BHAR Forensic Treatment Services
What to Expect If You’re a Supervising Agency
BHAR provides forensic treatment services for patients with sexual offending behaviors. BHAR utilizes a multi-disciplinary approach to the delivery of treatment, which includes BHAR staff, probation/parole agencies, and polygraphers. BHAR’s forensic program is designed to support patients’ identification of and reconciliation with the core schemas, behaviors, and lifestyle that contributed to their offensive behaviors. The program is also trauma-informed in the conceptualization of the offending behavior, incorporation of trauma-based interventions, and focus on emotional regulation skills.
BHAR treatment promotes development, establishment, and enhancement of emotionally and physically intimate relationships as well as the creation and implementation of personalized safety plans. Patients are exposed and inspired to practice healthy sexual habits with the goal of reconditioning unhealthy sexual fantasies and behaviors while establishing sexual behavior they will be motivated to maintain post-treatment.
Through maximization of their strengths, skill acquisition, and development of a gratifying life patients are able to move beyond their offensive behaviors. It is eventually buoyed by natural supports involved in the therapeutic process.
This practice ultimately renders the treatment program unnecessary as the patient establishes their internal coping strategies and a knowledgeable external support system that will remain in place post-treatment and supervision.
BHAR strongly encourages individuals to develop a network of “support people” who can assist them throughout the treatment process and beyond. A support person may be a family member, a friend, a sponsor, etc. Support people will have intimate knowledge of the patient’s risk factors as well as their health promotion plan. These are individuals who have met with BHAR staff and have been deemed an “approved support person.” Support people are often crucial parts of safety plans, especially when the identified patient has court ordered restrictions.
What to Expect If You’re a Patient
Patients should expect compassion and respect from the primary therapist(s) through their treatment at BHAR. BHAR believes that a warm, empathetic and directive service delivery that acknowledges a patient’s desire to be self-directed creates an atmosphere that facilitates trust and disclosure.
Patients are encouraged to consider interventions offered and given space to make their choices in a safe environment. It is also understood that many individuals have experienced complex traumas that hinder their emotional and interpersonal growth and directly contribute to offensive behavior. As a result, BHAR is supportive of complementary interventions designed to facilitate trauma resolution.
Beginning Our Program
All patients undergo intake evaluations to determine current level of risk and stage of change, as well as the emotional regulation pathway underpinning the offense, to inform the appropriate level of care based upon the Risks Needs Responsivity model. Post-conviction clinical polygraph examinations are utilized on an as-needed basis. Patients may also be administered comprehensive psychological evaluations and/or referred for trauma-specific services as clinically indicated.
In addition, family therapy, chaperone training, art therapy, and mindfulness groups may be facilitated to supplement clinical needs.
Most patients will participate in weekly group therapy sessions and may supplement with individual therapy sessions when additional support is needed in the form of treatment motivation, polygraph preparation, safety planning, emotional regulation, support person preparation, or to process unresolved trauma.
Patients identified as having special needs (i.e. intellectual disability, mood or personality disordered, etc.) may transition from intake to individual therapy until such time they are deemed appropriate for the group setting. In addition, those individuals who appear to require a higher level of care will be encouraged to participate in group and individual therapies concurrently until stabilization is achieved.
All patients will develop a familiarization with programmatic expectations, and staff members identify the patient’s immediate needs around safety and general well-being as well as the patient’s personal strengths and learning style to support future skill development.
Within three months of enrollment, patients are administered a clinically based post-conviction polygraph examination to further inform treatment needs. Results of further examinations will inform therapy and can produce a variety of results including conferences with support systems, more intensive treatment, updated safety planning, changes in recommended supervision level, and/or team meeting (i.e. supervisory) with client and probation, to name a few.
Following clarification of the patient’s sexual history, external barriers to re-offense, treatment needs, and potential supports are re-appraised. At this time, treatment shifts to skill development and psycho-education. Patients are encouraged to translate this into safety planning and resolution of daily stressors shared in treatment. There is an emphasis on various forms of skill development, such as emotional regulation, meta-cognition, cognitive restructuring, safety planning, and resolution of daily stressors, to support development of proactive and reactive internal coping skills. Treatment is also focused on supporting achievement of external goals to facilitate development of meaningful, fulfilling lives rooted in strength-based approach strategies.