New paper in the journal Aggression and Violent Behavior outlines approaches to treating emotional regulatory deficits among sexual offenders

Posted on Monday 23rd July 2012

Steven Gillespie, Ian Mitchell, Dawn Fisher, and Anthony Beech have a paper published in 2012 in Aggression and Violent Behavior entitled 'Treating disturbed emotional regulation in sexual offenders: The potential applications of mindful self-regulation and controlled breathing techniques.' This paper outlines the potential benefits of two alternative approaches to treating emotional regulatory deficits among sexual offenders, and could be an important adjunct to current treatments for this type of offender. Importantly, the approaches outlined are in keeping with a drive toward the development of biologically and psychologically informed perspectives for the treatment of sexual offenders. The successful regulation of emotional states is dependent upon frontolimbic brain circuits, essentially the prefrontal cortex and the brains emotional centre, the amygdala. The two approaches outlined, namely mindfulness meditation and the use of controlled breathing techniques, are known to effect the functioning of these critical neural circuits resulting in improved emotional regulation. Improvements in emotional regulation among sexual offenders would be expected to lead to improved psychological and social functioning, and a reduced risk of reoffending.

Gillespie, S., Mitchell, I.J., Fisher, D., & Beech, A.R. (2012). Treating disturbed emotional regulation in sexual offenders: The potential applications of mindful self-regulation and controlled breathing techniques. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 17, 333-343.