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Self-help program

Welcome to the Self-help program for sexual interest in children!

Do you feel that your sexual interest is oriented towards children? Are you worried about this and afraid that you might move from thoughts to actions? This self-help program may help you.

Is this self-help program for me?

The self-help program is suitable for anyone who wishes to modify their thoughts and activities related to sexual interest in children. The fact that you are thinking about it is reason enough to start the program. The program is completely anonymous and your responses will not be saved.

This self-help program is intended for mild to moderate symptoms.

You can use the self-help program

  • 24/7
  • free of charge
  • regardless of age
  • completely anonymously – you do not have to enter your personal data anywhere
  • by completing the entire program or selecting only the items that best suit you
  • in addition to other treatment or independently

Our objective is to make information and help available to everyone quickly, easily and with a low threshold.

This self-help program has been produced in collaboration between Save the Children and HUS Psychiatry.

There are many kinds of sexuality, and sexual preferences can be oriented towards different targets. You may feel sexually interested in people of different ages and genders. Sexual interest can also be targeted to certain things or objects.

However, sexual preferences and acting on them are two different things. The decision to act according to one's own interests and preferences cannot be based solely on one's own wishes.

Illegal acts are not part of the freedom of sexual expression

Sexuality can be expressed quite freely as long as it does not violate the rights of another person or break the law.

However, there are acts that are never within the scope of freedom of sexual expression. Among these are sexual acts which meet the criteria of a criminal offence.

Sexual acts towards children are not covered by the right to freedom of sexual expression. A child is vulnerable and in need of special protection and care.

This self-help program will help you gain knowledge and understanding about sexual interest related to children.

The program consists of the following sections


In the first section, you will learn about sexual interest in children.

Learn to recognise when you need help. You will also recognise your thought patterns and challenge them.

You will learn how to change your thinking and behaviour. 

You will also learn about the impact of sexual acts on children and what constitutes a sexual offence.


Exercises are at the core of the program. They allow you to review and consider solutions to your situation.

You will learn various ways to manage sexual interest in children. You will learn to regulate sexual mental images of children and the impulses to act.

Exercises will help you to identify how your mental images are formed and what you do to possibly justify your actions.

Doing the exercises will turn you from a reader into an active participant. This way you take steps to improve your situation.  


In the last section, you will focus on the future.

You will learn to take care of yourself and do the right thing.

You will learn more about the impact that management of daily life and living a balanced life have on mental health. You will learn to maintain the results you have achieved.

You will also find links to useful services and other content by Mielenterveystalo that may be of interest to you. You will also find out where you can seek help if needed.

In the video (1:34) you will hear more about the structure of the self-help program. You will also receive information about how the exercises and background information related to your symptoms can make you feel better.

What is a self-help program?

The self-help program

  • is based on methods that have been researched and proven to be effective
  • consists of three sections
  • contains information and exercises that help in daily life and in managing symptoms

Checklist for getting started

Anywhere, anytime 

The self-help program is available whenever you have the time, and the materials can be accessed around the clock, no matter where you are. Spend a coffee break on your computer, reading up on information about the subject.

Active practice will lead to results

Continuous training is important when learning to use new tools. When you first practice using the tools in easy situations, they will gradually help you in more difficult situations when emotions take over.

To protect your privacy, the responses to questionnaires and exercises will not be saved. If you want to save them, copy them into a separate file for yourself. 

You can change

You are about to start a self-help program. It is great that you are doing what is best for yourself. The self-help program will help you towards the life you desire.

It is normal for the exercises to feel challenging sometimes. This is part of the process of making lasting changes. That is why it is important to be merciful on yourself. Do the program in appropriate pieces, and take restorative breaks. 

This is also a tool for professionals

The whole tool or parts of it can be used to support groups or individual meetings.

A professional can support and guide you in doing the exercises. Usually, you would have 1–3 meetings during the course of the self-help program. The meetings can be used, for example, for discussing thoughts that have arisen while doing the exercises and considering which exercises are most suitable.


If you feel that your symptoms are serious, do not hesitate to seek help!