Patients experience and conceptualisation of their paedophilic disorder: a qualitative study

Ahlers, Imke Eliese and Rost, Felicitas (2019). Patients experience and conceptualisation of their paedophilic disorder: a qualitative study. In: Society for Psychotherapy Research 5th Joint European & UK Chapters Conference, 19-21 Sep 2019, Krakow, Poland.



Background: Current theories hold that paedophilia can be linked to the experience of severe developmental trauma, in particularly to childhood sexual abuse (e.g. Mokros, Osterheider, & Nitschke, 2012). Yet, the dearth of research studies available leave a dark shadow as per its aetiology and treatment. Very little is known about the patients' own experience of their suffering (Richards, 2018). The Portman Clinic is an NHS out-patient Clinic where patients with paraphilic disorders with or without contact offences receive psychoanalytic psychotherapy. Aim: The aim of this study is two-fold: first, to explore patients' who have been given an ICD-10 diagnosis of paedophilia view and conceptualisation of their problems and difficulties, and second to explore their understanding and experience of how it developed and where it might stem from. Of particular interest is thereby to explore whether the patients link their pathology back to their adverse developmental experiences, such as the experience of sexual abuse.

Methods: Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) based on Smith (2008) was used to analyse the Private Theories Interviews (PTI, Werbart et al., 2006) of six patients who were referred to the Portman Clinic for treatment. Of particular interest was to compare and contrast the emerging themes among patients regarding their problem formulation and pathogenesis of paedophilia. Results are currently being analysed but will be ready to present in September. Findings will be discussed in terms of the importance to gain an understanding of the patients' sense-making of their disorder to guide and inform treatment attempts.

Viewing alternatives

No digital document available to download for this item

Item Actions