Therapy for MAPs
Information and resources related to professional support for MAPs
If you have any questions about a therapist's views on MAPs, approach to treatment, or mandatory reporting requirements, you can always reach out anonymously and ask them.
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.
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. Remember to prioritize your safety wherever necessary.
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 accept that many MAPs are non-offending and do not wish to harm children
Belief that most or all MAPs require professional support to refrain from harming children
Willingness to report MAPs under mandatory reporting laws without evidence of ongoing abuse or an intent to abuse
Belief that pedophilia is still classified as a mental disorder
Belief that having an attraction to minors necessitates therapy
Intention of changing or eliminating attractions
Opposition to the existence of peer 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?
Find a Therapist
There are several organizations that help MAPs find safe and effective professional support. Our Find a Therapist page contains a regularly-updated list of these organizations sorted by country, along with information on how to access the services they provide. Note that some resources may have limited availability or an associated cost.