< Back  ] 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.”  

“We don’t have to think the same, as long as we can work together” “Talking about differences? Better to act together.”

Richard Sennett & Leonie Breebaart in Trouw, Dutch newspaper, 21 mei 2016.

Half-year Report 2016 B

Juli - december 2016 - dd 24 januari 2017

Our report on 2016 is written in two parts, because there is much changed in 2016. Instead of one group in the East of the Netherlands (“JON”), there is now also a group in West (“JORis West”). The membership is double. The structure has changed and the methodology has developed itself.

The structure of both groups

Formally, the coordinators of both groups, all NVSH members, form the “NVSH Workgroup JORis” (see here above), under the umbrella of the national board of the NVSH. The coordinators organize the two encounter groups, which members do not have to be NVSH members. The workgroup reports to the members assembly and the board of the national NVSH.

The group managed its own income and costs herself. Since 2017, the NVSH gives the group subsidy, so expressing her appreciation for the work of JORis, and because the costs, especially the traveling costs, went higher.

Connected to both groups are professional therapists and counselors, who offer help to members who ask for it. They also may advise their clients to participate in the groups. During this year, all therapists have had clients from the group and they have clients referred to the group. Together with the coordinators of both groups, these professionals form a team for reflection. There is one central coordinator.

Who want to join the group is invited to a personal acknowledgement with the central coordinator. “Personal”, this is: with the real name, address and identity document. During the acknowledgment, the first interview, the coordinator listens with great attention to the person, without any judgment. Both discuss if the person is able to function within a group, or might have better individual contact with a coordinator, a member or a therapist, or might join a smaller subgroup.

Only since this year, 2016, it is possible to use a nick name in the group, if the real data are known by the coordinator. Why? The answer is: fear, expressed by many candidate members. Some of them dare not to receive e-mail messages. They receive paper post. “OK, but do not mention the sender of the letter!” Fear.

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.
  • In the course of this year also: partner interviews, possible with a professional couple

All combinations are possible.

Members and Meetings

The membership had doubled during this year, from last year about 25 onto about 50 now. There are two encounter groups, some smaller subgroups and individual contacts with coordinators, members or therapists.

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.

Some of those themes are mentioned in our Report 2016 A, here shortly mentioned again: fear, parents, self-acceptation (or not), ‘monsters within me’, diagnoses and isolation.

The themes anno 2016 B

'A group is scary and heavy'

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, chose a nick name, or even refuse to give their address. Also quite a lot members chose for individual contacts, because “A group is scary!”

What is so scary?

  • “Then I am confronted with myself!”
  • [A letter:] “It is not easy to tell what is living inside me. I cannot tell my real feelings, […] because then I am a dirty man. Shame and fear are present, talking about that is difficult. It is distressing. […] See you next Sunday.”
    That Sunday, the group took one and a half hour to listen to and talk with the man. Later, he thanked the group.

It appears that, who shares the group, tells that those meetings and talks are heavy. This is true. Just because of this, we have, in the course of this year, shortened the interviews and lengthen the pauses. We also split the group more frequently in subgroups, in which more spontaneous interaction is possible. Some members are willing to tell their story to a small subgroup, but not to the whole group. During the pauses, the (central) coordinator hears the stories or problems that the participant does not dare to tell in the (sub)group. Why not? “Then I feel ashamed …” Quite quickly, an individual contact is scheduled.

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.


The degree of self-acceptation is still an important topic. This degree appears to differ within both groups. 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. The first are usually old, the last mostly young.

The relative older members are asked how they have reached their self-acceptation, the relative younger members are asked there degree of self-acceptation. It appears that especially the contacts with people with the same feelings may helpful, sometimes quickly, even within one year. Others told us that they have called a therapist for help; they told that the path to self-acceptation may be a long way.


Often enough, someone who want to join he group, told us that they already have called a professional for help. Excuse, dear professionals, they often told us that they did not experience any help. What they got were diagnoses – which apparently started a life of their own. We have spoken about it in our Report 2016 A. Here and now, we bring another aspect forward.

Often, the path starts at the family doctor, who sends them to the ambulant mental health care, who sends them to the ambulant forensic-psychiatric care, even if there is nothing ‘forensic’ in the case. There the person is approached, and feels to be only approached as a potential offender. Most of these people, who come voluntarily, give up. Not all; some are content, knowingly those who are treated individually, not in an ‘offender group’, and who are not approached as a potential offender, but as a human with questions and problems.

Other people searched self in the mental health institutions or found free-based therapists. The ‘champion’ of them told us to have consulted ten therapists, of whom he labeled only one as “more or less OK”. Another mentions eight therapists, several others five. Excuse dear professionals, it appears that there is a lack of knowledge of pedophile feelings among many therapists.

A problem that often has arisen from this is that ant trust in whichever therapist is gone. We see this especially in cases of clinical care, mandatory or voluntary. These people do not accept any next therapist on their path. We may be happy that they still accept a buddy, often with the same feelings, on their path. In such cases, the coordinators visit the person, mostly only as a buddy, or the central coordinator visit the person, both as an experienced buddy, as well as a certificated therapist. In these cases, he enters the area between self-help and therapy.

This is reminiscent of some shelters for runaways from psychiatric institutions, because of “too much diagnose, too less attention”. These shelters do not give diagnoses, but practical help. “Here I finally found rest and […] not labeled as a patient.” – “Here is no constraint.” Each runaway gets two buddies. “Here we do not make diagnoses; we are no therapists and we do not work with dossiers.”
Maike Homan in Trouw, Dutch newspaper, December 22, 2016.


This word refers to viewing, sometimes also downloading saving, of ‘specific’ images and films from the Internet. It is a much discussed topic. Some remarks about this subject are given here.

  • "... my feelings afterwards … It is me who sees this … It is me who wants this … Then the doubt comes in.”

Firstly: not all those pictures are illegal. Only images of sexual acts (with children) are illegal, also making, possessing and spreading them. ‘Viewing’ such images is juridically interpreted as ‘possession’, thus illegal, even if the file is deleted.

The reason behind this law is that such kind of photos may be processed under duress; also the fact that they keep being visible ‘until eternity’, and the (former) child experiences burden and regret. Moreover, demand creates supply, thus the viewer indirectly supports child sexual abuse. Others say that viewing leads to abuse. None of our members wants this.

There are also nice pictures of children, normally clothed, sometime models for clothes. Even in those cases, one cannot know how that photo has been made. There are countries in which this happens under pressure and because of the poverty of the family.

Moreover, the criteria for what is illegal or legal are quite unclear. A ‘sexual pose’, ‘an unnatural context’ and ‘the unmistakable aim of the viewer’ are (says the High Court in the Netherlands), as well as possessing a collection, can lead to a court summon.

Members told us that they started with ‘innocent pictures’, but that they, by clicking further and further, have seen far more rude stuff they did not want te see, bus actually have seen, thus possessed. So, be very careful.

In the groups, we hear that this can be additive; one reports to want more and more. Everybody reports this as a problem, a burden, and wants to stop it. Stop It Now! so to say. One realizes that one is cached into a vicious circle with no escape or at least a difficult way out. People realize that all they see is only virtual, no real children, no real contact. Thus, lastly they realize that this behavior does not satisfy. The wrong solution is: more and more of the same > vicious circle. Possession of these files creates fear and stress, thus need for relaxation. Again, the wrong solution is > downloading again and again – and so on and on. Big problem.

Members report a gulf pattern: deleting everything, but later on again downloading new data (“I could not live without it, but now I have reduced this behavior”). Places in a curve, finally the curve goes down. Everyone wants to stop this behavior.

How? By realizing what is said here above (and in the group); by stopping to search for happiness in virtual fake; to enter normal contacts with real children in normal daily life, street or town, class room or playing field, church or family, following the normal norms, and always with social control. There is no need to avoid such contacts. Go about with children in normal ways and situations.

“participants stated that when they were less socially involved with children, they felt more fixated on and troubled by their sexual interest in minors. During these times their need for intimacy and closeness was not met, and some argued that it was easier to imagine children as sexual beings when there was no real contact and distorted cognitions about children and sexuality were not contradicted by real life. Therefore, social contact with minors seemed to serve as a preventive strategy against risks for offense behavior.”

Houtepen, Jenny A.B.M.; Sijtsema, Jelle J. and Bogaerts, Stefan; Being Sexually Attracted to Minors: Sexual Development, Coping With Forbidden Feelings, and Relieving Sexual Arousal in Self-Identified Pedophiles. - Department of Developmental Psychology, Tilburg University, Tilburg, The Netherlands & - Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy; 22 June 2015
< http://www.jorisoost.nl/read_more/science/houtepen_cs_2015.htm >

This quote confirms what we hear in the JORis groups. We only disagree the use of the term “child pornography offending” instead of “viewing pictures”, because not every picture of a child is “pornography”, thus no “offending”. Members say to look for ‘children’, not for ‘pornography’.

In the groups, we name this “broadly living” as an alternative: have things to do, have broad interests, cherish hobbies, be busy.

The methodology 

This methodology is described in our Report 2016 A and in “The narrative that may be told”: < http://www.jorisoost.nl/read_more/narrative.htm >

An addition coming from our experiences in 2016, described here above, is in short:

  • an encounter group may not be to great; in that case, split the group;
  • a ‘heavy’ (part of) the meeting should be not too long; uses pauses;
  • facilitate contacts among the members, this is really helping;
  • place heavy problems under the care of the therapists connected to the group; members were content with it.

A method alongside of other methods 

This topic is mentioned in our Report 2016 A. There is said: “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.”

A crucial aspect of the method is: Do not judge.

“We [helping workers] have a function, but not as judge. If you judge, you cannot be a helper. Helping is what we want to do.”

Alwin Kuiken –psychologist, in Trouw, Dutch newspaper, November 12, 2016.

Bridges built or in process of construction 

In our report 2016 A we have mentioned that there is built a bridge between our groups and the Dutch StopItNow!. The latter is now planning a group for ‘beginners’, that allows anonymity and will use ‘our’ methodology.

To some institutions for forensic psychiatric ambulant treatment, there is built a bridgehead. In these institutions, contact with people with the same feelings was – and sometimes still is – forbidden. Now some of them referred some of their clients to our groups.

In October 2016, the central coordinator of both groups, Frans Gieles, PhD, has had the opportunity to present the narrative methodology during a symposium. This is received with approval. Also two professors expressed their approval.

Gradually, our methodology became known and appreciated in professional circles, even among the therapists in the forensic area. An expertise center that is making a ‘care standard’, a wide spread book about ‘what to do responding on which request for help’, has asked the same central coordinator for input in the section ‘pedophile feelings’. Also from the UK and the USA reached us request to describe our methodology; hence this translation.

A bridge still to build

This is the bridge to the rehabilitation officers. Members still tell us that those officers did not allow them to have contact with anyone with the same feelings. They still participate to our groups:

"Hello Frans! Now you are 'my aunt', because I have fabricated an aunt to visit you; actually, this is forbidden for me."

Thus, ‘Aunt Frans’ wrote to the central rehabilitation officers, requesting them to talk about this topic. The answer was so cold that her living room nearly became frozen:

“We already work with volunteers and sometimes our clients may have contact with similar people. We also have professionals working for us. There is no need to speak with you.”

Here is still a bridge to build.

The practical side

The financial side of our work is structured just as is was in 2016 A. Skipped here are the half-yearly financial reports 2016 B of JON and West.


This is nearly the same as our peroration of our Report 2016 A

We repeat:
“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 the 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.”

There personal story, narrative, may be told, also the story of the groups …

JON & JORis West
January 2017.

< Back  ] Start ] Up ] Next >]