The Sexual Behaviours Clinic (SBC) is an outpatient clinic at The Royal in Ottawa, Ontario (formerly the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre). The SBC treats men and women with problematic sexual interests and behaviours. Visit our Meet the Director page to learn more about the SBC Director, Dr. Paul Fedoroff.
We see clients with a wide range of problematic sexual interests and behaviours, although many are receiving treatment because they have a sexual interest in children (also known as pedophilia). Some of our clients have been charged with sexual offences, but we are also seeing more clients who have never acted on their sexual interest in children, and want help to ensure that they don't offend.
The SBC strongly believes that people with pedophilia are not at fault for their sexual interests, but they are responsible for their sexual behaviours. We also believe the best way to prevent child sexual abuse is to offer treatment to people before they act on their illegal sexual interests.
La Clinique des Comportements Sexuels offre des traitements en français pour divers intérêts sexuels problématiques. Pour les services en français, cliquez ici.
Treatment in the SBC has two primary goals:
We believe that legal, healthy sex can be important and beneficial for many people, which is why our treatment is not designed to completely eliminate a client's sexual drive or behaviours.
Instead, we aim to prevent illegal sexual behaviours by changing problematic sexual interests and increasing a client's ability to enjoy healthy and legal sex.
The SBC is also working to reduce the stigma associated with pedophilia, since stigma is one of the main reasons that people with mental illness don't seek the help they need. To help prevent child sexual abuse, society needs to work together to reduce this stigma and create an environment where people with a sexual interest in children feel comfortable seeking treatment for this issue.
Treatment in the SBC is based on the belief that pedophilia is a sexual interest (not a sexual orientation) and that sexual interests can be changed. This means that people with pedophilia can receive treatment to help re-direct their sexual interests away from children, and toward consenting adults. You can read more about changing sexual interests on our Myths & Realities page or in Dr. Fedoroff's recent book.
Our treatment model includes aspects of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), but we also rely heavily on the Good Lives Model (GLM) of treatment. Although the GLM was designed for offender rehabilitation, many of the basic principles can also be applied to people with pedophilia who have never offended. A brief summary of the GLM is available here.
The SBC provides psychiatric treatment to men and women throughout Eastern-Ontario. Treatment plans are determined on a case-by-case basis and the length of treatment depends on each client's individual needs. Since the SBC is a psychiatric clinic, the cost of receiving treatment is covered by OHIP.
Treatment may involve:
Every part of treatment is voluntary. Clients never have to do anything they do not want to do.
The effectiveness of the SBC speaks for itself. Since opening in 1983, the SBC has assessed and treated over 4,000 clients. In the past 14 years, ZERO clients actively receiving treatment in the SBC have gone on to commit a known hands-on sexual re-offence against a child. The majority of SBC clients successfully complete their treatment programs and go on to lead healthy, happy, pro-social lives.
The work of the SBC has been recognized by the American Psychiatric Association, which selected our clinic as the winner of the 2015 Gold Achievement Award.
In 2018, Dr. Fedoroff and the SBC team were awarded Crime Prevention Ottawa's Innovation Award, based on our unique contributions to community safety.
In case our success rate doesn't speak for itself, visit the Client Feedback page to read comments from actual SBC clients.
Much of the SBC’s success is related to the many clinical research studies being conducted. One purpose of this website is to advertise The Prevention Study, a new research project being conducted by the SBC. This study encourages men with a sexual interest in children to seek treatment before acting on these interests.
The Prevention Study involves completing questionnaires about mood, quality of life, sexual interests, etc. Participants will then be given the option to schedule an appointment with Dr. Paul Fedoroff (SBC Director) to learn more about the clinic and discuss the option of receiving treatment in the SBC.
This study is being conducted at The Royal’s Institute of Mental Health Research and has been approved by The Royal’s Research Ethics Board. It is funded by the University of Ottawa Medical Research Fund.