Offending & Risk-taking Behaviours

 

The purpose of this module is to identify patterns of thinking leading to behaviour which is respectful to people, their identity and beliefs and their property and to challenge these patterns by exploring the impact of disrespect on the young person and his or her family.

Its objective is to encourage the young person to think clearly and responsibly when making decisions on how to behave.

Specific outputs should include:

  1. The young person will understand what it is to get and give respect;
  2. The young person will have learnt a range of respectful responses;
  3. The young person will have committed to some goals relating to his or behaviour.

Each of these modules is integrated by a common theoretical and practice model. The aim is to enable young people to become more resourceful.

These modules are designed to enable young people to develop resources in their lives which both protect them from the risk factors associated with their behaviour and address criminogenic needs which are preventing them from having a safe and happy life.

Protective Resources

The Protective Resources model

Relationships which support a pro-social lifestyle.

Expectations by significant adults of the young person’s positive future potential.

Skills to develop relationships, meet expectations and take advantage of opportunities.

Opportunities to meet individual needs and to make a contribution to community life.

Understanding of oneself, one’s behaviour and one’s environment.

Responsibility for choices, action and consequences.

Commitments which enable the young person to behave consistently to achieve goals within positive values and rules.

Evaluation of action and its results so that the young person is continuously learning.

Success in achieving goals creating self confidence and self worth.

Relationships

This module is based upon the assumption that the young person’s behaviour may be caused by lack of respect in relationships and moreover may further exacerbate these difficulties.

Expectations

Disrespectful behaviour and the lifestyle and attitudes that support it tend to emphasise short term goals rather than long term positive expectations.

Skills

The apparent ease by which bad behaviour achieves goals and meets need reduces the motivation to develop skills. This module reinforces the need for the key skills which are developed throughout all the modules:

  • Setting and working towards goals;
  • Taking personal responsibility for one’s choices and actions;
  • Giving and keeping your word;
  • Problem solving;
  • Smart thinking.

Opportunities

Behaviour may in part be motivated by a perception that opportunities are limited. Further unacceptable behaviour may reduce legitimate opportunities available to the young person.

Understanding

This module assumes that the young person has not spent much time thinking critically about the causes and consequences of their behaviour. This module enables the young person to examine their thinking and beliefs and to consider whether they are working for them and whether they should change.

Responsibility

Behaviour is often justified by blaming others. While the origins of young people’s behaviour may be influenced by what has happened to them and where they live, their ability to change their behaviour is largely dependent upon the extent that they are willing and able to take responsibility for their behaviour and its consequences.

Commitments

Any change in behaviour requires commitment. This module enables the young person to make positive commitments and to find support to stick to these commitments.

Evaluation

Young people’s commitment to justifying their behaviour often prevents them from evaluating its effectiveness and learning from their mistakes. This module enables the young person and the worker to set up a plan of action which can be evaluated as it is implemented.

Success

This module offers the young person the opportunity to experience successful learning and behaviour change. The worker should be aware that for many young people success is measured in small steps and not in giant leaps. The style of delivery should be positive, appreciative of the young person’s difficulties and reinforcing of progress.

The module enables the young person to develop protective factors as described above. It should be seen in the context of the goals that the young person has already set and as an action step towards the achievement of these goals.

The length of time devoted to each session will vary from individual to individual. However, they should be approached as substantial sessions which might take at least an hour. They should not be rushed as it is important to gauge the young person’s pace as you develop the relationship.

Materials:

  • Flipchart and markers
  • Pens and paper
  • Magazines, scissors and glue or paste.
Session One

Exercise 1 – Values and Attitudes

Purpose: To enable the young person to assess their attitudes.

This exercise enables the young person to consider their motivation. It also examines the young person’s attitudes towards the consequences of their behaviour. It will be repeated at the end of the programme to assess whether there has been any change.

Process:

Ask the young person to complete the questionnaire.

Tell him or her that this will be repeated at the end of the programme to measure progress.

Help the young person if necessary by clarifying the questions. Be interested in what the young person answers but do not challenge the answers.

Output:

A completed questionnaire.

 

ort crimepics attitudes

Exercise 2

Purpose: To understand the attitudes that support behaviour.

Once the young person has identified the values which justify his or her behaviour and those which do not justify it, you will be able to focus on the subsequent exercises more effectively.

Process:

You will enable the young person to sort cards (see below) with different behaviours in order of how seriously he or she ranks them.

Remind the young person about your policy on disclosure of offences.

Ask the young person how they made their decisions.

  • “What makes that behaviour worse than that one?”
  • “Is it the punishment you might get?”
  • “Is it what the person does or the consequences for the other person?”
  • “Does the reason the person does something make a difference?” (e.g. self defence, stealing out of need or greed).
  • “What makes these behaviours wrong?”

This exercise offers an opportunity to focus on specific behaviours of which the young person has a record. Where does it stand in relation to others? Why has the young person placed it there? What makes it different? Why would he or she do one thing and not another?

You should enable young people to articulate and explain their views and values and to identify contradictions; for example, they may rank an offence against an old person as high but offences such as car theft and housebreaking as low, when the likelihood is that in committing these they will have given no thought to the age and/or vulnerability of the victim of these offences.

You should also highlight the thin line between different offences e.g. a common assault may not be serious, yet a murder could be an assault that went wrong.

The Key Learning:

That your attitudes determine what you will and will not do.

Output:

A common understanding of the young person’s values in relation to chosen behaviour.

ort cut and paste

Exercise 3

Purpose: To Explore and Challenge Excuses.

You will examine the excuses the young person has used to justify behaviour and challenge them through the values that the young person has identified in the previous exercise.

Process:

Ask the young person to tick off a list of excuses he or she has used.

Try to enable the young person to make explicit the distinctive patterns of thinking that he or she uses to justify behaviour. Examples:

  • the feeling that one is entitled to break rules (no facilities, hard life, no money);
  • the belief that one is not responsible because of other conditions (alcohol, mates, provocation)
  • the belief that there was no victim:
  • the need to prove oneself with your mates.

Ask if they use these excuses in other areas of their lives – e.g. at home with their mother, in school, in their neighbourhoods? What results do they get when they use them?

Discuss the concept of respect both for oneself and others. Which of these excuses are based upon respect for others and oneself?

Do they work? Do you get and give respect through your behaviours and your excuses? Do they help or hinder you to get what you want – refer to their goals.

Output:

The young person begins to see how their habitual thinking gets them into trouble.

Recap and homework:

Ask the young person to summarise what they have learnt in this session. If they have forgotten significant parts, remind them.

Tell the young person that the next session will be about learning from consequences. The homework is to prepare for this by remembering when they got into trouble and what happened after that.

Give him/her the handout explain its purpose is to start you thinking about consequnces.

Excuses

1. I had taken drugs or alcohol

2. I was bored

3. I had no money

4. My mates were doing it

5. They (the victims) deserved it

6. Everybody’s insured anyway

7. Nobody got hurt

8. I don’t remember what I did

9. They started it

10. It was too good a chance to miss

11. It feels good to get something over on someone

12. You have to take your chances when you can

13. I deserve it – I’ve had such hard time

14. I was just getting my own back

15. It should be legal anyway

16. I didn’t think – I just did it

17. I get a real buzz from doing it

18. I’m good at it

19. The Police were winding me up

20. I would have looked weak if I hadn’t done it

ort consequences
Session Two

Exercise 1 – Consequences

Purpose: To Think about Consequences to Yourself.

Process:

First ask the young person how they got on with their homework. Reinforce any efforts and success. Challenge any avoidance.

Now develop the Consequences that the young person has identified. Focus on specific behaviour patterns of the individual. For example:

  • Violence
  • Sexually harmful behaviour
  • Theft
  • Missing school
  • drug misuse

Consider other consequences i.e. ones that may not have occurred but could happen in the future.

Ask what is most important to the young person and whether these consequences might lead to him or her losing what is really important. Bring up the idea of respect meaning taking care of yourself and what is important to you.

Output:

The young person will be aware of how offending could risk what the young person values most in life.

 

ort consequences

 

Exercise 2

Purpose: To think about the Consequences to those close to you.

Process:

You are intending to enable the young person to think about his or her behaviour from the point of view and feelings of parents, brother and sister, carers, girl/boyfriend.

Ask first who do you care about most? Why do you care about them so much?

Now ask the young person to tell the story of the last time you behaved badly. Then ask them to imagine they are one of those they care about (their mother/father/brother/sister or boy/girlfriend.) What was it like for them (where relevant to the individual)?

  • Police calling at the home?
  • Going to the police station?
  • Going to the panel or court?
  • Having a child in a residential school?
  • Wider family and neighbours knowing?
  • Worries? Anger? Shame? Embarrassment?
  • How will this affect the relationship with the young person?
  • How are they likely to react to the young person?

Repeat this with other people that the young person has mentioned if you feel that the young person has not fully understood the purpose of the exercise.

Alternatively

You could put a label on a chair e.g. your mother. Ask the young person to sit on it and “be” the mother. Then ask him or her to speak as they imagine their mother speaking. Interview the mother about the offence (see questions above). This can be repeated with other people important to the young person.

Output:

The young person will have developed empathy for how those close to him or her are affected by offending.

Recap and homework:

Ask the young person to summarise what they have learnt in this session. If they have forgotten significant parts, remind them.

The homework is to choose one person that has been badly affected by their offending and express their regrets and say they are sorry.

Session Three

Understanding Risk and Risk Management

(See separate exercises for young people with sexually harmful behaviours)

Exercise 1

Purpose: To enable the young person to assess and manage the risks of their behaviour.

Process:

First ask the young person how they got on with their homework. Reinforce any efforts and success. Challenge any avoidance.

Using the format below (or by copying it on to a flipchart) cartoon a recent incident with the young person.

Explore with the young person distinguishing:

Facts

  • the places
  • the times
  • the people
  • events

Attitudes to the facts

  • how you saw these facts and how you made sense of them;
  • attitudes have been covered in the previous exercises

Feelings that arise from your attitudes

  • how you were feeling or your mood – anger, fear, excitement, embarrassment, etc.

Behaviours that are provoked by the feelings

  • What you did

Consequences to the behaviours.

  • things that happen afterwards.

Explore those that seem to increase the risk of bad behaviour.

Ask whether there were alternative attitudes that were possible and would they have resulted in different feelings, behaviours and consequences.

Ask What action do you need to take to get respect, to keep safe and to avoid risk?

Enable the young person to complete a risk management plan (See below) Explain that this plan will be copied and given to the referring agency.

Output:

An agreed risk management plan.

Homework:

Ask the young person to think about times when they did not get into trouble. How did they do that?

ort cartooning an offense
ort risk management plan
Session Four

Exercise 1

Purpose: To develop alternative responses to risk and gain the young person’s commitment to change.

Process:

First ask the young person how they got on with their homework. Reinforce any efforts and success. Challenge any avoidance.

Explore further:

A time when you were tempted and had the opportunity to offend and did not.

  • What happened?
  • When, where, with whom?
  • What did you do to keep out of trouble?
  • Why did you do it?
  • What was the result?

So what supports you to stay out of trouble?

Look at some of the excuses and values supporting offending that you identified in Session 1. Try to come up together with alternative attitudes which would prevent the behaviours.

You could then draw snakes and ladders to represent three attitudes that get you into trouble and three attitudes that gain you respect.

Exercise 2

Purpose: To gain a commitment to change attitudes and behaviours.

Process:

Reviewing the work so far identify:

  • Three behaviours and attitudes which you both agree are respectful;
  • Three behaviours and attitudes which you both agree are disrespectful.

Ask what support you would need from Includem, family, friends, school etc to keep to these commitments.

Complete the ‘Commitments’ form below.

Ask the young person’s permission to support and also challenge when he or she does not keep his or her word.

ort commitments

 

Exercise 2 – Review Progress

Purpose: To enable the young person to assess whether his or her attitude has changed.

Process:

Ask the young person to complete the questionnaire

Talk about any changes from the first questionnaire. Congratulate them on any progress and their participation in the module.

Enable the young person to review progress on their goals (completed in the This is Your Life).

Encourage them to amend their goals through what they have learnt in this module (particularly the goals relating to behaviour).

Output:

The young person will have changed the attitudes that support their offending and have a practical plan to avoid further bad behaviour.

ort crimepics attitudes
End Of Module Evaluation
Structured Coaching Conversation

Structured coaching conversations are designed:

  • To reinforce the commitments the young person has made;
  • To enable the young person to develop self respect;
  • To enable the young person to learn from experience;
  • To support the young person to achieve goals.

When the young person keeps commitments:

Use questions

  • What happened?
  • What result did you get?
  • How did it feel?
  • What did it take for you to get that result?
  • How do you feel about yourself now?

Give feedback as specific as possible relating to the commitments the young person has made to change attitudes and behaviours. Express your respect.

Ask what the young person has learnt from the experience.

Ask the young person in what other situations he/she could use this attitude or behaviour.

Encourage the young person to use the attitude or behaviour again soon. Try to identify a specific situation which is likely to happen or can be planned in the near future.

Record with the young person what he or she ‘got’ from the Experience in the appropriate ‘Doing it’ form.

Guide the young person in filling in the ‘Success!’ form

When commitments are not kept:

Use questions

  • What happened?
  • What result did you get?
  • How did you feel?
  • What caused the result?
  • How do you feel now?

If the young person reverts to attitudes and behaviours they committed to change, gently point this out. Connect these to the result.

Explore how this may be an example of what is going wrong in his/her life. Identify other situations where this attitude or behaviour has not worked.

Imagine how the situation would have turned out if he/she had employed the attitude or behaviours to which he or she had committed.

Ask what the young person has learnt from the experience.

Encourage the young person to use the positive attitude or behaviour again soon. Try to identify a specific situation which is likely to happen or can be planned in the near future.

Record with the young person what he or she ‘got’ from the experience in the appropriate ‘Doing it’ form.

Guide the young person in filling in the ‘Success!’ form

global - success_form

Offending and Risk Taking Behaviours

For those young people involved in sexually harmful behaviour

 

Session One - Values, Attitudes and Responsibility

A complex relationship can exist in the minds of young people concerning their sexual behaviours, their past experiences and their thoughts, attitudes and beliefs about sex, sexuality and relationships. If these underlying thoughts, attitudes and beliefs remain unchallenged then their progress may be limited.

Exercise One

Purpose: To help me begin to think about my attitudes towards my behaviours.

Materials: Behavioural questionnaire and pen

Process:

This first exercise encourages the young person to think about their behaviours on a number of levels:

  • how serious they think they were
  • the consequences for themselves and others
  • how often they think about them
  • how worried they are about them
  • their motivation to engage in them
  • how much responsibility they are taking for them

Ask the young person to complete the questionnaire.

Tell him or her that this will be repeated at the end of the programme to measure progress.

Help the young person if necessary by clarifying the questions. Be interested in what the young person answers but do not challenge the answers.

Output:

A completed questionnaire.

ort behavioural questionaire

Exercise 2

Purpose: To explore more about my thoughts and feelings about my behaviours.

Materials:
Prompt cards
Three cardboard boxes labelled – A LOT LIKE ME, A LITTLE LIKE ME and NOT LIKE ME

Process:

Many young people find it very difficult talking about their behaviour and what they think of them. Prompt cards are therefore very helpful. This exercise will help you and the young person explore some attitudes or beliefs that might have contributed to their past behaviours and those that could support further behaviours if they remain unchanged.

This exercise will also help you see potential barriers that may be preventing the young person from engaging in work on their behaviours. By identifying these you can then think about sensitive ways to overcome them.

Tell the young person that you have made up cards with statements that many young people have thought or said about their behaviours. Invite them to look at each card and post it in the box that they think applies to them. Ask them to be as honest as they can be and praise them for their efforts. Tell them that all of these exercises will help them understand more about themselves and how the behaviours have happened.

Try to encourage discussion about some of the cards. This may help to reduce some of their barriers.

Examples:
If they have picked “worried about what people will think of me,” ask them what they think people are thinking. Ask them how they know this. Tell them what you think and make sure in your own words that you convey:
You think the behaviours have happened because there has been a lot of things wrong in their lives, that they have been hurting
You think they are very brave because they are doing this work and you understand how hard it is.

If they have picked “it wasn’t my fault” ask them who’s fault they think it is and why.

If they have picked “sometimes it wasn’t my fault” ask them to tell you when it was and wasn’t and why

If they pick “I sometimes want to do it again” ask them when they get these feelings. Explore what it is about these situations that makes them feel like doing it again. Also ask them to think about when they don’t feel like doing it again. This is just as important when considering the increasing and decreasing of risk.

Consider the information they have been able to give and how this impacts on their risk and on their well being. Use your debriefing session to help you with this process. Remember to communicate information to the wider risk management team. Some information may require an immediate risk management response particularly where a young person is telling you that they want to do it again. Remind them of the team around them and the importance of information being shared in order to protect them and others.

After the exercise check out with them how they are feeling. Do something light to end the session like playing hang man. Make sure they are leaving the session in an okay frame of mind. Let the adults around them know that you have been working on their behaviours with them and they might need additional support and or supervision.

Output:

The young person is learning about how to talk about their behaviours. They are exploring how they feel about them.

Recap:

Summarise with the young person what you have talked about in this session and ask them what they have learned. If they have forgotten, help them with this.

offending_risk - prompt_cards

Exercise 3

Purpose: To understand how some of my attitudes and beliefs could have contributed to my problem sexual behaviours and if they are still there could make me more risky.

First recap from last session. In particular you want to know if it made them think more about their sexually harmful behaviours and in what way. Did they dwell on their behaviours in a way that could increase their risk? Remember to get feedback from the adults around them about how they have been before the start of the session.

Materials:

  • Sexual Attitudes and Beliefs questionnaire
  • Pen.

Process:

Explain to them that this work is helping to explore any thoughts and feelings that might be difficult for them. Last week they looked at some thoughts and feelings about their behaviours and this time you want them to think more generally about sex and sexuality. Again ask that they fill out this questionnaire as honestly as possible. Give them the option of you reading it over with them, or them doing it themselves. If they choose the latter then ask them to let you know if they don’t understand any of the questions.

After they have completed the questionnaire go over the questions with them marking those thoughts and feelings that may need to be challenged. If you both agree then just tick the question. If the young person doesn’t agree with you put only your initial next to the question.

Tell them that next week you will be thinking about where they have learned about sex and sexuality. This might help them understand why they think the way they do about certain things.

Output:

The young person is learning about their attitudes and values, and learning how some of these could support further problematic behaviours.

Recap:

Summarise with the young person what you have talked about in this session and ask them what they have learned. If they have forgotten, help them with this.

ort sexual attitudes

Exercise 4

Purpose: To understand how my thoughts and feelings have developed over time.

First recap from last session.

Materials: Topic cards

Process:

Attitudes towards sex and sexuality are influenced by many sources. The earliest influence is the family then peers, school, TV, internet, neighbourhood etc. Young people with sexually harmful behaviours are usually very confused about sex and sexuality. It is very important that young people with problematic views or attitudes towards sex and sexuality clarify their thoughts in this area as much as possible. This includes helping them understand how they may have got these thoughts and beliefs.

Remind the young person that they are working on their attitudes and values to do with sex and tell them that this week they will be thinking about who and what has influenced their thinking.

Show them the topic cards and invite them to think about the messages they have got from those around them. It might be really useful to link this exercise in to the life map work they have previously done with you.

E.g. Masturbation (touching your own private parts):

  • What mum would say about that
  • What dad would say
  • What my teachers would say
  • What my friends would say
  • What my girlfriend/ boyfriend would say
  • What messages I get from the internet about this
  • What messages I get from TV about this

After going over this for each card reflect on those attitudes and beliefs that may be more problematic for the young person. Look back at the questionnaire and their life map and think about how some of the more problematic thoughts and beliefs may have evolved.

Ask them to think about how they might be able to change some of their thinking and look back at some of the positive messages they have been given about sex and sexuality.

Output:

The young person is learning about positive and negative influences on their thoughts and beliefs

Recap and homework:

Summarise with the young person what you have talked about in this session and ask them what they have learned. If they have forgotten, help them with this. As homework ask them to watch their friends or those around them to see if they can spot behaviours that tell them about their values. It is likely they will need help to do this so brief the relevant adults around them.

Exercise 5

Purpose: To explore and challenge thoughts/ justifications/ excuses that I might have made, that made it easier for me to behave the way I did.

First recap from last session and go over their homework. If they have been able to do this ask them if the behaviours and attitudes they have observed have been respectful of others or not.

Materials: flipchart made into Walls exercise

Process:

It is very important that young people become aware of the thought processes/ justifications/excuses going on in their heads that has allowed the behaviour to happen. It is possible that these thoughts will re-emerge. If the young person has no insight and has not learned to counter these thoughts with other healthier ones the behaviours will be more likely to happen again.

This exercise helps you to examine the reasoning or excuses that the young person has used. It prepares the young person for future exercises where you are helping them think about risk and risk management.

Use the diagram below to explain that behaviours don’t just happen from nowhere. Explain that the figure at the bottom is the young person. The arrow is them wanting to do the behaviours. The walls represent the barriers the young person has had to overcome to get to their victim.

There are three walls. The first is the Internal Barrier Wall. We call this the “Wall in their Head”. The next is the external barrier wall and this is called “the Wall Around Me” and the third is their victim’s barrier wall and is called “My Victim’s Wall”.

The most important wall for now is the first one.

“THE WALL IN MY HEAD”

Draw bricks in this wall and ask the young person to fill these in with statements that might have stopped him doing the behaviour
e.g. knowing its wrong, fear of getting caught, people might not like me, I might get called a beast

Then explore with the young person how he managed to knock out the wall by knocking out the bricks.

This encourages the young person to tell you the internal battles that have sometimes been going on inside his head. Some young people say things like:

  • I told myself I’d not get caught
  • I’ll just do it once
  • They will like it
  • It won’t hurt
  • So what no-one cares about me anyway
  • It happened to me

This exercise can be very difficult for young people. However it is important to do it as it helps them break down their behaviours into parts that they can then understand and learn how to manage.

Check out with them if they are still struggling with these thoughts. Remember to think about their ongoing risk and the importance of sharing information and ensuring that they receive the right kind of support between sessions.

Output:

The young person begins to see how their habitual thinking gets them into trouble.

Recap:

Ask the young person to summarise what they have learned in this session. If they have forgotten significant parts, remind them.

Exercise 6

Purpose: To explore the level of responsibility the young person is able or willing to take for their behaviours.

First recap from last session

Material: Responsibility Questionnaire

Process:

By helping young people take responsibility for past behaviours you can then discuss their behaviours in a meaningful way with them. This is essential to help them:

  • To explore and challenge their attitudes
  • Develop insight into the processes involved in their behaviour
  • Understand the needs being met by the behaviour
  • Develop insight into the impact their behaviour has had on others
  • Help them develop a realistic appraisal of their risk
  • Develop risk management strategies

There are many ways to promote the young person taking responsibility, including using previous and further exercises. However, the following questionnaire helps to establish how much responsibility the young person is able or willing to take at any given stage.

Ask the young person to complete the questionnaire. Some of the questions are similar but this doesn’t matter as it allows a number of ways of checking out things. If the young person’s answers vary greatly from the before ask them about this. It may mean that they are processing things in a new way. It may mean that they are not being entirely honest or open.

Help the young person if necessary by clarifying the questions. Be interested in how they answer but do not challenge their answers.

Output:

A completed questionnaire that may give you some ideas about the following:

  • The level of responsibility the young person is able to take
  • Factors that might be getting in the way of them taking full responsibility e.g. shame
  • Level of shame/guilt/remorse
  • Feeling of being overwhelmed
  • Thinking errors and excuses
  • Level of insight the young person has about the behaviours
  • The young person’s own vulnerabilities and their wider needs

Recap:

Gauge how the young person is feeling. If they are endorsing lots of items showing they are overwhelmed or distressed make sure this is passed on to the relevant adults around them immediately i.e., questions: 1, 5, 14, 23, 24, 25. Make sure that the adults around them are being supportive and increasing their observations of the young person particularly in respect of their well being. Remember the amount of support and help the young person will need may vary and at times they may be very needy of adult understanding and support. This can only be provided effectively if you are working together with the other adults involved with the young person.

ort responsibility questionnaire
Session Two

Exercise 1 – Consequences

Purpose: To Think about Consequences to Yourself.

Process:

If you gave them homework check this out first. Reinforce any efforts and success. Challenge any avoidance.

Now help the young person to consider the consequences of their problem sexual behaviours on them. Encourage them to think about consequences now and consequences should they engage in the behaviours again.

Try to explore with them how they would rate the consequences in terms of seriousness. This may bring out issues concerning the young persons moral code, for example, a young person might say “People see me as some kind of pervert now” This will give you the opportunity to explore with them how they want others to see them and give you the chance bring out their positive qualities, for example, “it feels like you worry about what people think of you and that you want people to know that you care”

Output:

The young person will be aware of how offending could risk what the young person values most in life.

Exercise 2

Purpose: To Think about the Consequences to those Close to you.

Process:

You are trying to help the young person think about his or her behaviour from the point of view and feelings of people close to them, such as parents, brother and sister, carers, girl/boyfriend. DO NOT CHOOSE THEIR VICTIMS FOR THIS EXERCISE.

Ask first who do you care about most? Why do you care about them so much?

Now ask the young person to think back to the last time they engaged in problem sexual behaviours. Then ask them to imagine they are one of those they care about. What was it like for them (where relevant to the individual)? The following gives you some prompts:

  • Police calling at the home?
  • Going to the police station?
  • Going to the panel or court?
  • Having a child in a residential school?
  • Wider family and neighbours knowing?
  • Worries? Anger? Shame? Embarrassment?
  • How will this affect the relationship with the young person?
  • How are they likely to react to the young person?

Repeat this with other people that the young person has mentioned if you feel that the young person has not fully understood the purpose of the exercise.

Alternatively
You could put a label on a chair e.g. your mother. Ask the young person to sit on it and “be” the mother. Then ask him or her to speak as they imagine their mother speaking. Interview the mother about the offence (see questions above). This can be repeated with other people important to the young person.

Output:

The young person will be thinking about others and beginning to develop empathy for how those close to him or her are affected by his or her behaviours.

Recap and homework:

Ask the young person to summarise what they have learnt in this session. If they have forgotten significant parts, remind them.

The homework is to choose one of the people you have talked about that has been badly affected by their behaviours (not their actual victims) and consider how they might express their regrets or say that they are sorry. If the young person wants to speak directly to apologise or express regret check out that this is appropriate and that the young person can get the right kind of support to enable this to happen in a positive manner.

Session Three

Exercise 1 – Understanding Risk and Risk Management

Purpose: to help me to identify the processes involved in my behaviours.

Materials: Flipchart and pens – cartooning

Process:

This exercise will help you gauge the ability or willingness of the young person to discuss their behaviours. It will help you to establish with them the principle of a process involved in the behaviours. It will elicit the young person’s account of circumstances leading to their behaviour (this can be compared to the victim account). Finally it will help you discuss risk with the young person

It is helpful to begin this exercise by reassuring the young person that for the purpose of this session you do not need to discuss the incident but instead what led up to it and what happened afterwards.

The flipchart is divided into squares of a cartoon board. The young person is asked to choose a sexually harmful behaviour they have been involved in. They are asked to think back to around 12 hrs before the incident. Questioning should be intended to elicit a full account of events that led to the behaviours happening. This should be described by the young person as well as the sequence of events that followed.

Once the young person has given a factual account of what happened before and after the behaviour, repeat the exercise, this time concentrating on what the young person was thinking during each square. Follow this by repeating again on each square how the young person was feeling.

This helps to develop the notion that thoughts, feelings and acts are all connected and that risk factors will include a range of things including thoughts and feelings and not just situations.

It is not appropriate to challenge the young person during this exercise although it may be appropriate to inform them that you have the victims account. If the young person is able to do this exercise it should be repeated with other incidents of sexual sexually harmful behaviour. This will help you to establish the existence of patterns.

From the information gathered explore the following with the young person:

Facts

  • the places
  • the times
  • the people
  • the things that happen

Thoughts

  • how they saw the facts and made sense of them
  • thoughts that could have prevented the behaviours happening
  • thoughts that escalated the risk of the behaviours happening
  • distorted thinking

Feelings

  • particular feelings or moods that increased the risk e.g excitement, anger, inadequacy, resentment

Output:

The young person is beginning to understand possible pathways into his or her behaviours

Recap and Homework:

Go over what the young person has learned about their behaviours and, in particular, what things they have learned about risk.

ort cartooning sex

Exercise 2

Purpose: To explore the needs being met by my behaviours.

First recap from last session.

Materials: previous exercises from ENJOYING YOURSELF and cartoon exercise from last week.

Process:

Remember that sexually harmful behaviours can develop from a fundamental, even universal, process that individuals have for meeting needs including the following:

  • Belonging/ love/ intimacy/ closeness/ caring/ sharing
  • Mastery/ making sense of past experiences/ control; achieving a sense of achievement, self determination, feeling sexually adequate
  • Fun/ excitement/ sexual gratification/ pleasure
  • Venting feelings

To help the young person make sense of needs being met by their behaviours go back to previous exercises you have done with them about activities they used to enjoy doing. Ask them to think about why they enjoyed doing what they did and what needs were being met. You might need to help them with this. (Remember the exercise you did on needs being met in the training!)

Next ask them to consider the cartoon exercise and to think about what needs their problem sexual behaviours may have been serving.

Finally explain to the young person that the needs are okay and normal, it is the behaviours that are not okay. Help them begin to think about other things they could do to get the same needs met.

Fill in two or three of these on the form below.

Output:

The young person understands their behaviours in the context of needs being met and to begin to think about better ways to met these same needs.

Recap and Homework:

Go over what the young person has learned about their behaviours. In the next week they have to try to do at least one of the activities they have identified as an alternative to engaging in the sexual behaviours and tell you about this. Remember they may need help and the adults around them need to know about this exercise in order to facilitate the healthy activity.

Exercise 3

Purpose: to see how risky I see myself and to think more about why I did what I did.

First recap from last session and get feedback about their homework. Praise them for any efforts they made on trying new ways to meet their needs. Maybe go back to the list and see if they can come up with new ideas. Encourage them to keep doing this.

Materials: Cliff Edge Exercise using flipchart and pens

Process:

This exercise will help you and the young person pull together the information gathered in the cartooning and needs exercise into a format that they may be able to use as a risk management tool. It will:
Introduce the concept of the risk of repeat behaviours/reoffending
To gauge the young persons appreciation of their risk
Increase the young person’s understanding of their behaviour
Increase their understanding of the meaning of behaviours to them

Draw a cliff and at the bottom of the cliff write problem sexual behaviours. You then explain to the young person that when they engaged in the behaviours with their victim it was like falling over the cliff edge and landing at the bottom. In your narrative you can describe possible struggles involved in the behaviours and emphasise the pull and push forces that may have been present. This helps a young person to open up without shaming them e.g. “you fell over the cliff when you abused Lucy, then you climbed to the top of the cliff. You maybe told yourself you would never do that again, but then you fell over when you abused Jack.”

The young person is then asked to consider the following:

1. The kind of things that pushed them over including:

  • Risky situations
  • Risky thoughts
  • Risky feelings
  • Needs being met by the behaviours

2. The kinds of things that could keep them back from going over the edge including:

  • Awareness
  • Support
  • Activities/ diversions
  • Learning new ways of thinking

3. How far away they think they are now from the cliff edge

Ask them to consider this in steps and for every step they have to identify factors that are keeping them back. (it may be at this stage that the things keeping them away from the edge are mainly external i.e. support, supervision, rules and boundaries)

Remind them that the work they are doing is about helping them learn how to stay as far away from the cliff edge as possible.

4. Ask them where they think other people would put them on the cliff and why e.g. parents, you and other Includem staff, Social Worker.

5. Ask them what kinds of things could push them over again.

This exercise helps to establish the young person’s ability to talk about their behaviours. It also establishes their own views about the reasons for the behaviours and encourages them to think about their risk. At this stage their opinions should not be challenged, instead the young person should be encouraged to give as full explanations as possible for their responses. While your role is to evaluate the information the young person is giving you, you also need to praise them for their contributions. Your evaluation at this stage will be based on your understanding of internal and external controls and on background information you already know about the young person.

Variations

Your terminology may need to change depending on the age and capacity of the young person and the nature of behaviours.

Some young people might feel confident enough to pace out the cliff using space in the room.

This exercise is repeated several times during work as it will help to gauge the young person’s progress.

It can be used very effectively with families and carers to explore risk and risk management

Using the cliff beyond the exercise

The cliff edge may be used as a risk management strategy. For example the young person may find it easier to say they are on the cliff if they feel risky rather than tell people they have sexually problematic thoughts and feelings. Also they may respond better to adults trying to help them if the adults ask “ are you on the cliff edge just now?” “rather than are you feeling risky just now” This should be discussed with the wider team.

Output:

The young person has developed enough insight into their behaviours to help them develop their risk management plan.

Recap and homework:

Go over what the young person has learned about their behaviours. Where there are immediate concerns regarding risk communicate this to the young person and alert the relevant systems immediately following the session. Encourage the young person to use the adults around them to help them manage their risk. Practice asking for help with them and encourage them to so this themselves out with the sessions.

Session Four

Exercise 1

Purpose: To develop alternative responses to risk and gain the young person’s commitment to change.

Process:

First ask the young person how they got on with their homework. Reinforce any efforts and success. Challenge any avoidance.

Explore further:

A time when you were tempted and had the opportunity to engage in problem sexual behaviours, but didn’t:

  • What happened?
  • When, where, with whom?
  • What did you do to keep out of trouble?
  • Why did you do it?
  • What was the result?

So what supports you to stay out of trouble?

Look at some of the excuses and values supporting offending that you identified in Session 1. Try to come up together with alternative attitudes which would prevent the behaviours.

You could then draw snakes and ladders to represent three attitudes that get you into trouble and three attitudes that gain you respect.

ort commitments

To Review Progress

Purpose: To enable the young person to assess whether his or her attitude has changed.

Process:

Ask the young person to complete the questionnaire.

Talk about any changes from the first questionnaire. Congratulate them on any progress and their participation in the module.

Enable the young person to review progress on their goals (completed in the This is Your Life).

Encourage them to amend their goals through what they have learnt in this module (particularly the goals relating to behaviour).

Output:

The young person will have changed the attitudes that support their offending and have a practical plan to avoid further bad behaviour.

ort crimepics attitudes
End Of Module Evaluation
Structured Coaching Conversation

Structured coaching conversations are designed:

  • To reinforce the commitments the young person has made;
  • To enable the young person to develop self respect;
  • To enable the young person to learn from experience;
  • To support the young person to achieve goals.

When the young person keeps commitments:

Use questions

  • What happened?
  • What result did you get?
  • How did it feel?
  • What did it take for you to get that result?
  • How do you feel about yourself now?

Give feedback as specific as possible relating to the commitments the young person has made to change attitudes and behaviours. Express your respect.

Ask what the young person has learnt from the experience.

Ask the young person in what other situations he/she could use this attitude or behaviour.

Encourage the young person to use the attitude or behaviour again soon. Try to identify a specific situation which is likely to happen or can be planned in the near future.

Record with the young person what he or she ‘got’ from the Experience in the appropriate ‘Doing it’ form.

Guide the young person in filling in the ‘Success!’ form

When commitments are not kept:

Use questions

  • What happened?
  • What result did you get?
  • How did you feel?
  • What caused the result?
  • How do you feel now?

If the young person reverts to attitudes and behaviours they committed to change, gently point this out. Connect these to the result.

Explore how this may be an example of what is going wrong in his/her life. Identify other situations where this attitude or behaviour has not worked.

Imagine how the situation would have turned out if he/she had employed the attitude or behaviours to which he or she had committed.

Ask what the young person has learnt from the experience.

Encourage the young person to use the positive attitude or behaviour again soon. Try to identify a specific situation which is likely to happen or can be planned in the near future.

Record with the young person what he or she ‘got’ from the experience in the appropriate ‘Doing it’ form.

Guide the young person in filling in the ‘Success!’ form

global - success_form
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