ATSA Practice Guidelines for the Assessment, Treatment, and
Management of Male Adult Sexual Abusers (2014)

The Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA) Practice Guidelines are designed to assist ATSA members provide quality treatment services by recommending clinical practices that reflect the best available knowledge. The guiding principles for the document are:

  • Most individuals who sexually offend will benefit from treatment oriented to reduce the risk of recidivism by using the treatment interventions shown to offer the greatest promise, which are outlined in these Standards and Guidelines.
  • Inadequate, inappropriate, or unethical treatment is harmful to the client, damages the credibility of all treatment providers and presents an unnecessary risk to the community.
  • Management of the factors that contribute to sexually abusive behavior is a life-long task for many adults who sexually offend.
  • Internal motivation may improve an individual's participation in treatment. Although not always the case, many individuals who sexually offend will not request or comply with treatment or supervision requirements without external motivation such as being legally mandated to participate.
  • Criminal investigation, prosecution, a court order, or similar directive requiring specialized sexual abuser treatment may be important components of effective intervention and management and may provide impetus for treatment.
  • It is advisable to provide specialized evaluation to determine treatment and/or supervision needs before releasing individuals who have sexually offended to the community without treatment.
  • Effective management of sexual abusers is enhanced by working collaboratively with probation/parole officers, child welfare workers, clients’ support persons, community members, victim advocates, and therapists who work with victims to increase community safety.

The ATSA Practice Guidelines are offered to ATSA members to assist them in performing their professional duties. ATSA members are committed to protecting their clients and the public against unethical, incompetent or unprofessional practices. View the Table of Contents.

The ATSA Practice Guidelines and the companion document, the ATSA Code of Ethics, are available for purchase.

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