Letter: Treat the whole person

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The Independent Online
I HEARTILY agree that action is needed to help prevent young sex offenders from turning into adult paedophiles ("Action urged on paedophiles of tomorrow", 8 November), but feel that psychological treatment is only part of the answer.

As the forensic psychiatrist in your article suggests, the root causes of sex offending are related to the whole person. For example, such offenders are often people who have difficulty forming satisfactory peer relationships. Surely, then, a "whole person" approach is needed to deal with it. Psychiatry that focuses on the offender's negative (ie criminal) behaviour should be complemented by programmes that develop what is positive in his make-up. If not, the individual is left painfully aware of his own offending, but with no counter- balancing good to put in its place. The arts, such as drama, have a role to play in this.