Our Treatments

The Joseph J. Peters Institute is a leader in the Philadelphia region in offering evidence-based treatments for those suffering from the effects of sexual abuse, interpersonal violence, and other types of trauma in our Survivor Services program. We are also a leader in providing evidence-based treatments to individuals with a history of sexual misconduct, sexual offending, or perpetrating interpersonal violence in our Safety & Responsibility Program. JJPI recognizes that people seeking our services come from diverse populations and backgrounds, and have varied treatment needs. Central to our work is tailoring treatment to each individual in order to begin the process of recovery.

At JJPI, we also recognize the critical importance of the relationship between the clinician and the individual receiving treatment. The trust created within that relationship is the cornerstone of recovery.

Using a combination of treatment approaches as described below, we work to create an environment where individuals feel emotionally safe, trusted, and respected and are able to make progress in their lives.

Survivor Services

Group/Individual/Family Therapies

Group Therapy

Targeted group therapy services for:

  • Male survivors
  • Female survivors
  • LGBTQ survivors
  • Transgender survivors

Individual Therapy

Individual therapy is used at JJPI to support individuals in recovery as they pursue healing from trauma and a more fulfilling life.

Family Therapy

Family therapy, involving parents, caregivers, and other family members, is an integral part of our child and adolescent services and may also be used with adult participants.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive-Behavioral therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based practice that helps address distortions in thinking in order to reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety and to improve happiness and overall functioning. The goal of CBT is to change patterns of thinking or behavior that are often at the root of a person’s difficulties, ultimately changing the way the person feels and experiences the world. The treatment takes a collaborative, hands-on, practical approach to addressing problems.

Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy

Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) is an evidence-based treatment specifically developed for children and adolescents suffering from the effects of trauma. It builds on the strengths of the child and caregiver through counseling and learning, among other interventions, to reduce symptoms related to trauma.

Prolonged Exposure Therapy

Prolonged exposure (PE) therapy is an evidence-based practice used with adolescent and adult survivors of trauma. This treatment has been studied and found to be effective in reducing suffering caused by trauma and in allowing individuals to obtain significant relief from depression and anxiety. The treatment is designed to allow individuals to revisit traumatic event(s) at their own pace and to facilitate a process of reducing the negative impact of traumatic memories, thoughts and beliefs. As the traumatic memories begin to lose their emotional impact, suffering is significantly reduced or eliminated and individuals are able to rebuild their lives.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a cognitive-behavioral treatment developed by Marsha Linehan, PhD. It emphasizes individual psychotherapy and group skills training classes to help people learn and use new skills and strategies to develop a life that they experience as worth living. DBT skills include skills for mindfulness, emotion regulation, distress tolerance, and interpersonal effectiveness. DBT has been found to be effective in treating a wide range of disorders such as substance dependence, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and eating disorders. DBT involves participation in individual therapy and group therapy that focuses on teaching the four core sets of DBT skills.

Safety and Responsibility Services

Risk-Need-Responsivity Framework

In our work with individuals who have committed sexual offenses, have sexual behavior problems, or have a history of perpetrating interpersonal violence, we use the Risk-Need-Responsivity (RNR) framework to guide our recommendations for treatment and in the implementation of the treatments described below. The RNR framework is based on three core principles: Risk: Matching the level of service (e.g., individual and group therapies) to the participant’s risk to re-offend; Need: Assessing the needs of the individual in order for them to desist from re-offending and target those needs in treatment; and Responsivity: Maximizing the participant’s ability to benefit from therapy by tailoring the therapeutic intervention to the learning style, motivation, abilities, and strengths of the participant.

Group/Individual/Family Therapies

Group Therapy

Targeted group therapy services for:

  • Youth with sexual behavioral problems
  • Adults with sexual behavioral problems
  • Adult offenders
  • Batterers/individuals with a history of intimate partner violence

Individual Therapy

Individual therapy is utilized to target specific goals and support attitudinal and behavioral change.

Family Therapy

Family therapy, involving parents, caregivers, and other family members, is an integral part of our child and adolescent services and may also be used with adult participants.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive-Behavioral therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based practice that helps address distortions in thinking to change dysfunctional beliefs and attitudes that often underlie offending behaviors. The treatment takes a hands-on, practical approach to problem solving. Its goal is to change patterns of thinking, beliefs, and behavior that are at the root of a person’s difficulties, ultimately changing the way the person manages their lives.

Prolonged Exposure Therapy

Prolonged exposure (PE) therapy is an evidence-based practice used with adolescent and adult survivors of trauma. This treatment has been studied and found to be effective in reducing suffering caused by trauma and in allowing individuals to obtain significant relief from depression and anxiety. The treatment is designed to allow individuals to revisit traumatic event(s) at their own pace and to facilitate a process of reducing the negative impact of traumatic memories, thoughts and beliefs. As the traumatic memories begin to lose their emotional impact, suffering is significantly reduced or eliminated and individuals are able to rebuild their lives.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a cognitive-behavioral treatment developed by Marsha Linehan, PhD. It emphasizes individual psychotherapy and group skills training classes to help people learn and use new skills and strategies to develop a life that they experience as worth living. DBT skills include skills for mindfulness, emotion regulation, distress tolerance, and interpersonal effectiveness. DBT has been found to be effective in treating a wide range of disorders such as substance dependence, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and eating disorders. DBT involves participation in individual therapy and group therapy that focuses on teaching the four core sets of DBT skills.

Good Lives Model

The Good Lives Model (GLM) is a strengths-based approach to offender rehabilitation, and is built on the idea that a primary purpose of treatment is to build offenders’ capabilities and strengths in order to reduce their risk of reoffending. The GLM is premised on the idea that people commit offenses due to a mismatch between an outcome they value and their ability to achieve the outcome in a prosocial way. Due to a range of deficits or weaknesses inherent in the individual and their environment, they instead resort to inappropriate and damaging means, resulting in offending behavior. GLM is a strength-based rehabilitation framework that is responsive to offenders’ particular interests, abilities, and aspirations. Clinicians work with participants to develop intervention plans that help them acquire the capabilities needed to achieve desired outcomes in a prosocial, sustainable way.

Duluth Model of Domestic Violence Intervention Services

The Duluth Model is an evidence-based treatment for interpersonal batterers. The model aims to dismantle distorted thinking by building alternative, healthier beliefs and attitudes. This treatment involves group therapy, co-led by male and female therapists, focuses on full disclosure of the interpersonal violence, with a client taking full responsibility for his or her actions, identifying maladaptive patterns, and learning to replace abusive behaviors with respectful ones.