Trauma-Informed Care in High-Security Settings

Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are associated with adult criminality, including violent and sexual offending. Men and women who have sexually offended have significantly higher ACE scores than the general population. However, until recently, the trauma of the client was rarely addressed in sex-offending treatment models. Trauma can contribute to relational and self-regulation deficits. It is therefore unsurprising that older offense-specific models of treatment for sexual offending have produced mixed results.

Assessment and Treatment of Children and Adolescents on the Autism Spectrum

Conducting psychosexual assessment and treatment with children and adolescents who have autism spectrum disorders (ASD) can be rife with challenges. Research and best practices have changed dramatically across the past two decades.

This online training will help professionals develop a deeper understanding of autism among children and adolescents as a multi-faceted, brain-based disorder and provide guidance on current best practices in ASD psychosexual assessment and treatment.

Overcoming Common Issues in the Treatment of Adolescents Who Have Engaged in Sexually Harmful Behavior

This training addresses current practices in the assessment, treatment, safety planning, and clarification in working with adolescent clients who have engaged in sexually harmful behaviors, as well as how to overcome some of the unique challenges of this work. The content is informed by the guidelines created by the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA), which are based on the principles of risk, need, and responsivity.

Preventing and Treating Adolescent Violence and Delinquent Behavior

This training provides insight into how and why some adolescents engage in violence and other delinquent behavior. It describes empirically based pathways to offending and examines its sociocultural context, specifically addressing how individual development unfolds within an ecological niche and how this affects behaviors such as juvenile delinquency and violence. 

Using a Developmental Lens to Promote Prosocial Skills in Adolescent Clients

The most effective approaches to understanding, assessing, and treating juveniles who have sexually offended are those that account for adolescent development. Practicing with a “developmental lens” can help ensure that our methods result in prosocial behaviors and better lives. This training is designed to help attendees set developmentally appropriate treatment goals and promote teens’ ability to make better decisions and take greater responsibility for their lives. Dr. Ralph begins the training by comparing historical treatment approaches and offers insights into what we know about adolescent development, for example, how testosterone output corresponds to changes in criminal behavior. He further explores how these factors, along with what we now know about brain plasticity, call for a different response to adolescent crime than is being offered by the current legal system.

Treating Intellectually Disabled Adolescents with Sexual Behavior Problems

This workshop will focus on the overarching principles associated with the effective assessment and treatment of intellectually disabled youths exhibiting problematic sexual behaviors while identifying specific treatment needs and treatment interventions for some of the different constellations of social, emotional, and cognitive difficulties that may be presented by these youths.

Addressing Sexual Abuse Within the Sibling Relationship

This skills-based workshop will explore a framework for intervening in sibling sexual abuse that focuses on promoting accountability, communication, and reparation through a joint therapy process, introduced early in treatment and which involves both the sibling who abused and the sibling victim.

Online Training: Cultural Humility in Correctional Assessment and Treatment

Sociocultural factors in the assessment and treatment of individuals who sexually offend are important to examine. Awareness of implicit biases and the cultural competence of the therapist are essential in ethical treatment. Cultural humility is the ability to maintain an interpersonal stance that is other-oriented in relation to aspects of cultural identity that are more important to the client. Participants will become informed of cultural considerations in the assessment and treatment. This workshop will assist participants in identifying cultural factors (i.e., racial/ethnicity, language, religion, gender/gender identity, sexual orientation, and disability) during assessment to better inform treatment and risk management recommendations.

Online Training: Working with Persons with Special Needs in Forensic Settings

The Risk/Need/Responsivity (RNR) framework revolutionized correctional intervention schemes when it was first introduced in the 1990s. Since that time, practitioners and programs alike have worked to ensure that clients in forensic settings really do receive an intensity of intervention that is commensurate with the level of risk they pose (risk principle), while criminogenic needs are specifically targeted (need principle). However, despite gains in the areas of risk and need, the field continues to struggle with the responsivity principle, which encourages service providers to consider the nature of their involvement with clients.

Online Training: Effective Use of Motivational Interviewing to Engage and Help People with Intimate Partner Violence

This four-hour intensive workshop is tailored to professionals (including psychologists, social workers, and counselors) specializing in intimate partner violence and working within the criminal-justice, health-care, mental-health, and social-service systems.Motivational Interviewing (MI) is a person-centered counseling approach that helps individuals to explore and resolve ambivalence about change. After an orientation to the underlying spirit, structure and skills of MI, practical exercises will help participants strengthen skills for demonstrating empathy, recognizing and eliciting “change talk”, and rolling with client discord/resistance.