when they make contact with you. Therapists will charge different rates and costs vary widely. Expect to pay between approx £40-£120 per hour- according to their qualifications, length of experience, which part of the country they are in etc etc. Some therapists may offer a concessionary rate.
Q: How often will I need to attend therapy, and for how long?
A: Each therapist works in their own way, and they will answer these questions on the first session. Most therapists will offer an assessment session, where they can discuss the issues with, and they can check that they have suitable experience and training to offer you therapy. You can also decide if you feel you could work with them. If you do not feel happy for any reason, please contact StopSO and ask for another referral. Since different therapists work in different ways we cannot let you know..but some therapists will see their clients weekly, and some will see you every 2 weeks. Some therapists will offer short term crisis therapy of up to 10 sessions..and others will offer sessions for up to 6 months or a year. Some clients have found that it has been so helpful they may continue in therapy for 2 – 3 years. After all, habits that have taken decades to develop may take a while to understand.
Q: I need to use extra stimulation because otherwise I cannot keep my erection. I have started watching porn that I am ashamed of. Can you help me with the sexual problem?
A: Yes. It’s surprisingly common for men who do the things that you do, to also have a sexual difficulty, like being unable to maintain an erection. If you consider this is a part of your problem then please let us know, and we can offer you a referral to a therapist who specialises in sexual issues, and who can work with you to help you with an erection problem. Their aim is to help you develop a satisfactory sex life, and help you to direct that sexual energy appropriately. Please let us know that you need a therapist who can work with sexual issues, as not all therapists have this specialist training.
Q: I have done this for so long, it is a part of me. If I give this up, what will I be left with?
A: People are surprised to realise that there are a wide variety of safe sexual activities that can be very rewarding. Most people have not been taught how to be sexual, and often carry on doing what they have always done all their lives, without finding new and more rewarding ways for sexual satisfaction. If the ways that you have been using are inappropriate, we will be clear and direct with you, and help you focus your energy in appropriate ways.
Q: I am gay. Will that make a difference, and will you try to change my sexual orientation?
Q: If I am turned on by children can my sexual feelings be changed?
A: You may find that you will always have a tendency in that direction, but you can learn ways of managing these feelings and instead learn to interact sexually with adults in safe, satisfying and appropriate ways
Q: Will you report me to the police because of how I feel or what I do?
A: As an organisation, we have a confidentiality ethic, and in most cases we will keep your information private. For example, having a sexual interest towards children is not a reportable offence, provided it is not being acted upon. However, we have an ethical responsibility to report anyone who discloses a situation where we think a particular child or vulnerable adult is at risk. As we have clear boundaries and cannot collude with such a situation, if someone discloses harm to another we will assume it is because they want the police or social services to be involved.
Q: What constitutes a sexual offence?
A: Most offences are around the issue of consent. If you do something to someone who does not willingly agree to it, then you are committing an offence. Children under 16 years old and vulnerable adults, such as those with learning disabilities, or those who are elderly, are not considered capable of consenting to sexual acts. It is also an offence to incite or to watch others do it, either in person or through photographs or videos.
Q: The police came, and I am on bail pending sentencing, for downloading indecent images of children? Would a StopSO therapist see me?
A: Yes, StopSO therapists will see clients at any stage, if you have worrying thoughts but have never acted out by looking at illegal pornography or touching someone, after you have committed an offence but before you have been arrested, after you have been arrested and whilst you are waiting for the next steps of the criminal justice system, and if you have been imprisoned – after you come out of prison.
Q: My partner has downloaded porn. Is this a crime?
A: Pornography of adults willingly engaged in sex is not illegal. However, if your partner has downloaded images of children, then he or she has broken the law. It is also illegal to watch extreme pornography, for example if the film is of an adult being raped, brutalised in some way, or even murdered. As an organisation, we are not legally required to report this, as a specific child or person is not in danger of harm. Instead we would work with your partner to help him or her understand the implications of what he or she is looking at, and help them to work with you to develop different forms of sexual activity.
Q: Are all sexual offenders male?
A: No. Different studies show different percentages, but approx 10% of people who commit sexual offences are female.
Q: What is the aim of StopSO?
A: StopSo wants to ensure there every sex offender who wants support to stop acting out, knows that there is an organisation, StopSO, that is offering every sex offender help. StopSO does this by offering therapy to prevent sexual offending.
What issues will a StopSO therapist work with?
StopSO therapists work with all kinds of problems, from being worried about thoughts but not actually doing anything illegal (e.g. non-offending paedophiles), looking at child porn and indecent images of children (child abuse images), bestiality porn, or other abusive online images, through to voyeurism (sometimes called a ‘peeping tom’), exhibitionism (a ‘flasher’), sexual grooming, touching people up in public places (frotteurism), child abuse (contact or non contact offences), incest, bestiality (zoophilia), rape (and other sexual assualt). If it is a sexual issue and illegal, then StopSO will help to find a therapist who will work with you to help you stop.