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Clergy Sexual Misconduct -- A Systems Approach to Prevention, Intervention, and Oversight
by John Thoburn, Ph.D., Rob Baker, M.A., and Maria Dal Maso, M.A.
(Gentle Path Press: Carefree, AZ) All rights reserved.

[Answer 21 of 30 questions correctly to receive
10 hours of Continuing Education Credit]


Chapter 1: Church Systems, Ecology, and Clergy Sexual Misconduct (p. 3-22)
1. The average number of victims of clergy sexual misconduct per affected congregation is
a. one
b. three
c. five
d. seven

2. Pastors who are prone to burnout are those who
a. are afraid of intimacy.
b. are overworked out of fear of failure or rejection.
c. put their emotional and physical energy into their careers because things are not going well at home.
d. All of the above.

Chapter 2: Clergy Sexual Misconduct Overview -- A Model for Prevention, Education, Treatment, and Oversight (p. 23-40)
3. When sexual misconduct is discovered, which member of the Administrative Oversight Team provides the minister with a comprehensive sexual dependency or deviancy evaluation, including intervention and treatment recommendations for each incident of clergy misconduct?
a. the Team Coordinator, who is also the denominational official.
b. the Team Therapist, who is trained and experienced in clergy sexual misconduct.
c. the Team Pastor, who is also experienced in dealing with clergy sexual misconduct.
d. the Team Legal Consultant.

4. Which is NOT true about assessment, treatment, and oversight of clergy misconduct?
a. During assessment, information should be initially gathered using a polygraph test, which verifies the truthfulness of the information as well as challenges the pastor's denial.
b. Patrick Carne's task-based treatment model requires an intervention and treatment that takes 3 to 5 years if the pastor expects lasting change.
c. A treatment approach that promotes shame is the most effective because it helps to restore the pastor's conscience as a preventative measure against future sexual misconduct.
d. Oversight of the Restoration Plan should remain in place for a minimum of 5 years.

5. The issue of sexual abuse of power in the pastorate, in most cases, stems directly from ___ on the part of the pastor.
a. a lack of understanding of the relational dynamics of transference and countertransference.
b. a lack of maintaining clearly-defined sexual boundaries.
c. not having close friends of the same gender.
d. having little to no accountability.

Chapter 3: Prevention of Pastoral Sexual Misconduct (p. 43-61)
6. In the 1994 Irons-Laaser study of 25 perpetrators of clergy sexual misconduct, the most common perpetrator was a person who
a. presented with alcoholism or alcohol abuse.
b. presented with a narcissistic personality.
c. presented with major depression.
d. did not present with any extreme forms of mental problems.

7. Which is NOT one of the 12 assessment factors that Mark Laaser uses to reduce the likelihood of approving a candidate for ministry who will commit sexual misconduct?
a. Narcissism (vanity; inordinate fascination with self))
b. Charisma (charming, dynamic, well-liked, overly dramatic)
c. Shame (self-worth dependent on accomplishments)
d. Low-income level (always struggling with not having enough money)
e. Dependency (needs too much approval)
f.  Workaholism
g. History of family-of-origin issues
h. History of trauma (emotional abandonment or neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, spiritual abuse)
i. Presence of anger
j. Emotional and Spiritual Immaturity (rigid, black-and-white thinking)
k. Attachment or Relational Issues (no intimate friendships)
l. Isolation (no deep social connections)
m. Inability to Own Their Own Behaviors and Ask for Help

Chapter 4: Outpatient and Inpatient Intensive Treatment Models (p. 65-82)
8. Many impaired ministers have developed performance-based diversionary behaviors like perfectionism, academics, work, athletics, and codependent care-taking as ineffective coping strategies for self-worth and esteem. It is important for patients to learn about healthy self-care strategies that can foster healthy intimacy. Which of the following therapy options decreases the minister's negative belief by draining the power of his emotional reaction to a traumatic event, then empowers a more positive belief about himself using principles taught in the Bible?
a. Eye Movement Desensitization Retraining (EMDR)
b. Somatic Experience Therapy
c. Psychodrama
d. Family Dynamic and Therapy

9. Most impaired ministers who seek counsel have struggled with some form of compulsive sexual behavior most of their lives. The struggles frequently began with
a. childhood sexual abuse.
b. early exposure to pornography
c. a parent who had a chronic addition to alcohol or drugs.
d. severe neglect or abandonment.

10. Whenever there is clergy misconduct, the authors recommend the establishment of an on-call parish assistance team. This team would consist of all the following members EXCEPT
a. a public relations person, who handles press releases and media interviews.
b. a mental health professional, who provides information about professional boundaries.
c. a pastoral person, who along with the mental health person, helps parishioners process feelings of hurt, anger, disappointment, and betrayal.
d. the accused clergy member, so he can apologize to the congregation.
e. a civil lawyer.

11. Clergy who have committed sexual offenses against children should never be restored to a role of ministering to children again.
a. True
b. False

Chapter 5: The Etioligy, Assessment, and Treatment Protocol of Clergy Sex Offenders (p. 83-101)
12. Which is NOT true?
a. As a child matures, an arousal template is formed by family messages, early sexual experiences, church influences, childhood abuse, magazines, television, movies, and other influences.
b. Neural pathways in the brain are reinforced by intense feelings, the release of dopamine, and repetition.
c. Viewing compulsive sexual behavior as a disease rather than a lack of willpower is not an excuse for bad behavior. Rather, it points to the degree of treatment and hard work that must be done in order to change these patterns.
d. It is often an effective treatment for a clergy guilty of sexual misconduct to simply cry out to God, "Take this affliction from me."

13. According to Gladwell, the most qualified clinician to conduct an assessment of clergy accused of sexual misconduct
a. is licensed or certified as a sex offender treatment provider.
b. has 10,000 hours of experience in working with sex offenders.
c. has a working knowledge of his local Department of Corrections and court systems.
d. uses the Hare Psychopathy Checklist to determine the risk of future repeat offenses.

14. Which is NOT part of an effective treatment program for clergy sexual misconduct?
a. Increased empathy on the part of the sexual acting-out clergy so that he recognizes the destructive nature of his behavior and will be less likely to act out again.
b. Attending community accountability meetings, where he learns, among other things, to identify any behaviors that indicate he may be slipping into early stages of an offending pattern.
c. Full and appropriate disclosure by the sexual acting-out clergy to his partner.
d. After three years of treatment, the clergy is reinstated at his home congregation where the abuse occurred.

Chapter 6: Clergy Liability for Sexual Misconduct (p. 105-124)
15. A fiduciary relationship exists between a member of the clergy and a parishioner
a. all the time.
b. when the parishioner trusted the clergy member and sought counseling from him.
c. when the clergy member visited the parishioner's home.
d. only after the parishioner contributes to the support of the clergy member.

16. In the state of Washington, a sex offender who has two separate convictions ("two strikes") for enumerated "most serious offenses"
a. must be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of release.
b. cannot be sentenced to life in prison until the third conviction.
c. must be supervised for life.
d. is eligible for parole after serving 15 years in prison.

Chapter 7: Restoring the Clergy Marriage -- A Pathway from Grief to Grace (p. 127-147)
17. How does trauma help develop sexual misconduct? Trauma in a child can stimulate the "fight, flight, freeze" survival responses in one's limbic system of the brain. At the same time, these survival mechanisms override the cerebral cortex where thinking, judgment, and execution take place. Thus, a person can go immediately from a stimulus to an arousal survival response without knowing what caused it, producing hypervigilance. Research indicates that it only takes ____ in a child's family environment for hypervigilance or "chronic shock" to be set in place.
a. two traumatic experiences per year
b. two traumatic experiences per month
c. two traumatic experiences per week
d. two traumatic experiences per day

18. What is TRUE about most clergy who sexually act-out?
a. At a relatively young age, they were exposed to pornography, and experienced the power of soothing anxious feelings with sexual pleasure.
b. They use the isolation of their position to maintain secrecy about an emotional or physical affair.
c. They lack adequate conflict-resolution skills, and thus rely on sexual acting-out behavior rather than working through marital impasses.
d. All of the above.

19. Which is NOT a part of "Making Amends and Healing the Relationship"?
a. Having the sexual acting-out spouse gradually disclose his illicit behavior, one piece at a time, so as not to overwhelm his wife.
b. The sexual acting-out spouse explains the deception and faulty thinking patterns he was responsible for throughout his life and their entire marriage, clarifying his responsibility for the illicit behavior.
c. The impacted spouse writes a grief letter, including her feelings of loss, hurt, betrayal, anger, and unfairness, along with questions and doubts about her emotional investment in the marriage. d. A statement of empathy from the sexual acting-out spouse, making a great effort to connect with and convey an appreciation for his partner's trauma and losses, while acknowledging that he will never fully comprehend the damage he has done to his wife.
e. For the impacted spouse to exercise forgiveness -- choosing to let go of a debt that cannot be repaid by her sexual acting-out spouse.

20. Which is NOT a part of "Reconciliation and Creating a Healthy Bonding Plan"?
a. Each spouse is committed to a personal healing and recovery plan.
b. The sexual acting-out spouse must have accountability measures to prevent further acting-out.
c. Each spouse is growing in conflict resolution communication skills.
d. They both are committed to spiritual growth.
e. They learn to experience healthy sexual intimacy in their marriage.
f. They seek restoration to professional ministry.

Chapter 8: Through Grief to Forgiveness -- Disclosure, Grief, and Reconciliation (p. 151-164)
21. Which is NOT true?
a. During the disclosure process, the sexually acting-out spouse prepares a bullet-point disclosure statement with his therapist, listing specifics of all his sexual behaviors, not including graphic details. It includes the time frame, frequency, and with whom he acted out, whether it was real-life people, real people on the Internet, or anonymous images.
b. An impacted wife will often turn her anger inward for fear of telling someone and jeopardizing the loss of her husband's job. She might also mistakenly believe that she is not allowed to get angry at her husband or at God.
c. After the sexual acting-out spouse writes a letter clarifying responsibility for his illicit behavior, his wife is then allowed to asked any questions regarding graphic details of his behavior.
d. The impacted wife writes a grief letter sharing all the ways her husband's sexual acting-out behavior has affected her life, including any feelings of anger, sadness, hurt, rage, betrayal, frustration, confusion, unfairness, loss, injustice, shame, fear, anxiety, guilt, humiliation, and embarrassment.
e. The sexual acting-out spouse writes an empathy letter stating what he has heard his wife say from her grief letter, how his behavior has horribly affected her. In addition, he realizes that it will ultimately be his good behavior from now on, not his words, that rebuilds his wife's trust in him.

Chapter 9: Working with Clergy Couples (p. 165-183)
22. Which is unhelpful or incorrect advice given to clergy couples?
a. The impacted wife needs to forgive her husband as soon as possible.
b. If the wife had been more sexually active with her husband, then he might not have acted out.
c. Faith-based couples can heal faster than those without God in their marriages.
d. All of the above.

23. What is the authors' purpose for asking their clients the three spiritual questions -- Are you willing to get well? What are you thirsty for? Are you willing to die to yourself and, if so, what are you willing to die for?
a. For each spouse to surrender their life to God and their partner to God.
b. For each spouse to satisfy the desires of their hearts not in each other, but in their relationship with God, thereby taking pressure off one another and decreasing resentment from unmet expectations.
c. For addicts to die to their arrogance, selfishness, and control over their own needs. And for the impacted wives to choose to not give up easily on their marriage.
d. All of the above.

24. Which is NOT true when helping clergy couples?
a. Full disclosure of sexual acting-out behaviors is harmful to recovery.
b. Help each spouse identify: the ways they cope with pain, their feelings and how to express them, their core beliefs about themselves, their expectations of their spouse, and how God is the best place for them to be truly heard, understood, blessed, touched, safe, chosen, and included.
c. Help clergy couples find meaning in their pain and suffering.
d. Have clergy couples abstain from sex for a period so the addict can detox from the neurochemical tolerance that addiction creates and so he can grow in emotional and spiritual intimacy first.

Chapter 10: Support for Married Partners (p. 185-197)
25. When church leaders tell a pastor's wife she needs to wear more provocative clothing and submit to her husband's sexual demands so that he can avoid temptation, this is an example of
a. biblical submission.
b. tonic immobility.
c. secondary trauma.
d. critical incident.

26. If the wife's brain is mainly functioning by way of the limbic system (her emotions and reactions), she will not likely make good decisions. She needs her prefrontal cortex engaged to make informed decisions. What can counselors do to help her accomplish this?
a. They can teach relaxation techniques, and how the relaxation response is an antidote to cortisol, the stress chemical that floods her body and makes her feel vigilant and anxious.
b. They can recommend good books such as Deceived: Facing Sexual Betrayal, Lies, and Secrets (Black) and Mending a Shattered Heart: A Guide for Partners of Sex Addicts (Carnes).
c. They can teach proper self-care. They can also teach her not to forgive too quickly -- that forgiveness comes after her husband earns her trust through changed behavior (sobriety).
d. All of the above.

Chapter 11: Family Therapy after Clergy Sexual Misconduct -- A Treatment Model of Relational Integrity (p. 199-218)
27. Our ability to report our internal states (thoughts, feelings, wants) from a reflective position rather than a reactive position is called
a. differentiation.
b. attunement.
c. honesty.
d. creativity.

28. In sessions with clergy couples, counselors should not allow the offender to link his sexual misconduct with the marital history, particularly issues of sexuality or intimacy frustration.
a. True
b. False

Chapter 12: The Battle the Church Faces (p. 221-232)
29. How does the author of this chapter explain the nature of sexual addiction?
a. It is simply a moral choice.
b. It is a failure of one's conscience. The addict no longer registers shame for his actions.
c. It begins as a moral choice and then becomes a neurochemical problem. The impulse-control center of the addict's brain is overridden by his limbic system.
d. It is a bad habit that quickly develops from a lack of willpower and failure to keep proper boundaries.

Chapter 13: Sexual Integrity Education in the Church (p. 235-243)
30. The author of this chapter believes that the best sex education
a. only emphasizes abstinence before marriage.
b. emphasizes the dangers of pre-marital sex (possible pregnancy, guilt, contracting a disease, possible loss of career if forced into an early marriage).
c. emphasizes how a young man's sexual nature, while waiting to be expressed physically in marriage, can be expressed through other activities such as sports, music, social skills, helping others, chivalry, and spiritual disciplines.
d. be comprised primarily of testimonies from those who have made sexual mistakes and regretted them.