Youth with Problematic Sexual Behavior- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

One of the most stressful situations a parent or caregiver can face is finding out that their child has acted out in a sexual way.

You are not alone; we are here to help.

What is Problematic Sexual Behavior?

While sexual exploration and play are a natural part of childhood sexual development, some childhood sexual behaviors indicate more than harmless curiosity. In some cases, sexual behaviors pose a risk to the safety and well being of the child and other children in their world.

Children with Problematic Sexual Behavior (PSB) may or may not have a history of trauma. Sexual abuse, physical abuse, and witnessing domestic violence are just some of the traumas often found in children with PSB.

Children with PSB have made poor choices. They are first, and foremost, children. With support and guidance from caregivers and the community, they can learn to repair mistakes and make good, safe choices in the future.

Characteristics of PSB:

  • The sexual behavior is beyond the child's developmental age
  • Involves threats, force, or aggression
  • Involve children of widely different ages or abilities
  • Are associated with strong emotional reactions in a child- such as anger or anxiety

How Can the CAC Help?

PSB- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a short-term, evidence based clinical treatment with a large caregiver component.

Goals of Treatment include:

  • Rules about sexual behavior and boundaries
  • Abuse prevention skills and safety planning
  • Emotional regulation and coping skills
  • Impulse-control and problem solving skills
  • Developmentally appropriate sexual education
  • Social skills and peer relationships

For more information, or for a referral, please contact Clinical Director, Samantha Staelens, at or 413-772-9069.