Arizona State Hospital

Arizona Community Protection and Treatment Center (ACPTC)

Description of Treatment Services

The primary objective of treatment is to address sexual and other disorders which contribute to a resident’s risk of reoffending and committing another sexual crime. The program relies on relapse prevention principles, and both individual and group therapies are utilized. Psychopharmacology is also prescribed when indicated. Although psychosexual problems are the main focus of treatment, the treatment team approach is to create an individual comprehensive treatment plan to address psychosocial, psychiatric, interpersonal and family issues as well as any other issues identified during the course of the resident’s treatment. The ACPTC utilizes therapeutically relevant techniques that conform to the current ethical and legal standards set forth by the American Psychological Association (APA) and the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA).

Treatment is based upon individual interviews and assessments, review of available medical and treatment information as well as observed behaviors and attitudes. Psychotherapy and psychosexual therapy are designed to help the person develop a commitment to treatment and an investment in the process of setting personal goals and mapping the strategies necessary to achieve those goals. One of the important goals is resolving the “victim of the system” issue that many residents experience.

Residents are responsible for demonstrating their ability to maintain pro-social behaviors, through self-monitoring, self-regulation, and identification of cognitive distortions and maladaptive behavioral patterns. Residents learn to express themselves in an open, honest manner and learn to achieve goals without resorting to secrecy or manipulation.

As treatment progresses, the residents learn to integrate the skills they have acquired towards the goal of a balanced life. Minimizing inappropriate sexual arousal while maximizing appropriate sexual arousal is a key concept for the therapy they receive. Residents learn to balance personal needs with the needs of the community and the need for long-term monitoring and sexual arousal management as they develop their individual relapse prevention plans. They also develop other aspects of a healthy lifestyle including a social support system, leisure interests, occupational goals and realistic plans for increased involvement in the community.

Psychologists and masters-prepared clinicians (with specific training and expertise in the area of sex offender treatment) provide treatment therapy at ACPTC. Other behavioral health professionals, or individuals in a training capacity who may provide treatment services, work in conjunction with clinical staff. The following is a list of services provided for residents of our program who are committed to treatment:

  • Comprehensive individualized treatment planning
  • Comprehensive evaluation services
  • Individual psychotherapy, including but not limited to treatment for psychosexual problems and other disorders or problems
  • Group psychotherapy, including but not limited to groups addressing psychosexual and psychological functioning, psycho-education, and psychological and social skill development: Residents attend groups identified in the treatment plan and 90 day reviews based on treatment goals and their readiness. Every resident is encouraged to attend the daily community meetings in addition to other treatment groups
    • Groups and services offered include:
      • Psychiatric evaluation and medication treatment where indicated.
      • Psychosexual therapy and psychotherapy focusing on relapse prevention strategies.
      • Family assessment and family therapy (described above), when appropriate.
      • Medical services including referrals for specialty clinics with outside medical providers, when necessary.
      • Recreational group and individual activities: Recreational staff provides organized activities on a weekly schedule described above.
      • Educational opportunities to complete a GED and help special needs residents with learning disabilities.

Cognitive functioning, emotions, behaviors, attitudes, and values are treatment concepts emphasized at all levels during the treatment process. Therapy focuses on developing realistic expectations for community reintegration, including supervision and aftercare needs. Residents need to be able to adapt readily to change and the increased demands placed upon them as they move towards community reintegration.

Residents who are able to integrate all of the concepts learned in treatment may achieve community living status. They must be able to rely on their own abilities to self-monitor and self-manage their cognitions, emotions, and behaviors in service of a proud, productive life in the community.

Residents have developed the understanding that the potential to relapse to maladaptive behavior is always a possibility, particularly when facing stressful life circumstances. Seeking support and treatment at those times may make relapse avoidable.

Residents may receive case management services, provided by the Resident Program Staff, to assist with community reintegration and on-unit behavioral management. This includes helping residents to obtain appropriate identification, filing for specialized services such as Developmental Disability and Seriously Mentally Ill designation, job searching and employment placement, locating housing, learning to manage personal finances and other such services that support the residents’ recovery and independence as they move into the community.