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Challenging Offender Thinking

Challenging Offender Thinking


Mutual respect and consent between the counselor and client are fundamental to an ideal therapeutic relationship. This is rarely the case in corrections, as offenders are being held against their will and correctional counseling is mandatory. Given this dynamic, it is critical that correctional counselors develop skills to manage resistance and provide clients with information and feedback that keep them engaged in the counseling process. At the same time, it is the counselor’s responsibility to challenge criminal thinking. This delicate balance is not easily achieved.


In your textbook reading, you were introduced to eight primary criminal thinking patterns. While Voorhis and Salisbury (2016) urge correctional counselors to concentrate on addressing emerging criminal thinking regardless of treatment modality, they observe in Chapter 2 that this is no easy task, noting Walters’s 2001 assertion that “the protective shield of justifications, rationalizations, and excuses used by offenders has been developed over the course of a lifetime of violating the laws of society.”




For this discussion post, explain why is it important to challenge thinking when counseling offenders.


Explain how you avoid power struggles with a client.

Discuss why it is important to not become impatient and frustrated when confronted with resistance.

Explain how the “3 Rs” can defuse the battle for control.

Voorhis, P. V., & Salisbury, E. J. (2016). Correctional counseling and rehabilitation (9th ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.


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