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What is 'intensive therapy' for sexual harassment offenders?

by AirTalk®

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San Diego Mayor Bob Filner is in therapy for his behavior. Do you think it will help? Getty Images

With nearly a dozen sexual-harassment accusers going public, embattled San Diego Mayor Bob Filner has begun a two-week, "intensive" therapy program. Filner has admitted wrongdoing, but refuses to resign and wants the city of San Diego to pay his legal fees. From colleagues to constituents to passing acquaintances, 11 women allege he made unwanted sexual advances, some included groping and kissing. Laura Fink, a former deputy campaign manager for Filner, is skeptical of the rehabilitation treatment saying, "It is highly doubtful that two weeks of therapy will correct for decades of reprehensible behavior." Therapists concede it's a difficult process that does not work for everyone.

How do experts define this type of harassment? Is it about sex or power or a lack of empathy? Or all of the above and more? What are the stages of treatment? How can a perpetrator confront denial while navigating legal battles?


Robert Weiss, Clinical Social Worker and Founding Director of the Sexual Recovery Institute, which counsels people with a variety of problems, including sexual harassment offenders.

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