Problematic Sexual Behavior Program

Desert Sage Resource Center (DSRC) offers training on understanding and responding to children’s sexual behaviors for professionals and community organizations.

Did you know?

Lessons from the research*

  • Many children with problematic sexual behavior (PSB) have not been sexually abused.
  • With appropriate treatment and careful supervision, most children with PSB can live safely with other children.
  • Outpatient treatment is successful for most children with PSB.
  • Most children with PSB do not continue these behaviors into adolescence and adulthood.
  • Low recidivism rate (2%) found in 10-year follow-up study of youth who completed a group program from the same PSB-CBT model.

*adapted from ncsby.org, where you can learn more about problematic sexual behavior

Problematic Sexual Behavior Program

While sexual exploration and play are a natural part of childhood sexual development, some children’s sexual behavior indicates more than harmless curiosity and requires specialized intervention.

When sexual behaviors pose a risk to the safety or well-being of the child and other children, it is imperative for families and communities to intervene through proper identification, support, and treatment.

Desert Sage Resource Center utilizes the Youth with Sexual Behavior Problems (YSBP) Program evidence-based treatment model for Problematic Sexual Behavior.

Youth with Sexual Behavior Problems (YSBP) Program

The program will focus on inter-familial and/or co-residential child victims and youth with problematic sexual behaviors. This model aims to eliminate problematic sexual behaviors and improve prosocial behavior and adjustment in children, while reducing stress and enhancing skills in parents and other caregivers.

Examples of these types of sexual behaviors include, but are not limited to, sexual contact between children who do not know each other well (i.e., foster home or institutional setting); sexual contact between children of different ages, sizes, and developmental levels; aggressive coerced sexual contact; sexual contact that causes harm to the child or others; and sexual contact that causes another child to be highly upset and/or fearful.

  • Session 1: Assessment and Safety Planning
  • Session 2: Boundaries
  • Session 3: Feelings Identification
  • Session 4: Distress Tolerance
  • Session 5: Impulse Control
  • Session 6: Cognitive Distortions
  • Session 7: Family Team Building
  • Session 8: Sexuality

About the program:

  • Offered to school-age children (ages 7-12, approximately) and tailored to fit their needs
  • Includes individual sessions for child and caregiver as well as joint caregiver-child sessions
  • Requires active involvement of parents or other caregivers
  • Short-term outpatient community-based program
  • Services provided by licensed mental health clinicians
  • Accepting referrals from a variety of community partners (e.g., child protective services, schools, community providers, and families)

The Model Ages: 7-12 years

Approximately sixteen, 60–90-minute weekly sessions, for child and caregiver to address:

  • Supervision and safety
  • Parenting strategies
  • Rules about sexual behavior and boundaries
  • Affective and cognitive coping skills
  • Self-control strategies
  • Social skills
  • Abuse prevention
  • Sexual education
  • Empathy and impact of behavior on others

Graduation from the program is based on child and caregiver’s progress in improved behavior and skills