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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 63 (2021) 9, 644 - 649


Qualitative research into the treatment of adolescents who show sexually transgressive behavior

J. Evenepoel, F. Van Deynze, D. Neves Ramos

Background Sexually transgressive behaviour by adolescents is a serious societal issue. Unfortunately, as this is a difficult group to research, the scientific evidence on which mental health workers can base their treatment is rather limited.
Aim Mapping treatment interventions and their impact based on practical experience.
Method Qualitative research, through in-depth interviews with Flemish mental health workers (n = 10), presented as a narrative thematic analysis.
Results Adolescents who showed sexually transgressive behaviour were often scarred by developmental and psychological trauma. They should not necessarily be regarded as a separate category. Five main themes surfaced as focal points for treatment: aligning with the profile of the adolescent, resistance and motivation, therapeutical relationship, need for a positive story, and the context. In addition, some common practical obstacles for succesful treatment were also identified.
Conclusion Common factors of psychotherapy are key elements for their treatment as well. Treatment would also benefit from additional efforts, including investments into the continuity of care.