Post-Therapy

The following quotations come from individuals who had either successfully completed a course of therapy within the Prevention Network “Kein Täter werden”, or who were engaged in the therapy at the time of the interview. All personal information - name, age, profession – have been anonymized for publication on this website.

Günther, 55, long-distance lorry driver

I now know that I can live sensibly. The group was an important support for me.

Christian, 43, civil servant

I’m now able to use the internet without any problems, even when I have sexual lust, and I don’t visit any porno sites. I look at harmless stuff like computer topics, or sport.

Sven, 45, teacher

I can feel my sexual preference just as before, but it’s no longer horrifying and has lost a large amount of its significance. Since I’m now aware of my responsibility, I feel a lot more certain in my interactions with young people and know where to get help if I have the feeling that I’m losing control. But that sort of situation hasn’t come up again, as my urge for sex with young people has let up enormously as a result of my newly won convictions.

Ralph, 38, director

A year ago, I told my parents about it. After my girlfriend found out, they had to find out, too. At first it came as a shock, especially for my mother. For my father it was perhaps not quite as bad. But our relationship was different for a while, disturbed in some way. They weren’t able to appreciate it the right way, didn’t understand that I didn’t need to grab every young girl, like every time a young girl appeared among our relatives or friends that they didn’t need to keep me away from them. It has since gotten better. They told me that I’m still their son. It seemed very important to them to tell me that.

Sven, 45, teacher

I’ve changed my career quite a lot and now work only with adults. To my surprise, I don’t really feel sad about having given up on being a teacher, although I had long thought of it as my dream career. Rather, I enjoy my new job a lot. All my friends now know about me and almost all of them are supporting me on my path and stand at my side, which has been a very good experience.

Jan, 29, media manager

I spoke with my ex girlfriend and a few close friends about this therapy. Their reactions were very surprising to me, as they didn’t react negatively at all. Of course it bothered them and they weren’t sure how to handle it. Some of them have children of their own. At the same time, I noticed that they trust me. That they know that I would never do something to their kids. All my friends who I’ve spoken to about it – close friends – remain my friends.

Alex, 24, student

My parents know about it, some of my grandparents do, too, and so do my closest friends and a few people from my organization. It was very important to me that they know about it. I wanted to make it clear to them, on the one hand, why it was sometimes so difficult for me, either to babysit within the family or, for example, to go swimming in public places in the summer. I couldn’t explain that to them at the time, and I often got funny looks. But now they’ve accepted it and are trying to let me go my own way.

Christian, 43, civil servant

Nowadays, when I get frustrated, I’m able to deal with it on my own. I have a look at what has happened, why I’m frustrated, if I’ve reacted incorrectly. This change has affected everything: work, my private life, my hobbies. I know that I’m responsible for my actions. I can now see my strengths, whereas I used to only see my weaknesses, and I can control myself. When I realize I’m coming into a dangerous situation, I leave it. That has happened to me once, in the sauna. So I stood up, went and showered, and left. End of story. I was proud of myself afterwards because, like I said, I’m the one with the responsibility. I need to take on the responsibility – a child or young person can’t do that.

Jan, 29, media manager

The most important part of the therapy for me was drawing a line between my fantasies and responsibility for my sexual behavior. I can’t help it that I find children arousing, but what I can do is to not have any sort of sexual contact with them.

Stefan, 36, sound engineer

At the end of the therapy I had a new attitude to life. I am more sure of myself and have acquired the strength to go through life responsibly. I’ve learned to cope with my feelings and how I can very consciously protect myself and, most of all, children. From this recognition and the acceptance of who I am, from my newly learned awareness of my responsibility and, not least of all, through the strength and footing in life that my family give to me, I’ve finally got the courage to face life and the satisfaction to be able to say: I am a happy person and can live a contented life.

Sven, 45, teacher

The most important thing is that my wife is back at my side and that I have my family back. Of course there are still some uncomfortable moments, like when we are reminded of our period of separation. Or when the conversation turns to the topic of my sexual preference and I can sense from my wife the fear that it still causes her. Yet these darker moments are few and far between and, to my amazement, I realize again and again that I am very happy. In the last few years, I have changed so fundamentally. I would never have thought it possible. My self-confidence has grown enormously, I am more balanced and resilient in the face of stress.

Manuel, 33, computer scientist

After the end of the therapy itself, the follow-up group has been a very helpful offer for staying in touch and keeping focused on my goals. Prior to the therapy, I couldn’t imagine being able to lead a normal, satisfying life with this sexual preference. In the course of the therapy it became clear to me that this is possible. I no longer judge or hate myself for my sexual interest, because I know I can’t help it. But with this sexual preference comes the huge responsibility of not doing harm to anyone. This duty will stay with me for my whole life.

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