In the same vain as a previous question I asked, (Are Sex Offender Treatment Programmes (SOTPs) effective?) I am wondering if CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) based therapies and interventions have helped with recidivism rates of non-sexual crimes.

Considering SOTPs are CBT based, and the fact that, as pointed out in my answer to Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Limitations,

The Countess of Mar in the House of Lords suggested the results of a trial into the effectiveness of CBT and GET (graded exercise therapy) had been artificially inflated

I do not hold much hope.

An answer to the question What do experts consider best mental techniques to avoid succumbing to temptations? has an n=1 case study where a kleptomaniac was supposedly treated with CBT (Schwartz & Hoellen, 1991).

But, is it possible that client went on and started again just like many sex offenders who have gone through SOTPs?


Schwartz, D., & Hoellen, B. (1991). "Forbidden Fruit Tastes Especially Sweet." Cognitive-Behavior Therapy with a Kleptomaniac Woman-A Case Report. Psychotherapy in private practice, 8(4), 19-25. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1300/J294v08n04_03


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A psychoanalytic approach seems to suit treatment of sex offenders, more so than CBT. Generally speaking, the past is prioritized more is psychoanalysis. Research shows that sex offenders commonly have their own unresolved trauma.

However, I'm thinking that the treatment of kleptomania may warrant an eclectic approach in theoretical orientation (to therapy). More specifically, one that incorporates CBT to help make more practical decisions in the moment, and to control thoughts that lead to making an irrational decision to steal. At the same time, a psychoanalytic approach can be used to address more complex issues that lead to these behaviors in the fist place.

Please add relevant research to the chain on treatment of kleptomania, regarding what theoretical orientations have been used, and research on the benefits/ and disadvantages of approaches.

One important piece that will vary by individual, is whether kleptomania is the only symptom of mania in the patient, or if kleptomania is only one feature of mania that materializes. In the former, kleptomania may be a symptom of a larger issue, such as bipolar disorder. Related, or a feature of a crisis, related to bipolar disorder.


Costopoulos, J. S., & Juni, S. (2018). Psychoanalytic understanding of the origins of sexual violence. Journal of Forensic Psychology Research and Practice, 18(1), 57-76.

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    $\begingroup$ I personally think that psychoanalysis is far better than CBT all round, but that is down to my experience in trauma work. However, this does not answer the question on reduction of recidivism. Plus, this question is concerning non-sexual crimes. Has CBT, or even psychoanalysis, been proved to reduce recidivism with non-sexual crimes? $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 14, 2021 at 5:00
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    $\begingroup$ Maybe you could add this answer to the SOTP question. I'd definitely upvote it there as it is relevant and a useful addition 😊 $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 14, 2021 at 5:02
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    $\begingroup$ Good point Chris, I didn't answer on recidivism with non-sexual crimes, like kleptomania. I will add to my answer soon, after doing a little research and reflection. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 14, 2021 at 6:30
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    $\begingroup$ I enjoy reading through your answers. They are very thought provoking. However, with this one, everything after your first paragraph seems to be just your musings over what form of integrative therapy would possibly help with kleptomania. While I share your thoughts to a degree, as they should in theory, have you found any research which backs the theory that Kleptomania would be well suited to a combination of a psychoanalytical approach and CBT? Especially seeing as I am highly skeptical over the general efficacy of CBT. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 16, 2021 at 7:14
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    $\begingroup$ @chrisrogers Hi Chris, I agree with your thoughts. (Sorry for delay I have been caught up with school work). I will update if I find some research to support my musings (eclectic approaches to kleptomania. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 19, 2022 at 23:16

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