PosterPDF Available

Could a Dunkelfeld-Style Program Work in New York State?

Could a Dunkelfeld-Style Program Work in New York State?
Dr. Gilian Tenbergen, Lynnell Cote, Kassidy Pratt, Haley Best, and Kain Coffey
Department of Psychology, State University of New York, College at Oswego
Background and Aims
Current Program
… Challenges
Prevention programs in the US appear to be limited, targeting
parents about the signs of sexual abuse and skills trainings for
children on understanding the differences between appropriate and
inappropriate contact with adults and how to “say no” if it occurs
(e.g. Stop it Now!, Darkness to Light)1,2. The goal is to discuss the
development of a primary CSA prevention program targeting NO-
MAP individuals living in the community in NYS.We will discuss
the influence of mandated reporting on the development of the
program using NYS as acase example and examine the views of
both existing sex offender treatment providers and the community
toward such a program. We will also present our framework for
CSA primary prevention in the US with the Global Prevention
The Global
Prevention Program
1. Levenson, J. S., & Grady, M. D. (2018). Preventing Sexual Abuse: Perspectives of Minor-
Attracted Persons About Seeking Help. Sex Abuse, 1079063218797713.
2. Levenson, J. S., Willis, G. M., & Vicencio, C. P. (2017). Obstacles to Help-Seeking for Sexual
Offenders: Implications for Prevention of Sexual Abuse. J Child Sex Abuse, 26(2), 99-120.
1. Offer in-person program with supplemental
online support.
2. Assess community attitudes. Support is so far
3. Initial staff come from existing clinic specializing
in SOTP, receive training from TGPP
4. Provide informed consent detailing MR
guidelines and triggers. Know local laws and
keep legal support available. Create a network.
Yes No
Do you believe that child sexual abuse is
preventable by offering supportive services to
individuals who identify as sexually attracted
to children?
4 (18%)
Do you believe it is possible for someone to be
sexually attracted to children without acting
on that attraction?
26 (96%)
1 (4%)
Do you believe that the consumption of child
sexual exploitative material (child
pornography) is preventable by offering
supportive services to individuals who identify
as sexually attracted to children?
23 (85%)
4 (15%)
Expert Analysis - Quantitative Results
Prevention Project
Yes No Maybe
Possible to be sexually attracted to
children without acting on it?
Child sexual abuse is preventable by
offering supportive services?
Consumption of child sexual exploitative
is preventable by offering
supportive services?
Would you support the New York
Prevention Project?
Community Analysis - Quantitative Results
n = 87
1. Program Structure: should the program be online or in
2. Community: does the community support the program
and will they allow a clinic in their neighborhoods?
3. Staff: who will run the clinic and what training will they
4. Mandatory Reporting: laws in NYS? How to be
proactive in client protection?
… Solutions
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
Full-text available
Persons with potentially harmful sexual interests such as attraction to minors are unlikely to seek or receive treatment before a sexual offense has been committed. The current study explored barriers to help-seeking in a sample of 372 individuals in treatment for sexual offending. Results revealed that the shame and secrecy resulting from stigma associated with pedophilic interests often prevented our respondents from seeking professional counseling, and only about 20% tried to talk to anyone about their sexual interests prior to their arrest. Barriers to seeking and receiving psychological services included concerns about confidentiality, fears of social and legal consequences, personal shame or confusion about the problem, affordability, and challenges finding competent therapists who were adequately equipped to help them. Understanding and ultimately reducing obstacles to help-seeking can improve the quality of life for people with harmful sexual interests and potentially prevent sexual abuse of children or other vulnerable individuals.
The primary aim of this exploratory research was to gain information from minor-attracted persons (MAPs) about their (a) formal and informal experiences with help-seeking for minor attraction, (b) perceived barriers to seeking help for concerns about minor attraction, and (c) treatment priorities as identified by consumers of these services. A nonrandom, purposive sample of MAPs ( n = 293, 154 completed all questions) was recruited via an online survey. Results show that 75% of participants did seek formal help from a professional; however, just less than half of them found the experience to be helpful. Characteristics of helpful therapeutic encounters included nonjudgmental attitudes, knowledge about minor attraction, and viewing clients in a person-centered and holistic way. Barriers to help seeking included uncertainty about confidentiality, fear of negative reaction or judgment, difficulties finding a therapist knowledgeable about MAPs, and financial constraints. Understanding or reducing attraction to minors were common treatment goals, but participants also prioritized addressing general mental health and well-being related to depression, anxiety, loneliness, and low self-esteem. Implications for effective and ethical counseling and preventive interventions for MAPs are discussed.