In die Skriflig
On-line version ISSN 2305-0853
Print version ISSN 1018-6441
POTGIETER, Stella D.. The pastoral therapist as companion of a person displaying sexually deviant behaviour: A hermeneutic angle. In Skriflig (Online) [online]. 2012, vol.46, n.2, pp.1-9. ISSN 2305-0853.
Before a pastoral therapist can counsel a person who displays sexually deviant behaviour in the form of paedophilia, there are certain markers pertaining to the therapist's own positioning that must be observed. It is generally accepted that paedophilia cannot be cured, only controlled and managed. However, paedophilia is not only an issue to be studied by other sciences, it is also a spiritual matter. The person who molests children often harbours a spiritual vacuum within him- or herself. The spiritual vacuum, of which the paedophile may be cognisant or unaware, is the determining factor to which a spiritual dimension that is both restraining and destructive can be attributed. A pastoral hermeneutics is imperative in counselling the paedophile. The pastoral therapist must explain God's presence and story to the person displaying deviant sexuality to enable him or her to make sense of his or her needs, life experiences and destitution in the light of God's love and grace. Without imposing specialist knowledge upon the participant, the pastoral therapist can assist him or her to co-construct. A therapeutic relationship based on trust and unconditional acceptance is crucial. The process of change and healing can only be brought about within the parameters and liberty of such a relationship. The pastoral therapist should firstly consider his or her own views regarding paedophilia. He or she must be comfortable with his or her own sexuality, as well as the sexuality of others. The following article aims to encourage pastoral therapists to contribute to the empowerment of the pedosexual person on a spiritual level, and in doing so, contribute to a safer community.