Online Course – Assessing and Treating Adolescents Who Sexually Abuse: Learning (And Re-Learning) the Basics

Dates: Thursdays & Fridays, June 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23, 29, 30, 2023
Time: 3:00 p.m. – 6:15 p.m. US East Coast Time
Credit: 30 CE Credit Hours
Format: Live interactive training offered via Zoom

Registration Deadline: May 21, 2023

Cost of Course & CE Certificate : $900.00
CE Eligibility: APA Psychology*

*Social Workers and Counselors, we have applied for credits from other agencies

To be eligible for a certificate, you must attend all thirty live lecture hours and complete a short evaluation form following each training session.

Introductory Offer:
Register five or more people from your organization and save $100 per registration!

This 30-hour online intensive and interactive course is designed for practitioners new to the field of assessing and treating adolescents and young adults who have sexually abused others. It is also of interest to more experienced professionals wishing to expand and revitalize their knowledge and skills. 

This course relies on discussion and supplemental reading to explore the core principles behind effective assessment and treatment. It is designed to provide participants with a basic understanding of:

  • Developmental and contextual aspects of sexual abuse by adolescents and young adults.
  • Key findings regarding what does (and doesn’t) work in assessing and treating these clients.
  • Principles of effective rehabilitation (risk, need, and responsivity) and the characteristics of effective treatment providers.
  • Assessing risks and needs including interviewing processes and ideas for generating reports.
  • Fundamentals of providing treatment with a focus on the Good Lives Model, Motivational Interviewing, and Feedback-Informed Treatment as well as other ideas for ensuring therapeutic engagement.
  • Special populations, including considerations that arise in different treatment environments (such as outpatient practice and residential treatment) as well as professional boundaries and ethical considerations.

Although the course is 30 hours, additional time with the presenter will be provided. On each training day, you are invited to participate in a Zoom Meet & Greet from 1:45 pm – 2:45 pm ET. Participants are not required to attend these face-to-face discussions to receive CE credits. In addition, a small number of readings will be assigned prior to the course, and attendees will receive a library of articles and chapters.

Course Topics

Part 1 – June 1st & 2nd
– Introduction and overview
– Background information 
– Contextual understanding
– Developmental and contextual understandings
– Attachment styles
– Etiological contributors to problematic behavior
– The role of sexually explicit media
– Stigma
– The principles of risk, need, and responsivity
– Defining treatment and therapeutic change
– Public policy considerations
– Considerations on racial/ethnic diversity
– Considerations on family work

Part 2 – June 8th & 9th
– Assessment and Report Writing
– Overview of common ethical issues
– Influential and informative older studies
– Risk and protective factors
– A review of existing measures for assessing risks, needs, and protective factors
– A brief review of evidence supporting the existing measures
– The current status of polygraph examinations with youths
– Informed consent
– Confidentiality
– Interview processes
– Gendered approaches
– Stylistic considerations in report writing
– Structural considerations in report writing

Part 3 – June 15th & 16th
– Treatment
– Lessons from history: What can we actually change?
– Overview of what actually reduces risk
– Identifying meaningful goals: approach- versus avoidance-based goals
– “Going upstream” to identify what is important to the client
– The Good Lives Model as a practice framework
– Using scaling questions to identify and elicit motivation for making difficult changes
– Identifying strengths
– Trauma-Informed Care
– Empathy and its role in treatment
– Treatment implementation considerations and measures

Part 4 – June 22nd & 23rd
– Maximizing Treatment
– Motivational Interviewing (MI) with adolescents who have sexually abused
– How the MI spirit applies to youth
– The critical role of understanding ambivalence with adolescents
– Four primary micro-skills
– The four processes of MI
– Blending MI with the Good Lives Model
– Case examples
– Treatment considerations for special needs clients
·        Research limitations
·        Autism spectrum disorder vulnerabilities and comorbidities
·        “Counterfeit deviance”
·        Commonly reported misbehaviors
·        Adaptation of Good Lives Model
·        Case examples

Part 5 – June 29th & 30th
– Boundaries, Ethics, and Professional Development
– Defining ethics (a multidisciplinary approach)
– Why ethics are important
– The big three: beneficence, autonomy, and non- maleficence
– What exactly are professional boundaries?
– Relationships and boundaries
– Principles underlying therapist-client relationships

– Ethics as a process
– Case examples
– Boundary considerations for inpatient and outpatient practice
– Professional development: What research shows
– Self-care strategies specific to working with sexual abuse
– Overview of Feedback-Informed Treatment
– Taking next steps with deliberate practice
– Wrap-up

Click here to learn how to request a student discount.

As a result of this training, participants will be able to:

Part 1 – June 1st & 2nd
1) Summarize historical approaches to treating abusive sexual behaviors by youths
2) List three attachment styles
3) Explain the importance of working with youths’ familie
4) Examine the role of abuse-related sexual interests, where applicable, in sex crimes by adolescents.
5) Explain the relevance of early-onset, as opposed to adolescent-onset behavior problems
6) Describe the difference between risk and protective factors

Part 2 – June 8th & 9th
1) Describe the core components of a comprehensive assessment (e.g., assessment tools and clinical interviewing considerations)
2) Compare the available assessment measures specific to youths who have abused
3) Explain different domains that contribute to risk for offending
4) Develop an intake interview with an adolescent with problematic sexual behaviors
5) Describe the qualities of a high-quality assessment report
6) Design treatment plans for adolescents

Part 3 – June 15th & 16th
1) Apply the “going upstream” method of finding personally meaningful client goals.
2) Differentiate “approach goals” in treatment planning
3) Describe ten “primary human goods” or “good life goals” that appear to be relevant to all human beings
4) Explain how these good life goals can be implicated in sexual abuse by adolescents.
5) Describe how early adversity can develop into risk factors
6) Use scaling questions for assessing internal motivation to achieve good life goals

Part 4 – June 22nd & 23rd
1) Differentiate between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation
2) Apply a specific method for providing clinical and non-clinical feedback (elicit-provide-elicit)
3) Use specific scaling questions for eliciting intrinsic motivation to change
4) Explain the importance of summarizing statements in expressing empathy
5) Formulate reflective statements to address client ambivalence
6) Describe processes for working with clients who have special needs

Part 5 – June 29th & 30th
1) Describe healthy and unhealthy professional boundaries
2) Use a structured method for decision-making for complicated ethical considerations
3) Identify barriers to successful treatment implementation
4) Identify signs of vicarious trauma
5) Summarize two measures used in Feedback-Informed Treatment
6) Use a “culture of feedback” to improve services

Thirty Hours of Live Training

The live sessions start at 3:00 pm US East Coast Time and run until 6:30 pm US East Coast Time each day of the course. The fee is $900 and includes access to course instructional materials and training videos for two weeks. Registration fees are non-refundable.

Certificate of Completion

To be eligible for a certificate, you must attend all thirty live lecture hours and complete a short evaluation form following each training session.

Continuing Education Credit Hours

Continuing Excellence, LLC is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Continuing Excellence, LLC maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

Continuing Education Credits provided by Continuing Excellence, LLC

P.O. Box 134, East Middlebury, VT 05740 Tel: (802) 771-4155

David S. Prescott, LICSW, ATSA-F
Director, Continuing Education Center, Safer Society Foundation

A mental health practitioner of 39 years, David Prescott is the Director of the Safer Society Continuing Education Center. In that capacity, he has overseen more than 90 live online CE trainings and 80 webinars with a total of 37,000 registrations.

Mr. Prescott is the author and editor of 25 books in the areas of understanding and improving services to at-risk clients.  Mr. Prescott is best known for his work in the areas of understanding, assessing, and treating sexual violence and trauma, including with adolescents and young adults. Mr. Prescott is the recipient of the 2014 Distinguished Contribution award from the Association for the Treatment and Prevention of Sexual Abuse (ATSA), the 2018 recipient of the National Adolescent Perpetration Network’s C. Henry Kempe Lifetime Achievement award, and the 2022 recipient of the Fay Honey Knopp Award from the New York State Alliance for the Prevention of Sexual Abuse and New York State ATSA. He also served as ATSA President in 2008-09. 

Mr. Prescott currently trains and lectures around the world. His published work has been translated into Japanese, Korean, German, French, Polish, Dutch, and other languages. He has served on the editorial boards of four scholarly journals. He has been the co-author of the monthly NEARI and MASOC newsletters since 2007, which are read by several thousand professionals who work with adolescents who have sexually abused. Since 2011, he has served as Co-Blogger for ATSA’s Sexual Abuse blog, which has been read over 850,000 times and was recently rated as #15 in the top 50 blogs in the world on the topic.

Additional Information

This training is for professionals working with people who have perpetrated abuse. Professionals who will benefit from this training include social workers, psychologists, clinical counselors, and interested paraprofessionals.

Content Level
Beginner to Intermediate

The presenter, David S. Prescott, has published materials related to the training from which they may benefit financially.

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