Who are our clients?

Treatment and evaluation services are provided on an outpatient basis for adults and adolescents. ISW offers specialized services for individuals with comorbid developmental disabilities and psychiatric disorders as well as individuals who have committed sex offenses.

Does the treatment involve inpatient care or treatment?

No. ISW provides outpatient psychiatric care.

How do I make an appointment?

Call the Institute for Sexual Wellness at (617) 479-4501 to schedule an initial appointment.

Does ISW accept insurance?

No. ISW does not accept insurance; however, clients may be able to be reimbursed by their insurance companies.

What types of sexual behaviors are addressed in treatment?

ISW offers treatment for problematic sexual behaviors such as compulsive masturbation, sexual addiction, addiction to pornography (including internet pornography), and paraphilic interests and behaviors (e.g. fetishes).

What treatment modalities are used?

ISW offers medication treatment and the following therapies: individual therapy, group therapy, couples therapy, and family therapy. Psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and behaviorists provide treatment.

Is medication used to treat problematic sexual behavior?

Yes, medication may be recommended if it is determined to be appropriate for a patient after a psychiatric evaluation. The pharmacological treatment of the paraphilias with antiandrogens and hormonal agents can be successful in reducing recidivism through the reduction of sexual fantasies, sexual drive, sexual arousal, and sexual behavior.

Does sex offender treatment work?

Yes. Sex offender treatment consistent with best practices has been shown to reduce sexual reoffending and increase individuals’ sense of well-being. Many people ask about a cure for sexual offending or problematic sexual behavior.  For some individuals the problematic sexual behavior can be modified and ‘cured,’ while for others treatment interventions are directed toward managing sexual interests, urges, and behaviors. Treatment providers at ISW are trained in evidence-based and best practice approaches.

What factors contribute to sexual addiction?

Several factors influence why someone is addicted to sex including a high sex drive, preoccupation with sexual thoughts and behaviors, and difficulty managing anxiety and other emotions.

What is a phallometric assessment?

A phallometric assessment, such as the penile plethysmograph (PPG), is an objective measure of sexual interests and arousal.  The results of PPG assessments assist in treatment planning and determinations of risk.

Is the polygraph used?

Yes, when clinically or otherwise indicated.  The polygraph is an objective measure of truthfulness and deception. Polygraph evaluations may be used to assess sexual history, monitor treatment compliance, monitor compliance with conditions of supervision (e.g. probation or parole), and examine other treatment related issues.

Is treatment confidential?

It depends. Oftentimes when individuals are mandated to treatment as a condition of probation or parole there are limits to confidentiality and information is shared with others as needed.  There are fewer limits of confidentiality for individuals who are not mandated to treatment.  Exceptions and limits to confidentiality are discussed with clients before treatment begins. ISW makes every effort to provide treatment services in a discrete manner whenever possible.

Is treatment provided for individuals awaiting trial, on probation, or on parole?

Yes. Individuals can participate in treatment while awaiting trial, while on probation, and while on parole.  Many clients at ISW are self-referred for treatment.

What types of assessments are available?

ISW conducts full psychiatric evaluations, psychological evaluations (including cognitive and personality testing), psychosexual evaluations, and risk assessments (including dynamic risk and static risk). Assessments are conducted for diagnosis, treatment planning, sentencing, supervision recommendations (probation and parole), and for Sex Offender Registry Board (SORB) level appeals.

If an individual cannot travel to ISW, can they still obtain an evaluation?

Yes, the evaluators at ISW may be able to travel to conduct evaluations.

Is treatment available for issues related to gender identity?

Yes. ISW offers treatment for individuals with issues related to gender identity and sexual orientation (heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, transgender, questioning).

Does ISW treat women?

Yes. Our staff is qualified to treat both adults and adolescent male and females.

When is it necessary for ISW providers to report sexual behavior to child protective services?

Clinicians at ISW are mandated reporters.  As mandated reporters, clinicians must contact Child Protective Services when, in their professional capacity, they have reasonable cause to believe that a child under the age of 18 years is suffering from abuse.   Clinicians do not have a duty to report previous criminal activity.

Can sex addiction be treated at ISW?

Yes, sex addiction is one of the commonly treated problems at ISW.  Treatment frequently involves cognitive behavioral therapy to target compulsive sexual behavior.

What is chemical castration?

Chemical castration is the use of medication to achieve a significantly diminished level of testosterone.  Chemical castration causes a decrease in sexual fantasies, urges and behaviors.

Who is a candidate for chemical castration?

Individuals with dangerous problematic sexual behaviors are candidates for chemical castration.

Does ISW provide evaluations to determine if an individual’s sexual behavior poses a risk of danger to children?

Yes, ISW has expertise in evaluating individual’s safety around children.

Does ISW provide screening for individuals working with children?

Yes, ISW provides screening evaluations to determine if an individual poses a risk of danger to children.  More specifically, ISW provides evaluations to determine the suitability of individuals to work with children.

Does ISW provide training to clinicians interested in working with sex offenders?

Yes, ISW provides clinical training in the assessment and evaluation of sex offenders and individuals with paraphilic disorders.