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Isr J Psychiatry Relat Sci. 2012;49(4):291-6.

Cognitive-behavioral treatment of the paraphilias.

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Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Department of Psychiatry, and Sexual Behavior Clinic, New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, New York, U.S.A.



Sexual offenders continue to occupy the public's attention; a significant proportion of this population is diagnosed with paraphilias. Cognitivebehavioral treatment has been the mainstay of treatment for sex offenders and for the paraphilias for the past three decades. This article will review the history of cognitivebehavioral therapy, its techniques, and its efficacy.


A literature review was conducted of PubMed and PsychInfo Databases.


A significant literature exists describing cognitive-behavioral therapy and presenting outcome studies and meta-analyses evaluating its efficacy.


This study is based on a literature review and influenced by the knowledge and biases of the authors.


Cognitive-behavioral therapy is the most prominent therapy for sexual offenders. Although reports from individual programs and meta-analyses support its efficacy, overall, the strength of the evidence base supporting this therapy is weak and much more empirical research is needed.

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