Information and resources related to professional support for MAPs
Benefits of therapy
Effective therapy can reduce or eliminate the following issues, which are often experienced by minor-attracted people:
It is important to note that therapy cannot "cure" pedophilia or any other attractions.
Risks to seeking therapy
Due to a lack of training, most therapists wrongly believe that mandatory reporting laws require them to report all MAPs to law enforcement, resulting in investigations that can cause MAPs to be outed to friends and loved ones. Some therapists may even try to change or eliminate clients' attractions using harmful (and ineffective) techniques like conversion therapy, leading to more mental health issues. However, with appropriate precautions, as described lower on this page, these risks can be mitigated.
When to consider therapy
The decision to seek therapy is a personal choice for everyone, including MAPs. If you are experiencing distress due to your attractions or the stigma surrounding them, you may want to consider therapy. However, therapy is not the only form of support for MAPs, so you should also consider other options and select whatever you feel would be best for you.
Finding a Therapist
There are a number of organizations dedicated to connecting MAPs with professional support. Some of these are listed below, including several that help MAPs in specific regions. Click the name of an organization to see their policies regarding effective therapy for MAPs. If you would like to suggest an addition, you can do so using our Feedback Form.Not all resources listed are technically classified as therapy.
You may find these helpful even if your region is listed below.
Vetting a Therapist
Determining whether a therapist is capable of helping you address mental health concerns related to an attraction to minors can feel overwhelming. The tips and suggestions below can help you decide whether a specific therapist is a good fit for you and your unique mental health needs.
Know What You Want
Before you can determine whether a therapist is right for you, it is important to know how to identify a qualified therapist.
Signs of a Qualified Therapist
Signs of an Unqualified Therapist
Belief that MAPs inherently pose a danger to children just by being attracted to them
Assumption that most or all MAPs have urges to abuse or otherwise harm children
Belief that a MAP being around children is inherently a dangerous situation
Use of discriminatory or stigmatizing language when discussing MAPs and/or attractions to minors
Belief that rape and other forms of sexual assault are caused by attraction
Inability to believe or accept that many MAPs are non-offending and do not wish to harm children
Belief that all MAPs require some sort of professional support in order to avoid harming children
Willingness to report MAPs under mandatory reporting laws without evidence of ongoing abuse or an intent to abuse
Inability to differentiate between pedophilia and pedophilic disorder
Belief that simply having an attraction to minors necessitates therapy
Intention of changing or eliminating attractions
Opposition to the existence of support groups for MAPs
Belief that minor MAPs do not exist
Ask For Help
If you're in contact with other MAPs, whether directly or via a support group, it can be helpful to ask about others' experiences.
If You Have a Therapist in Mind
If You're Looking For a Therapist
One way to ensure a therapist is able to provide the care you need is to reach out anonymously as a prospective client with questions.
Questions for a Potential Therapist
What kind of issues do you treat?
Do you have experience treating sexual health issues?
Would you consider your treatment approach to be sex-positive?
Have you treated victims of child sexual abuse?
Have you treated people who had previously committed sexual offenses against children?
Under what conditions would mandatory reporting laws require you to report a client who is attracted to minors?
Do you have experience working with minor-attracted people?
Have you had any experiences in your life that could impact your ability to work with minor-attracted people?
What conditions would you expect a minor-attracted person to abide by in order to receive treatment?
What methods would you use to treat a minor-attracted person?
What would you consider the goal of treatment for a minor-attracted person?
How would your interactions with a current client change if they told you they were sexually attracted to minors?