Start ] Up ] Next >]

JON* & JORis*** West

*NVSH** Werkgroep JORis*** Oost Nederland
= NVSH Werkgroup JORis East of the Netherlands

**    Nederlandse Vereniging voor Seksuele Hervorming = Dutch Association of Sexual reform
***  Jeugd-Ouderen Relaties, intimiteit, seksualiteit = Youth – Adult Relations, intimacy, sexuality

"JON is a Dutch support group for people that have the ability to fall in love with children, but who do not want to activate those feelings into sexual acts with children.”  

Replace in your attitude ‘against’ by ‘with’ and the world will become a better place to live in.

Author unknown

Half-year Report 2016 A

January - july 2016 - dd 29 August 2016

This report is written, because there has much changed in 2016. Instead of one group in the East of the Netherlands, there is now also a group in the West. Moreover, the structure has changed and the methodology is strong in development.  

The structure of both groups

The coordinators of both groups, East and West, form, as NVSH members, the NVSH [see above] Workgroup JORis [see above]. The group reports to the national board of the NVSH. These coordinators organize the two encounter groups, which members are not required to be NVSH members.

Connected to both groups are professional therapists or counselors. They offer individual help to members who ask for that. In turn, the professionals may refer their clients to the groups. So they did in this half year. The coordinators and professionals form together a team that reflects about the methodology. Two professionals and the central coordinator of both groups, also a professional, form a kernel team.

Who presents himself for the groups, is invited to present himself as a person to the central coordinator. “As a person”, this is: with his real name, address and passport. The coordinator listens carefully to the new person, without any judgment. They discuss which of the possibilities the groups can offer, will be the best for him.

The possibilities offered 

These are:  

  • Participating in one of the two encounter groups;
  • or in a smaller subgroup;
  • individual contact with one (or two) coordinators and/or active members;  
  • individual contact with a professional counselor or therapist.

All combinations are possible.  

Members and meetings

Because of many recent entries, the membership has grown from about 25 last year unto about 40 this year. All possibilities are used.

Both groups have a monthly meeting in a living room or such kind of a room, from 15 until 21 hour, including a dinner. Depending on how much members are present, one group or two or some subgroups can be formed. Members are asked to announce their coming or not coming before. This is for the cook(s), the practical organization and the members. If the reason for not coming is such as “Sorry, I am too depressive”, the absent member may foresee a quick visit of a coordinator.

The group meetings are explicitly guided, but there is also always, before, after the group talks and during a long pause and the dinner, the possibility for mutual contact, and talks that may be only sociably, or talks about ‘everything’ or even ‘nothing’.

Usually, there is not a theme offered before the meeting. Themes should emanate as a matter of course from the group talking. Sometimes, a theme is suggested, always a theme that according to the talks, is alive among the members. Here below, we mention some of those themes.

The themes 

In the beginning: fear

During the first interview, nearly always six problems are mentioned: fear, fear and fear, followed by isolation, depression, sometimes also obsession. Fear? Yes, of disclosure of one’s feelings in the social environment. Because of this fear, several members create a separate e-mail account with a nick name.

This fear may be great. Some people look during the first interview (in a living room) frequently to the window, and me than suddenly be blocked …

  • “Someone passed!” – Yes, this is a house in a street; people may pass. “But … are your neighbors able to hear us?” During parts of the interview, they speak softly, they whisper.
  • Of: "Or: “Those therapists, they always tell anything to the police; they are forced to do that, surely?” No, therapists here have professional confidentiality. Only in extreme cases of provable real danger of an offense; having feelings is not an offense.
  • Or, during the group meeting, one of the members, coming from quite far away, suddenly runs to the garden. Why? “Someone passed your window! He can see that I am here! Please, shut your curtains!”
  • Sometimes: “My wife may not know that I am here. I have told her a pretext.” Or, sometimes: “My parents / my mother may not know …”

Because of this fears, this year members are allowed to use a nick name in the group, provide that the central coordinator know the real data. Some members use this possibility now. Some others do not dare to receive e-mail messages about the group. They receive paper letters by post.  

This does not detract from the fact that there are also (candidate) members who feel no such kind of fear. They are selectively, as far as possible, open to their social environment and the live reasonably happy with enough social contacts.


“If my parents should accept and keep accepting me, then I do not need any group or therapist.”

Among the new members, there are gradually more twenties. For them, the parents are enormously important. They tell us about the long and lonesome quest for information about their feelings, conscious since their teen age. The consciousness of their feelings has been, so they told us, between the ages of eleven and seventeen. The quest may last five or more years.

Then, there is the crucial moment: “(How) do I tell it to my parents?” Just around this moment, peers of about the same age can help each other very good. If the difficult message has been told to the parents, they told us, usually the mother has said that she since a long period knew that there was a problem, but not which problem – and knew that the problem was a taboo. Nearly all mothers have said: “You are my son and will always be my son, whichever problem you might have.” Usually, the fathers are more silent, but follow the mother.


A young man in his twenties, told (seemly) glad that his parents had accepted him totally. The wisdom of the group did the group ask more questions. Then, the inner side came to the light: shame, guilt, the feeling to be devious, ill or dirty, disgust, fear, depression. Another young man reported, after the coming out to his parents and their standard reaction, that he felt completely blocked, had a lack of energy, felt a depression; he had need for a therapist. In the structure of our group, this was quickly realized.

We see that acceptation by the parents – and others – is very important, but that the way to self-acceptation still can be a long way to go. The son has a problem less, the parents have a problem more.

De mate van zelfacceptatie is een belangrijk punt.  De mate er van blijkt flink te  verschillen binnen de groep. Er zijn er die dit punt al lang geleden bereikt hebben, waarna zij een acceptabele manier van leven hebben weten te vinden. Er zijn er bij wie dit nog lang niet het geval is. 

The degree of self-acceptance is an important topic. We observe great differences within the group. Some have already reached this quite long ago and have found an acceptable way of living. Others have still to go a long way in this respect.


Some members present themselves to the group with a metaphor: “I be disgusted of myself. There is a monster within me.” One of them has made a series of drawings (during his therapy) of those monsters, some are drawn in a swamp “in which I submerge”.

Well, go then to Saint Joris, the dragon killer … or to JORis, our group, not holy, also not meant for ‘holy people’. But is it possible to murder this monster? May be better: go to Saint Francis. About him is told that he lived in a city in which a wolf ate the chickens. He had a talk with the wolf and the people and the made a deal: the people promised food for the wolf and the wolf promised no linger to steal and eat chickens. The metaphor is: acknowledge that that ‘monster’ belongs to you, lives within you, is a part of you – and then have a talk with your ‘monster’ and make a deal with the same.


Quite frequently, ne members have already asked for professional help before. Excuse, dear professionals, they often told us that they have felt no help at all. Instead, they got diagnoses – which they have swallowed into their inner, where those diagnoses behave like living actors: ‘It is my Asperger, autism, ADHD / ADD / PDD-NOS / depression …’ or ‘I do not live and steer my life myself, it is Asperger who does this’. Mostly mentioned is depression ‘that steers my life’.

Those diagnoses are asked by the health insurers: without a diagnoses, no paid help or therapy. So the person asks for help, but gets a diagnosis. Often enough, the normal mental health organizations refer to the ambulant forensic psychiatric institutions, even there is no forensic problem at all. Arriving there, one feels that one is approached only as a potential offender. Who enters there voluntarily, will disappear soon.

Some members have a kind of payment, meant for people with problems. This kind of payment does not provide any help for reintegration, care, help of therapy. The person changes into “a lonesome biker in an empty desert”. In English: “A lonesome wolf”.


The isolation mentioned by some (candidate) members is often impressing:

  • “Since ten years, I am living in complete isolation.”
  • “I am become totally unsociable.”
  • “My neighborhood? Neighbors? Contact: No no! If they should know about my feelings, I had directly to change home!”
  • “You ask me how long I am living here? I must already two times change home because of rumor and gossip in my neighborhood.” – Another: “… because of threats in my neighborhood.”
  • “Visitors? No, never. The fact that you visit me now, this is extraordinarily.”

We may mention that nor our groups, neither our therapists are always able to decrease deep depressions, and more, but decreasing the isolation is mostly possible. Contacts are made, peers are met, subgroups are formed, visits take place, coordinators travel to the members. Young people, by the way, do not ‘visit each other, they chill, maybe with a joint.

This chilling has helped good in the case of q quite suicidal person. The young men refused any therapy. “The moment I entered that office, my mouth closed. “ – “Those therapists … the only thing they wat is earning money …” The coordinator who visited him, got entrance and openness, for hours. “I am surprised that I tell you so much.” The coordinator managed contact with a peer living in the neighborhood. The young men started to chill and had long conversations by their telephones. The suicidal man renounced his plan and is still living. Self-help is not able to do all, but is able to do quite much.

The methodology 

Self-help en more 

The JORis groups are originally purely self-help groups. There was a leader of the conversation, but no ‘therapist’ with ‘clients’, no, the participants help each other. Sometimes explicitly, more often implicitly, only by listening to each other without any judgement. For many participants this is enough, or even simply by being together.

Such a self-help group can do good work, quite a lot, but there may be problems which surpass the ability of the group, or which might be too heavy for the group. Hence there are now also professional therapists an counselors connected to the group. Quite quickly, members asked for this kind of help. So, the methodology is now a combination of self-help and therapy – with a borderland in between both.

A self-help group appeared also quite often a resource for people who never in their life wanted to see any therapist, because of their experience with therapists. This was a bit surprising: Ah, now we have therapists - but people refuse to speak with them.

“So, I went to a therapist. Well, I wanted to tell my story, but this was impossible. He started to speak about a diagnosis en a specific method that should be able to remove my trauma out of my memory. Ik let him do this, but is was totally unhelpful. I never go back to him. Here in this group, I may tell my story, a story I can tell nowhere else. This is really helping me.”

In essence, the method of the self-help group and the method of the therapists are not really different; clearly, there is an overlap, or better a shared basis under both. The form may be different, the basis in essence not.

The narrative methodology 

A narrative is a story. The methodology contents that one asks for the personal, real and authentic story of the fellow human. One listens to that story with attention and without any judgment.
Only by exception, and later, a honest judgement can be offered, but only after the question: “How do you judge yourself?”

Only by exception, and later, a honest judgement can be offered, but only after the question: “How do you judge yourself?”

“The greatest problem with communication is that we do not listen to understand. We listen to give answers.”

The Dalai Lama.

React also not by giving advices, surely not uninvited; advices do not work. Also reactions as “Yes, but I … (think) …” are detrimental. Ask questions, especially for the emotions and try to understand – this is better.

It appears to be useful to summarize the personal story in the form of a metaphor. The group as well as the individual understand this quite quickly and can work with it. The ‘rule’ is that such a metaphor also gives a way out of the problem, thus ends positively.

  • The lonesome biker in the empty desert – but now there is someone who bikes with you; let’s look for an oasis.
  • The drainage basin (of suppressed feelings) with a dam (which may not break), but also a tube that can give energy (the group in which you may openly speak out).
  • The lion with a scud color in the empty desert – nobody might see him! But a lion is also strong!
  • The nomad you are so long – but a nomad may also have pleasure during his traveling.
  • The beaver bite himself a way out of the swamp; he bites himself, courageously persisting, a tunnel tot the shore and builds for himself a safe nest above the water level.

Crucial in this methodology is that the personal story again and again is told. Firstly during the first interview, than in a subgroup or the whole group – and again and again if new members enter the group. We see that the story, the narrative, develops itself, thus that the person develops himself.

  • from "they … " to "I”;
  • from "Let me start with my disorder to "These feelings have been always mine, and I won’t lose them; now I am able to live with them”;
  • from “my Asperger (etc. etc) to I;
  • from an personal story, told with a cloud of stress, purely factual and rational, to telling about feelings with a smile;
  • from “I am living already ten years in isolation” to “I get more and more contacts”;
  • from a desperate doubting teen to a self-conscious man in his twenties who is able to live his own life.

Now and then, in the (sub)group translation help is offered:

  • literal: translation for who is not born in the Netherlands;
  • a bloc note or laptop for who is deaf;
  • an interpreter for who has a voice problem: “Was this that you tried to say?”;
  • interpreters who especially ‘translate’ the body language of someone who has a problem to find the correct words, who so tells his story with hands and feet: “Do you mean …?”

This methodology is also written in “The narrative that may be told” < >

The limits of this methodology 

While working with it, the limits of this methodology became clear. One limit is quite simply to resolve, another limit is more difficult. The working area is just the area between these both limits.

The simple limit is: if the conversation leader does not explicitly lead the conversation, group or individual, then the conversation quite quickly tends to have all kinds of content, or no serious content at all. We have seen this in the (dinner)pauses:

"I have left the meeting earlier, because the conversation had no content at all.”

Yet, this phase has a meaning and is useful, which becomes clear when we look at the second limit:

The coordinators said:

  • “After that visit, I could not sleep the whole night. This is too heavy for me.”
  • “Pooh pooh! Two suicidal people during one day … this was too much for me.”

The members of the group said:

  • “After that, for me, first group meeting, I could not sleep the whole night. My head was too full.”
  • “All those stories of all those people! This is too much for me. Hence, I departed earlier.”
  • “After such a meeting, I cannot sleep and I need a long time to repair my balance.”
  • “All that I had left behind me, became revived again.”
  • “All that I had left behind me, became revived again.”
  • Well, yes, such a group … I surely want to tell my story, but everyone looks at me! There is no return for me. I start blushing, stammering, or looking to the floor … moreover they ask questions to me …”;

This is the second limit, who tells us that the pauses with their lack of content still have a meaning and are useful. It is then possible simply to speak about men things as football, your car, your job … The experience is that you, a ‘special and deviant human’, still are accepted as ‘a normal human’.

This topic is discussed in both groups and in ‘the great team’. The conclusion was: search for the balance and try to behold the balance. Also: some problems may be better discussed in small subgroups, or individually with coordinators, other member(s) or therapists. By doing so, you do not burden the group too much.

The area between self-help and therapy  

The encounter group is in principle a self-help group. Yet, one of the groups as able to listen on and a half hour to one member. Thereafter, this member thanked the group and its leader explicitly. Het told that is was better went with him since that long talk. Here, the self-help group was a therapy group. Yet, one of the members had been silent during the long interview: “It was too heavy for me” – so here we see the other limit of the group.

The coordinators will experience this between area during their individual contacts with the members. Such interviews start, standard, with the self-help option. Experience learned that the coordinator in such cases better not can expect any attention for himself; maybe a bit, maybe at the begin or the end of the interview, out of politeness. There are also people who not have the idea of asking for the well-being of the other – even the idea of offering him a drink. In this case, you are there only for your fellow human being.

In this kind of cases, you may enter the area of the therapy, or nearby it. Most coordinators, however, have no education, nor diploma, nor any certificate as a therapist, neither any knowledge of diagnostics – for instance about autism, a label that we often hear. The coordinator will then do his best, especially will good listen, nor judge, neither unasked for give advices, and near the end of the interview go back to the domain of the self-help.

Contrariwise, members in those contacts, (sub)group or individual, may only want to have a ‘normal and cozy’ contact. This might be helpful, but this might also hidden a real underlying problem, which so keeps being problematic. It is a matter of tergiversating, sailing back and forth, like a ferry boat, always carefully.

Another problem arose: usually, a coordinator knows much more than is told within the group, more than a member ever will tell to the group. Often enough, members feel shame, guilt, self-disgust and more. The art and science is here to be very carefully. For this kind of situation, the rule is that the coordinators may talk among each other about what they know; so they have not to walk alone with that kind of knowledge.

A methodology near other methodologies 

Many symposia and literature concern the treatment of offenders. Mostly they are condemned and forced to a kind of offender treatment. The form and methodology of this kind of treatment is usually based on the behavioral theory and the underlying behavior philosophy and vision: behavior, caused by factors and stimuli; knowledge is there objective knowledge of general facts, supported by statistical research. Usually, strict protocols steer the treatment.

In some cases, this is correct. The frame is juridical; there has been an offense, there is an offender, approached as an offender, without a real request for help.

However, in the JORis-groups we met non-offenders or – there is an area of overlap – ‘this-never-again offenders’. See the homepage of JON, that start with:

"JON is a Dutch support group for people that have the ability to fall in love with children, but who do not want to activate those feelings into sexual acts with children”

Our members come voluntarily and on their own initiative; there is no juridical frame. Only quite seldom, there has been an offense, which normally happened in the past and which is already juridical concluded or still in that stage. Usually, there is a real request for help.

Important is that, in the latter case, we need and use a complete different methodology, based on a different theory and a different philosophical view on the human and his acts: the human as a narrative being, the human who acts on the score of motives and reasons, a being that writes his own, unique and authentic biography life story. Here, knowledge is not knowing objective facts, but understanding unique persons, thus subjective. Our client is not ‘the pedophile’, but this specific individual person with his own (pedophilic and/or other) feelings.

This has become clear, especially thanks to our members in their twenties. They told us that they had phoned StopItNow!, that they were allowed to speak anonymously with therapists, but also that they felt that they merely were approached as potential offenders, which they said not to be and never wanted to be:

“This has helped me by no way. It did me felt more miserably. This is nothing for me. This does not at all on me.”

This critic on StopItNow! is known by this Dutch institution; we have spoken about is and the critic is acknowledged. Moreover, the head of the Dutch institute is one of our therapists and he referred several people to our groups.

We are still thinking about this topics, in good contact: not against each other but near each other. Better said: not against society, but with society, including other therapist and counselors and for instance rehabilitation officers. Replace in your attitude ‘against’ by ‘with’ and the world will become a better place to live in.

Author unknown

Still, there is a problem 

It may happen that a (candidate) group member already has a kind of treatment and/or is under control of a rehabilitation officer. It happens that those officials forbid the person to have any contact with any human with the same (pedophilic) feelings. The person rejects this and want to enter the group or to maintain his membership.

"Here, I can at least be myself and here is no need to fit my words. There, I do not feel support, here, I do feel this. This is what I need, this is what I want."

What happens then is that the group and/or the coordinators hear the real personal story, thus they know quite more than the officials. For group and coordinators, this is a difficult position with a lot of questions.

In our opinion, this situation is very detrimental, and not in behalf of the client. Nor the group, nor the coordinators, neither our therapists hinders the work of the officials mentioned, but the same officials actually ban the group. With StopItNow!, this problem is resolved, with some treatment officers also, and the problem is presented to the rehabilitation’s central officers. During a coming symposium, we also will present this problem.

The practical aspect 

Both JORis groups fend for themselves in financial respect. Membership is free of charge. In West, a pan goes round for the costs of the dinner and the group; in East a hat goes round for the group and a cap for the cook. Coordinators may declare their traveling costs; members may receive subsidy or compensation for their traveling costs. Our (living) rooms are free.

Skipped here are

the half-yearly financial reports 2016 A of JON and West.


On her 40th birthday, the predecessors included, JON has changed into “JON and JORis West”, alias “the NVSH JORis Groups”. The structure is changed and now professional therapists are connected to both groups. The methodology, formed while working during many years, is now written and will soon be theoretically and philosophically supported. By doing so, both groups present themselves to a limited extent to society. This is a gesture to the professionals and to society; not against them, but with them.

Here is a need for. Says also recent research:
< > and the growth of the membership during the last months. Among the new members are some young men in their twenties, who struggle with their feelings and with society that reacts those feelings, those people.

They are not ‘offenders’ and they do want to never become an offender. They refused to be approached merely as a potential offender. They need an approach as a ‘non-offender’ – and this approach differs qua methodology, this qua underlying theory and vision on the human being, thus from the now usual offender treatment. This is possible in the JORis groups, even free of any charge.

Their personal story may be told.

JON & JORis West
August 2016.

Start ] Up ] Next >]