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Yoga, meditation, help teen sex offenders
Journal of psychosocial nursing and mental health services
Format: Journal Article
Publication Year: 1999
Pages: 6
Source ID: shanti-sources-32511
Abstract: Yoga and medication techniques could be valuable tools in helping teenage sex offenders reduce or control their deviant impulses, according to new research at the University of Utah. David Derezotes, an associate professor in the Graduate School of Social Work, says the relaxation techniques taught through yoga, meditation and breathing exercises reduced stress, anxiety and sexual impulses among a group of teen sex offenders he observed over a twoyear period. The 14 boys, five of whom stayed with the program the entire 2 years, were clients at an Intermountain West human service agency at which yoga and meditation were used during treatment. They were between the ages of 15 and 18.In responding to increasing rates of adolescent sex offenders, there are now more than 650 inpatient and outpatient treatment centers in Utah, but only a handful that specialize in sex offenses. Most treatment programs for teens usually teach the offenders to replace their inappropriate sexual fantasies with more acceptable ones involving consensual sex among peers, to avoid situations which may lead to the offending behavior, and to find alternative activities that can be stimulating but do not harm anyone. But Derezotes found that teaching these teenagers relaxation techniques also had a profound affect on their behaviors and attitudes. The youngsters spent several hours each week performing yoga movements, deep breathing exercises and meditating with an instructor. Most of the boys enjoyed the training and all of them reported benefit from using the exercises outside class to help with their control problems. They had an improved ability to relax and reduce anxiety levels, and were better able to recognize their thoughts and feelings. Significantly, none of the boys relapsed with sexual offenses during the time of the study.…