Member Spotlight

Article excerpt

William Seabloom, MDiv, MSW, PhD (St. Paul, Minnesota)

William Seabloom joined AASECT (and SSSS) in the early 1970s while preparing for a presentation at the World Association for Sexual Health (WAS, formerly known as World Association for Sexology) Congress in Rome. His career in the sexuality field began around 1970 with the founding of the Program in Human Sexuality (PHS) at the University of Minnesota, where he received the majority of his training.

While working full-time as a social worker with Lutheran Social Service, Seabloom worked part-time with PHS as a therapist for individuals and couples and ran SARs monthly, including one-week SARs several times a year.

In the early 70s, Seabloom started the first outpatient treatment program for adult sex offenders in Minnesota, and possibly in the country, based on the principles and modalities of social group work and sex therapy and sexual health. Sister Margretta Dwyer worked with him at PHS and later took over this program.

A year later, as part of Lutheran Social Service, Seabloom started the first outpatient program for adolescents in sexual crisis in Minnesota, known as Personal/Social Awareness (P/SA).

"Most, but not all of the adolescents were involved with criminal sexual behavior," he says. "Many were identified as victims, had orientation and significant medical, chromosomal and genetic issues."

This program was also based on social group work, family systems, sexual health and the hermeneutic discipline. "This was a very intensive program involving the whole family," Seabloom says. "A weekend family SAR was an essential part of the program."

Among his adolescents clients were the creators and authors of the little book The Firefly Jar, published in 1984, which describes their histories, personal issues and reaction to the program in essays, poetry and drawings.

The program has since spun off into the Institute for Child and Adolescent Sexual Health and was passed unanimously into law by the Minnesota Legislature.

A few years ago, Seabloom and his research team did an intensive study of the first eight years of the program (122 adolescents and nearly 500 family members). They discovered that after 1824 years, there was no recidivism of any criminal behavior for those who completed the program, and only minimal recidivism for those who needed to be referred to an inpatient program or who dropped out after short time in the program. …