Counselling Strategies: Some Adaptations for Sex Offenders with Developmental Disabilities.

It is difficult to provide one-on-one counselling to individuals with a developmental handicap (Hingsburger, 1987), and I think this challenge is even greater when the client is referred for counselling due to a sexual offense. Since many of our clients have difficulty with language, they find it hard to describe daily events, let alone emotional states (Sovner & Hurley, 1986; Ludwig & Hingsburger, 1989). They may have difficulty attending to a task or topic for long periods of time. Sequencing, over-compliance and following complex homework tasks can also be problematic (Flynn et al., 1985). Counsellors will therefore need a variety of strategies to overcome difficulties that are inherent in counselling sex offenders with developmental disabilities (Hurley & Hurley, 1986). This paper suggests some creative adaptations of counselling strategies for this population. These approaches may also help to overcome the sense of tediousness which can creep into ongoing therapy with individuals who have these kinds of communication roadblocks. LANGUAGE AND UNDERSTANDING

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