Sexuality, Spirituality and Addiction

Robin Ollenburg, with HCCSCD, opened the meeting by welcoming the Council and introductions were made. The guest speaker, Dr. William Schmidt, was introduced.

Dr. Schmidt spoke to us about the Sex Offender Treatment Intervention and Progress Scale (SOTIPS) which is a statistically-derived dynamic instrument used to measure risk and predict the recidivism risk of adult male sex offenders who have been convicted of one or more qualifying sexual offenses and committed at least one of these offenses after their 18th birthday.  Qualifying offenses include contact sexual offenses such as sexual assault, attempted sexual assault and child molestation and non-contact sex offenses such as exhibitionism, voyeurism, obscene telephone calling and Internet luring.  A non-qualifying offense is a conviction for sexual behavior that was illegal but the parties were consenting or there was no identifiable victim.  These include consenting sex with adults in public places, soliciting a prostitute, possession of child pornography and statutory rape where the age difference between the offender and the victim is three years or less.

Dr. Schmidt referred to Michael Jackson’s Man in the Mirror to illustrate how persons are able to take responsibility for their lives and make changes in themselves which, in turn, transform the world and make it “a better place”. He reminded us that we need to view our clients as having the potential to change.  He used the example of an onion with many layers that can be peeled.

The original SOTIPS started out with 32 variables related to relapse to gage if individuals are at risk for recidivism but it was eventually narrowed down to these 16 variables:

  1. Sexual Offense Responsibility
  2. Sexual Behavior
  3. Sexual Attitudes
  4. Sexual Interests
  5. Sexual Risk Management
  6. Criminal and Rule-Breaking Behavior
  7. Criminal and Rule-Breaking Attitudes
  8. Stage of Change
  9. Cooperation with Treatment
  10. Cooperation with Community Supervision
  11. Emotion Management
  12. Problem Solving
  13. Impulsivity
  14. Employment
  15. Residence
  16. Social Influences

Dr. Schmidt advised that the instrument should be used at the beginning of treatment or supervision and then again every six months and he talked some about each variable.

Dr. Schmidt then spoke with the group about pornography addiction and related that the problem is epidemic.  He defined addiction as a pattern of behavior revealing a pathological relationship with a substance, behavior and/or way of thinking. An addiction may present as an elaborate way of dealing with pain.  He said secrets are usually at the heart of an addiction and individuals are as sick as their secrets as secrets fuel addiction.  Addictions are a way to cope with stress and they impact the individual’s families and priorities. If a person doesn’t deal with their addictions they tend to morph and the person could have more than one.  Dr. Schmidt stated that therapy happens when the client tells the truth.