Safer Talk Webinars

Safer Talk is an ongoing series of webinars, conversations, and podcasts devoted to preventive and restorative responses to sexual and social violence. We provide this service to help professionals stay current in the face of ever-changing, challenging circumstances.

  • Resiliency and Working with Clients from Targeted Communities
    In 2022, Miranda Galbreath posted a brief video intended for her friends and close colleagues. In it, she described her professional work with people who choose not to act on their sexual interest in children. An influential group with a well-noted political agenda took a brief section of the video out of context and reposted it widely on social media. Within days, she was publicly criticized over 72,000 times, including by a US Senator.
  • How Sand Tray Therapy Can Aid Your Treatment with Clients
    Therapists and counselors around the world keep sand trays within close reach and know they can be excellent tools for therapeutic engagement and work. Despite their popularity, many therapists are unaware of the range of situations in which sand trays can prove effective. For example, manipulating symbolic objects, such as trees, people, and animals in a tray filled with sand can help clients express their emotional and psychological distress.
  • Building Hope and Motivation with Suicidal Clients in Criminal Justice
    September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness month. The number of people with mental illness who are incarcerated is twice the rate of the overall adult population (NAMI). To help in the prevention of suicide, we are hosting a free one-hour webinar with Senior Training Consultant and Motivational Interviewing Trainer for the Department of Justice and Public Safety, Nathalie Cyr.
  • Reducing Risk with Continuity of Care Between Systems
    The evaluation and treatment of people convicted of sexual crimes has changed dramatically over the last decade. We no longer reference the containment model and have adopted more comprehensive approaches. Many programs and practitioners have worked to implement the principles of effective correctional rehabilitation (such as risk, need, and responsivity) in the treatment and management of individuals who have committed sexual offenses. However, barriers frequently arise based on where the professionals providing these services are situated. Supervising officers are often employed by a
  • Let’s Take the Stigma Out of Employing People with a History of Behavioral Issues
    Employment can be an important re-entry method and strong protective factor for people who have committed an offense or with a history of behavior issues. Yet many employers are unwilling to hire these individuals. By increasing employers’ understanding, we can promote inclusive hiring and healthy workplaces. This webinar features an open dialogue with Working Fields, a staffing agency that specializes in helping people eliminate barriers to employment. We will discuss hiring people with past behavioral issues, address common misconceptions, and tackle questions from Working Fields employer partners.
  • Do Sanctions Affect Undetected Sexual Offending?
    Not every sex crime is reported to authorities. This simple fact has caused considerable fear in society, leading to questions about how much we really know about sexual abuse and those who perpetrate it. For those researching sex crimes, it becomes even more complicated: the rate of actual offending (both detected and undetected) appears to vary widely depending on who is being studied, how undetected sexual offending is defined, and how undetected sexual offenses are measured.
  • Building Hope and Motivation with Suicidal Clients in Criminal Justice
    Working with justice-involved adults brings many challenges, among which are assessing the likelihood of future harmful acts and forming trusting relationships with clients in order to help them become productive members of society. One challenge that is often overlooked by those working with justice-involved clients is understanding and intervening when clients become suic
  • Applying Circles of Support and Accountability with People Who Access Child Sexual Exploitation Material
    Circles of Support & Accountability (CoSA) is a restorative justice-informed initiative intended to assist in the post-release community integration of persons with sexual offense histories after periods of incarceration or other detention. It uses community volunteers trained and supported by locally employed professionals and experts. Since its inception, CoSA has been consistently shown to significantly reduce harm while increasing the likelihood of successful integration of participants into the community. In September 2020, Circles UK launched an innovative new program, Circles ReBoot, which helps individuals who have accessed Child Sexual Exploitation Material, who are typically at high risk to persist in offending and who have high levels of treatment need.
  • Mindfulness Approaches For Promoting Wellbeing in Adolescents
    This webinar presents ideas for integrating mindfulness and other brain-based approaches into the treatment of adolescents with histories of harmful behaviors. The ideas incorporate the rigor of science, the beauty of art, the wisdom of reflection, and years of clinical experience in this field. The presenter, Michelle Gourley, first became formally experienced with Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) in the wake of significant personal life events. This led her to explore how this approach, and others like it, can be used with the clients in her care.
  • We Have the Same Goals: Connecting Victim Service Advocates and Treatment Providers
    Victim service advocates and treatment providers have the same goal–communities without sexual violence–but tend to operate in isolation from one another. This webinar starts out with acknowledging that public perceptions, attitudes, and beliefs too often prevent those who assess and treat people who have sexually abused from connecting with victim services. This divide can create a narrative about the work we do and what others think of it.
  • Harnessing Memory Reconsolidation for Treatment of Trauma
    Can traumatic memories and patterns be changed so they no longer haunt a person emotionally? Neuroscience research suggests they can by harnessing the mechanism of memory reconsolidation, the brain’s own process of updating an emotional memory with new meanings and associations. In this webinar, Courtney Armstrong will discuss this exciting discovery and share a simple five-step protocol you can use in treatment to safely reconsolidate traumatic memories and create corrective emotional experiences that change the brain.
  • Compassion Focused Therapy in Forensic Practice: An Overview
    Originally pioneered by Paul Gilbert in the UK, compassion focused therapy (CFT) is an integrated, multi-modal approach to treatment that draws from evolutionary, social, developmental, and Buddhist psychology as well as neuroscience. In this webinar, Drs. Hocken and Taylor will discuss CFT and how it can be helpful in working with clients in the criminal justice system.
  • Implementing the Principles of Risk, Need, and Responsivity
    Anyone who has tried to improve an existing treatment program knows how difficult it can be. This webinar interview shows how one prominent agency implemented the principles of risk, need, and responsivity. It provides ideas for how agencies can best implement these principles and other new methods and models. In this webinar, Nikole Hassen, Clinical Psychologist and Director at the Naval Consolidated Brig Miramar, will discuss the challenges faced when modernizing their treatment program, and the benefits of having done so.
  • Teen Girls and Mental Wellness
    “Young people are telling us that they are in crisis.” – Dr. Kathleen Ethier In the fall of 2021, the CDC gave adolescents in high school … Read more
  • Strategies for Helping Teen Girls with Their Mental Health Struggles
    A survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that was published in early February 2023 found that, in 2021 (at the height of the pandemic), 57% of high school girls reported experiencing “persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness in the past year,” up from 36% in 2011. That’s nearly twice as high as the 29% of males who reported having those feelings in 2021. What’s worse, 30% of the girls surveyed reported seriously considering suicide and 13% attempted suicide one or more times in 2021.
  • The Need For Victim-Centered Practices and Policies Regarding Sexual Offending
    Though well-intentioned, policies and practices regarding sexual offending that are advocated by lawmakers and their constituents all too often result in efforts that are counterproductive for the long-term safety of the community. Just as problematically, they fail to adequately take into account the needs of the victims of abuse and do not adequately promote actions that can help individuals who have abused avoid re-offending.
  • Improving Results of Treatment with Adolescents Through an Injection of Fun
    Christin Santiago and Anette Birgersson have taught professionals around the world how to incorporate fun into the very serious work of trauma-informed treatment for youth and adolescents. Studies have shown that interventions that are fun and engaging increase motivation, buy-in, and improve the therapeutic alliance. Likewise, incorporating aspects of fun into our lives as professionals is also essential for mental and physical overall health and well-being.  Christin and Anette will introduce best practices for both individual and group work that will include: utilizing games and activities, sensory-based interventions, facilitation techniques and mitigating risk. The aim of the webinar is to learn, laugh, and feel increased confidence as fun professionals!
  • Springtime Self-Care! Strategies and Discussion with Colleagues
    This round-table discussion is intended for professionals who already understand the importance of self-care and are looking to get better at it. First, Janet will describe the findings of a survey that she completed with professionals working with individuals who have abused. Next, Arliss will focus on what’s possible and available for busy professionals. David will add some observations from his practice and then turn it over to the audience for open discussion. Participants can add their own thoughts or simply relax and enjoy the company of colleagues who understand the challenges of this work in the current era.
  • Counseling Clients with Neopaganistic Worldviews 
    A growing number of clients in treatment follow different spiritual paths than the religious practices most familiar to their treatment and supervision providers. This sets the stage for possible misunderstandings and tensions between the client and the members of treatment or supervisory team. Among these spiritual paths is Neopaganism; this term refers to a group of Eurocentric religions that focus on reviving the pre-Christian practices of Europe and/or developing new and borrowed practices compatible with ancient pagan worldviews. While these worldviews can be puzzling to therapists and other professionals, Mr. Reeder explains how they can be understood in the context of counseling.
  • Working with Christian Beliefs in Treatment
    There has been little guidance on integrating Christian beliefs with the material covered in most treatment programs for individuals who have sexually abused. Yet the topic is of vital importance to many clients in treatment. In fact, it is common for people convicted of sexual crimes to have questions about spirituality in the wake of their arrest and legal processing. In this webinar, the panelists will address topics related to religious objections to participating in treatment, discussing how the goals of treatment mesh with individual beliefs and how professionals can best interface with their clients’ faith systems.
  • Building Prevention Teams to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse
    Adults are responsible for protecting children from sexual assault and incest. Children can learn protection skills as well, and it’s important that they do. However, it is up to adults to protect children, not for children to have to protect themselves. Feather Berkower has long worked to give adults accurate information about child sexual assault and incest so that they can prevent, recognize, and act responsibly if they witness it. This webinar interview explores Feather’s work in this area and what caregivers can do to raise children with healthy boundaries and safe bodies. She explains how people can come together as prevention teams and discusses her work in building homes and communities that are off-limits to child sexual assault. Parents are welcome as well as professionals!
  • Supporting Survivors Through Restorative Justice
    Countless survivors of sexual harm and violence never contact any professional services or law enforcement mechanisms. This doesn’t mean these survivors are not yearning for healing for themselves and accountability for their abusers; rather, it is often the fear of the collateral consequences on their families and communities that keeps them silent. sujatha baliga (sujatha spells her name uncapitalized) believes restorative justice can meet these hidden needs at the family and community level, without reliance on systems of punishment.
  • The Important Role of Social Workers in Preventing Sexual Abuse: A Panel Discussion for Social Work Month
    March is Social Work Month, a “time to celebrate the great profession of Social Work.” This panel discussion is an opportunity to learn about the contributions of social workers to the prevention of sexual abuse. From understanding people in the contexts of their day-to-day lives to working with the systems that our clients find themselves in, the contributions of social workers are often underestimated and misunderstood.
  • Addressing Animal Abuse and Its Relationship to Interpersonal Violence
    In 2015, the Humane Society of the United States estimated that nearly one million animals a year are abused or killed in episodes of domestic violence. They also found that intentional cruelty to animals is strongly correlated with other crimes, including violence against people. This webinar is to introduce professionals to simple yet effective screening methods for how animal abuse and neglect may play a role with the individuals they are working with, along with discussion about managing the emotional effects of this difficult content. 
  • School Shootings: What We Know About Attacks on Campuses
    The frequency of school shootings has increased in recent years, capturing the attention of parents, clinicians, and policymakers. As a result, communities and stakeholders are desperately looking for ways to identify and provide preventive assistance to high-risk youth before tragedy strikes. While our understanding of school shootings is still growing, research has identified some relevant patterns and risk markers that make professionals uniquely positioned to engage in prevention efforts. After presenting key research insights, Dr. Rodrigues will focus on youths at risk for school shootings and ways to navigate high-risk situations safely and ethically. Attendees will be provided critical details about those who perpetrate school shootings from the existing research, and potential safeguards communities can implement.
  • Applying a Neuroscience and Psychosocial Development Framework to Testifying in Juvenile Cases
    In this webinar, Tom Leversee will present a framework for expert witnesses that focuses on brain science, developmental age/crime trajectories, and psychosocial maturity and desistance.     Mental health professionals in the juvenile justice system frequently serve as expert witnesses in court cases in which juveniles face the possibility of being prosecuted as adults. Many youths have been directly entered into the adult court system due to the seriousness of their offense(s), w
  • An Existential Understanding of Male Sexuality and Men’s Problematic Sexual Behaviors
    This webinar presentation and interview will focus on the existential lives of men and how much of men’s concerns can be understood through the functioning of the penis. Additionally, the abusive and problematic sexual behavior of some men will be examined through an existential psychotherapy lens with clinical strategies for treatment the ultimate goal. The webinar will begin with a brief overview of existential psychotherapy and the evolution of couples and sex therapies and explore how sexual dysfunction can result from trauma.
  • Intimate Partner Violence: Identifying and Monitoring Coercive Controlling Behaviors
    Intimate partner violence is already a complicated form of interpersonal violence. Problems range from the cycle of abuse to the confusing loyalty exhibited by abused partners. These problems are further complicated by the fact that controlling behaviors of the perpetrating partner often go undetected by others and may be normalized by the abused partner.
  • Being a Pro: Promoting Prosocial Development in Youths
    In this webinar, Dr. Ralph will discuss the evidence behind the Being a Pro model, the outcomes studies supporting the effectiveness of the approach, and how to use the materials he has developed for treatment professionals to successfully use the approach — including the Being a Pro Teen Workbook and free supplemental materials: the Counselor Manual, Research and Theory Manual, Pre- and Post-Tests for assessing outcomes, and a training video — all available through Safer Society Press.
  • What Works in Treating Substance Use Disorders
    As we know, genuine change is a human experience and not just an experience that the client has. It becomes even more difficult when people are convinced there isn’t a problem.  This webinar will address what we have learned about substance use issues, including impaired drivers, and how this can help us understand and build motivation across a variety of settings, including criminal justice. It will also include suggestions for how practitioners can change their behaviors to better help their clients and themselves.
  • Sexual Wellbeing: Why It Matters for Individuals Who Cause Harm
    Promoting consensual sexual relationships can be a challenge, particularly in the context of working with clients who have a history of problem sexual behaviors. Bringing discussions of healthy sexuality and positive, non-coercive, and pleasurable sexual expression to our clients necessitates candor and a comprehensive sexuality education approach. Using a public health model which incorporates sexual health, sexual pleasure, sexual wellbeing, and sexual justice (Mitchell et al., 2021) and the Circles of Sexuality model (Dailey, 1981), we can offer our clients an opportunity to develop the tools they need for consensual sexual and intimate relationships. This session will
  • Achieve Better Clinical Results with Deliberate Practice
    How do we begin clinical sessions in a focused manner? How do we not get confused by all the details? How do we stay flexible and directional at the same time? And ultimately, how can we become deeper learners, turning information from our own practice into wisdom? Few researchers or practitioners have focused on the nuances of clinical work and interviewing like Daryl Chow. During this webinar interview, we explore Daryl’s work, which focuses on how professionals can use plans for deliberate practice to achieve better results from their work.
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries in Correctional Settings
    Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) due to adverse childhood experiences and other incidents are common in justice-involved settings. The extant literature is filled with calls for attention to this issue. In this webinar, we will discuss the prevalence of TBI. We will review the existing research related to TBI in correctional settings and highlight systemic issues and possible barriers to effective identification, treatment and monitoring. Dawn Pflugradt and Danielle Ciccone-Coutre will propose solutions for improving our responses to incarcerated people with TBI once they’ve identified them.
  • Using Motivational Interviewing Skills with Parents and Families
    Working with the families of children and teens with problematic behaviors presents unique challenges. In this webinar, Hilary Bolter and Jennifer Ollis Blomqvist will discuss specific strategies drawn from Motivational Interviewing that can help professionals build better relationships, address challenges in treatment, and produce better outcomes for all. 
  • What We Can Do About Abuse in the Psychedelic Therapy Community 
    The recent explosion of interest in the use of psychedelic drugs to treat PTSD, anxiety, depression, and other conditions has moved faster than the field’s ability to consider and monitor the potential risks involved. Despite the good intentions of many, some professionals have used their authority and the influence of these drugs to abuse, control, manipulate, and steal from clients. While many advocates claim to have implemented safeguards, these have not often been nearly sufficient enough to prevent ongoing harm. Lily Kay Ross and Dave Nickles have done more than anyone to bring these harms into public awareness. This webinar will focus on what they’ve learned and what we can do to prevent further abuse. 
  • Improving Your Group Therapy Skills 
    It is critical that clinicians are skilled in group facilitation principles and techniques, given that treatment of individuals who sexually abuse is typically group-based. In this webinar, Jerry Jennings and Steven Sawyer will discuss the essential qualities of effective treatment groups and group facilitators. They will discuss research, methods, and techniques relevant to group therapy and client motivation. They will then answer your questions about how to improve your clinical practice by facilitating cohesive and dynamic groups.
  • Addressing Microaggressions in Clinical Practice and the Workplace
    Promoting diversity and inclusion has become a top priority in many areas of the criminal justice system. However, microaggressions, which are subtle, covert forms of discrimination, may influence interactions with clients and co-workers, and contribute to detrimental impacts within these environments. Research shows that when microaggressions are directly addressed, the performance, cohesion, and outcomes of workplace teams are enhanced. Therefore, during this interactive webinar interview, participants will learn practical strategies to identify microaggressions and build techniques to improve the culture of clinical settings and the workplace. 
  • What We Know and What We Need to Know About Incels
    ncels (involuntarily celibate men) have been the source of considerable media attention due to a small number of high-profile attacks. Despite the first taking place in 2014, it is only recently that researchers have become interested in this group. Much of this scholarly work has involved analyses of incel forums with little attention paid to incels themselves. Dr. Brandon Sparks is one of the few researchers who has studied incels at an individual level. During this webinar conversation, he will describe who incels are and provide background information about the incel subculture and its impact on society
  • How to Work with Survivors of Sexual Abuse: A Conversation with Donna Jenson
    Donna began her healing journey from the trauma of childhood incest when she was in her early thirties. Along that journey, she has embraced many healing therapies and artistic expressions as well as built a family of choice to make her life worth living. While she has written a book as well as a play and produced a documentary about her experiences, she now helps numerous other activities to assist survivors. In this webinar, she will briefly discuss her healing. She will next offer ideas for working with survivors based on her current activities and programs.
  • The Good Lives Model: Your Questions Answered
    In this webinar Mr. Prescott will briefly describe the model and its implementation with both adults and adolescents. Then he will answer questions submitted during the live event. The webinar will be moderated by Katherine (Katie) Gotch, founder and director of Integrated Clinical and Correctional Services of Portland, OR.
  • From “Perv” to “Suicidal”: A Conversation with Jesse Bering
    Hosted by: David PrescottGuest Speaker: Jesse Bering Recorded On: September 8, 2022 Jesse Bering’s book, Perv: The Sexual Deviant in All of Us, is among the most accessible and … Read more
  • Sexual Behaviors in the Current Era: A Conversation with Debby Herbenick 
    Dr. Herbenick has led 13 research studies aimed at understanding contemporary sex in the United States. Her work has often included examinations of behaviors (such as “rough sex”) that are outside the more limited scope of other studies. Among her most recent publications are articles on changes in sexual behaviors reported by adults and adolescents.
  • The Influence of Attachment on Adolescents Who Have Sexually Abused: A Conversation with Michael Miner
    Dr. Michael Miner, Emeritus Professor of Family Medicine and Community Health at the University of Minnesota, will discuss his research addressing adolescent males who have engaged in sexual violence. The projects — undertaken during Dr. Miner’s time at the Institute of Sexual and Gender Health — are grounded in attachment theory, a psychological conceptualization of how one’s childhood experiences with primary caregivers influence interpersonal relationships and behavior throughout one’s life.
  • Tackle Your Challenge – Uncovering Solutions for Making Significant Life Changes
    Ella will lead the audience through a series of steps that they can then use to help clients find solutions to challenges and make changes in their own lives. You can watch the process unfold even as you participate silently. The webinar provides time after the exercise for your questions and observations.
  • WhatsOK? A New Resource for Preventing Sexual Harm by Young People
    Jenny Coleman, Stop It Now!’s director will share how the WhatsOK? Project was developed, as well as the insights and findings gained from the pilot and the continuing engagement with this unique new resource.
  • Using Multiple Actuarial Instruments to Assess Sexual Recidivism Risk
    In this brief presentation, David Thornton will talk about the need to use multiple static actuarial instruments in carrying out psychosexual assessments to aid sentencing, prioritize treatment approaches, or in the context of potential SVP commitment.
  • How Therapeutic Humor Can Work for You
    Improve your outlook and reduce harmful stress through humor. That’s the message of this seriously funny conversation about an applied therapeutic method you can practice every day to improve your wellbeing and the wellness of your clients and others around you. Research has shown that humor and laughter directly after a stressful situation reduces stress hormones and creates lasting, positive feelings. Muscles relax, breathing changes, and the brain releases endorphins, natural painkillers and happiness boosters. Having a sense of humor and being quick to laugh can have psychological and physiological benefits.
  • What We Need To Know About Sexual Fantasies and Sexual Offending
    Sexual wishes, interests, and fantasies are different in important ways. For example, men’s fantasies are often more closely tied to their wishes than women. Research suggests that the diversity of fantasies, more than their content, contributes to a healthy sex life. Interestingly, men who have sexually abused others often have a narrower range of fantasies, but these fantasies are not always different from men who are not known to have abused.
  • Strategies for Overcoming Gender Differences When Working with Male Clients
    In this webinar, Dr. Must and Dr. Pflugradt will discuss clinical topics pertinent to women working in the criminal justice system. The speakers will also address the different contexts of this work, such as community-based programs and institutional settings. This discussion is also recommended for male mental health professionals who are interested in learning more about these dynamics in order to be better allies, colleagues, co-therapists, or supervisors. 
  • Why So Many Young People Commit Crimes in Groups
    Jaimee Mallion has studied group-based offending, including street gang membership and is finding answers to these questions. In this webinar, she will explore what can help young people desist from committing criminal acts in groups.
  • Stopping Sexual Abuse Before It Happens: A Conversation with Christine Friestad and Ingeborg Jenssen Sandbukt
    In this webinar conversation, Ms. Friestad and Ms. Sandbukt will describe their efforts in making these projects happen. Like many professionals around the world, they have faced challenges in the areas of implementing the highest-quality treatment, assisting with community reintegration, coping with stigma, and making services available to those who have not felt that they could trust those offering help.
  • Empathy, Motivation, and Love in Action: A Conversation with Stephen Andrew
    This webinar conversation is for you if you want to advance your capacity to connect with clients of all backgrounds. Stephen Andrew has, among other activities, spent decades working with men who perpetrate violence. Far from growing cynical or jaded, he has delved ever further into helping others to become their best selves. His practice focuses on deep empathy, compassion, and love, as well as the role of trust in the lives of people who have mistreated others.
  • The Role Of Protective Factors In Best Practices For Preventing Sexual Re-Offense: A Conversation With Sharon Kelley, David Thornton, and Gwenda Willis
    In this webinar, Gwen, David, and Sharon will talk about the journey leading to the development of the Structured Assessment of Protective Factors against Sexual Offending (SAPROF-SO), Version 1 and why they believe best practices should include consideration of both risk factors and strengths-based, protective factors.
  • Straight Talk About Diagnosis, Its Limitations, and Alternatives: A Conversation with Lucy Johnstone
    Dr. Lucy Johnstone is a consultant clinical psychologist, author of ‘Users and abusers of psychiatry’ (Classic edition Routledge 2021); co-editor of ‘Formulation in psychology and psychotherapy: making sense of people’s problems’ (Routledge, 2nd edition 2013) and author of ‘A straight-talking guide to psychiatric diagnosis’ (PCCS Books, 2nd edition due 2022), along with a number of other chapters and articles taking a critical perspective on mental health theory and practice. She is the former Programme Director of the Bristol Clinical Psychology Doctorate and has worked in Adult Mental Health settings for many years, most recently in a service in South Wales. She is now an independent trainer.
  • How Do Well-Intentioned Implementations of Treatment Programs Succeed or Fail?
    This webinar conversation will focus on Norbert Ralph’s experiences implementing Aggression Replacement Training and his Being a Pro curriculum in multiple settings. It will also offer observations from a recent paper on implementing the Good Lives Model and other efforts with Motivational Interviewing. 
  • “What Did I Miss?” When a Client Re-Offends
    Drawing on case examples, this webinar conversation examines re-offending from four perspectives: The clinician (Shoshanna Must), the client’s legal representatives (Laurie Rose Kepros), the administrators and programs involved (David Prescott) and considerations for when therapists or clients are Persons of Color –specifically those who come from traditionally marginalized and disproportionately incarcerated communities (Tyffani Dent). It addresses the effects of re-offense on the professionals who worked with offenders and explores ways that professionals can cope with these setbacks.
  • Ancient Ways and Modern Times: A Conversation with Geral Blanchard
    Geral Blanchard has spent decades in practice with individuals who have abused. He has traveled to the farthest corners of the world studying how people change, recover from trauma, and build better lives. Geral has studied with healers and shamans across Africa and the Americas, most recently with the Kogi tribe in Colombia (one of only a very few guests they have ever invited). While many are familiar with his classic books, such as The Difficult Connection and Transcending Trauma, Geral’s more recent work has built on what he has learned from indigenous cultures and the recent empirical study of the use of psychoactive drugs in the treatment of trauma and addictions.
  • Sex, Tech, and Teens: A Conversation with Alex Rodrigues
    Internet technological advancement, while an invaluable societal resource, is not without hazards. Teens now face challenges that were unimaginable 10 years ago: unsolicited sexual messages, revenge porn, “incels” (individuals who consider themselves to be ‘involuntarily celibate’), sexploitation, online domestic violence, and doxing (the distribution of personal information against that person’s will). Online technology is unavoidable, but the risks associated with it can be minimized. That’s the message Dr. Rodrigues will bring to this informal webinar conversation.
  • The Criminal Justice System’s Need for Better Understanding of Clients with Autism Spectrum Disorders
    In this webinar with Dr. Spence, a world-renown expert in the treatment and assessment of justice-involved people with autism, we will examine the ways criminal justice systems fall short in ensuring the safety and effective rehabilitation of this vulnerable and challenging population. It’s a much-needed conversation that will shine light on how we can improve outcomes. 
  • How Can We Reform the Criminal Justice System?
    In 1967, President Johnson’s Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice outlined a massive set of recommendations (involving law enforcement, courts, corrections, etc.). Unfortunately, many of these recommendations were never implemented, and few actual reforms have occurred. The largest issue has been the sheer volume of traffic through the legal system (often resulting in incarceration) and the culture of control and punishment, which are largely untouched by the reform efforts. The volume can be addressed by more citations which require fines and fees – or restorative justice – for misdemeanor offenses (broken-window types of offenses). Moving from public safety approaches to public health models will also alter the reach of the justice system; this is evident in the legal system’s handling of drug- and alcohol-related issues. This webinar will provide a brief exploration of these and related issues.
  • Psychotherapy and Sexuality – Where Do Addiction, Pornography, and Moral Incongruity Begin and End? A Conversation with David Ley
    Everyone has their opinions, and this can be especially true when it comes to controversial topics such as pornography and addiction. Moving beyond our moral beliefs to what research shows can be challenging, particularly when the science in these areas is imperfect. As is often the case, scientific inquiry can often produce surprising results that challenge us to re-think our practice.
  • The Evolution of Treating Adolescents Who Have Sexually Abused: A Conversation with Timothy Kahn, M.S.W.
    The field of treating youth who have sexually abused others has changed dramatically across the past four decades. Where programs once imported ideas developed in adult institutions, the field is now more highly specialized, evidence-informed, engaging, and hopeful. In this webinar, Timothy Kahn (the author of workbooks such as Pathways, Footprints, Healthy Families, and Roadmaps to Recovery) will discuss the many changes that have taken place in assessment, treatment, and supervision practices over time.
  • Campus Dilemma: Unique Challenges of Addressing Problematic Sexual Behavior in Students
    Over the past decade, increased advocacy and outrage have focused the public’s attention on sexual misconduct on college and university campuses. It is heartening to hear the public discourse and the insistence that something must be done to hold individuals and institutions responsible and provide appropriate resources for people who have experienced sexual harm. However, most colleges do not have specific resources or offices to offer support or work with students who have been accused or found responsible for sexual misconduct or choose to reach out for help.
  • A Look Inside Adolescent Drug Courts: Motivation and Beyond
    This webinar will explore the evolution of juvenile drug treatment courts. Where the legal system has too failed many who enter it, practices that focus on client engagement and behavior change (such as Motivational Interviewing) have improved outcomes. Jennifer Wyatt and Margaret Soukup are the authors of Motivational Interviewing Skills in Action for Juvenile Drug Treatment Court Teams and will share highlights from that publication that are specific to youth and applicable to other settings. Attendees will receive a download of this document.
  • The Compassion Prison Project: A Conversation with Fritzi Horstman
    The Compassion Prison Project began as the brainchild of award-winning producer Fritzi Horstman, whose own childhood trauma helped shape its conception. Over the course of several months in 2019-2020, Fritzi and a dedicated team of facilitators and volunteers partnered with incarcerated men at the Kern Valley State Prison (KVSP), a maximum-security prison in Central California. Together, they created powerful tools to address and heal from childhood trauma. The project is often known for its documentaries, “Step Inside the Circle” and “Honor Yard.” This webinar conversation explores the evolution of this project and its core values of compassion, humanity, accountability, nonviolence, generosity, and equity.
  • Manhood, Masculinity, and Treatment for Sexual Offending
    In treatment geared towards men who have committed sexual offenses, we often talk about cognitive distortions and how they led to their crimes. However, it may be helpful to consider whether their “distorted” thinking is not an aberration, but rather an integral part of how manhood and masculinity are defined in our societies. We will explore the implicit and explicit instructions men receive from birth, how the ideals set forth are attainable by only a few, and how the rest of us manage this “failure.” We will discuss the impact of masculinity in treatment, how we can work to redefine it for better mental health, and how we can prevent further sexual abuse along the way.
  • Webinar – Raising Resilient Kids: A Conversation with Aliza Pressman
    This webinar focuses on trauma and resilience—topics of importance to all professionals. Whether we work with children, teens, or adults, fostering resilience in the wake of trauma is vital to understanding clients and providing effective interventions.
  • “Whatever Happened to the Smoke Break?” Strategies for Secondary Trauma
    Kristin Dempsey and Ali Hall will show that the same qualities that make us effective with others in our work—such as empathy, compassion, and caring—may over time leave us more vulnerable to secondary trauma. Fortunately, these same qualities can provide us with significant protective factors as well. While secondary trauma is always present for helping professionals, pandemic circumstances have amplified and accelerated these experiences and impacts. Join us for this interactive event!
  • The Gifts of Compassion: Understanding and Overcoming Suffering
    Dr Stan Steindl explains how compassion evolved as a vital part of our nature and thought, and the way we look after one another, and even ourselves. He then shows how to use our compassion as a key to a healthier mental life through a clear series of steps and practices.
  • Webinar – The Right Relationship in Corrections Can Reduce Risk: Here’s How
    The jury is back in on what kinds of approaches can help reduce crime, make our communities safer, and build better lives along the way. Newly published findings report that 45% of all state prison admissions in the United States are due to violations of probation or parole—by way of new offenses or technical violations. Community corrections has become a paradox, not only failing in its mission to divert and remediate, but making matters worse.
  • Webinar – The Feminist War on Crime
    Join host David Prescott and guest speaker Aya Gruber for the next Safer Talk webinar. The Feminist War on Crime explains how feminists, in their quest to secure women’s protection from domestic violence and rape, became soldiers in the war on crime and contributors to mass incarceration by emphasizing white female victimhood, expanding the power of police and prosecutors, touting the problem-solving power of incarceration, and diverting resources toward law enforcement and away from marginalized communities. Today, many feminists grapple with the problem of hyper-incarceration in the United States, and yet commentators on gender crime continue to assert that criminal law is not tough enough. This punitive impulse is dangerous and counterproductive. In order to reverse this troubling course, Gruber contends that we must abandon the conventional feminist wisdom, fight violence against women without reinforcing the American prison state, and use criminalization as a technique of last—not first—resort.
  • Webinar – What You Should Know About Ending Violence in the Deaf Community
    Deaf people are significantly more likely to experience abuse and violence than are people in the hearing community. This conversation will provide attendees with crucial information about the challenges that deaf people face. As just one example, in police investigations, if the individual who perpetrated violence is hearing, they are typically afforded quicker access to police officers than the deaf person who was victimized. This can result in less likelihood of accountability.
  • Webinar: What Are the Skills That Help People Change? A Conversation with Theresa Moyers
    This webinar conversation is of interest to any professional who wants to be more effective with more people. It is not limited to clinicians; the same characteristics apply across disciplines. This is a rare opportunity for a discussion with one of the world’s leading experts.
  • Why We Must Embrace Therapeutic Jurisprudence in the Criminal Justice System
    This webinar will explore therapeutic jurisprudence, an approach to law that aims to positively impact the psychological well-being of the accused person. The case for therapeutic jurisprudence is particularly strong when we consider questions about how society treats individuals with severe mental illness diagnoses and intellectual disabilities.
  • Acceptance, Understanding, Compassion, and Personal Responsibility – A Path to Healing: A Conversation with Stephan Jones
    Stephan Jones is the son of Rev. Jim Jones, whose actions with the Peoples Temple ended in the deaths of over 900 people in Jonestown, Guyana, on November 18, 1978. Away playing at a Temple-promoted basketball game at the time, Stephan and his teammates lost most of their families, loved ones, and community that night. This conversation will explore Stephan’s journey through the traumatic events into a deep acceptance and understanding of them. His is a story of interest to all who have found themselves at a crossroads in the wake of trauma.
  • On Being Female: How We Can Use Our Gender to Help Our Clients and Take Care of Ourselves at the Same Time
    Professionals often don’t have the chance to discuss the experiences of women working with men who have abused. This hour-long webinar conversation will address these and related topics.
  • Attachment, Development, and How We Become the Persons We Are: A Conversation with Alan Sroufe
    Alan Sroufe, one of the world’s leading developmental psychologists, will be joining host David Prescott for a discussion of Dr. Sroufe’s life work, which is also the subject of his new book, A Compelling Idea: How We Become the Persons We Are. Dr. Sroufe’s groundbreaking theoretical and empirical contributions to the fields of developmental psychology and developmental psychopathology have been reported to the academic world in over 150 papers and journal articles and seven books.
  • Through the Glass: One Woman’s Pursuit of Justice, Healing, and Forgiveness
    Shannon Moroney was a high school teacher and counselor in 2005 when violence tore her life apart. Her husband was in custody after confessing to the sexual assault and kidnapping of two women. Shannon tells the story of her husband’s arrest, trial, and sentencing, and the insights she gained about justice and healing and the relationship between the two as she struggled to triumph over tragedy. Openly sharing her experiences, reading selected pieces from her book and using photos and artwork to illustrate her journey, Shannon leads you through an unforgettable ordeal and offers practical personal and professional strategies for building resilience. Her story teaches us that there is hope even in the most desperate moments of the human condition.
  • Good Lives, Self-Regulation, and Explanatory Depth: A Conversation with Tony Ward
    In this webinar conversation, the developer of the Good Lives and Self-Regulation Models discusses their origins, development, implementation, and underlying theories. He will also address several areas of his more recent research, including the importance of deepening our understanding of risk and protective factors. This is a rare opportunity to hear from someone who has influenced our field as much as anyone in history.
  • The Lucifer Effect – How Good People Become Bad: Implications in the Mental Health/Forensic Setting
    The Lucifer Effect is the process by which regular, otherwise good people do bad things within the context of a dominating social situation facilitating this transformation.  Social psychology giants such as Phillip Zimbardo and Roy Baumeister have provided insight into this unsettling process and enlightening guidance on restoring goodness.  This presentation will explore the Lucifer Effect within the mental health setting, arguing for and highlighting the marked importance of ethical leadership at every step in the organizational structure.
  • Native American Youth and Cultural Adversity: A Conversation with Tatewin Means and Christopher Lobanov-Rostovsky
    Native American youth are disproportionately experiencing mental health challenges in tribal communities where there is often a lack of prevention and treatment resources. Teen suicide, substance abuse, interpersonal violence, and other trauma are common within this underserved population. This conversation will look at the historical antecedents and current climate, and discuss the challenges for service provision to Native American youth, including federal, state, and local efforts and limitations to serving this population.
  • The Ethics of Labeling: A conversation with Gwenda Willis, PhD, PGDipClinPsyc
    In a 2017 paper, Gwenda Willis, with the assistance of others along the way, asked the question that resulted in massive changes in practice and policy in several countries around the world. Why do we call people by what we don’t want them to be? As she explains it in in the journal Psychology, Crime, and Law, labelling a person by their past behavior or a criminal conviction is commonplace throughout forensic and correctional psychology. These labels (including “offender” and “sex offender”) infiltrate academic writing and conference presentations, names of professional organizations and treatment programs and, at times, traverse therapeutic work.
  • Surviving Sexual Violence in the Current Era
    This conversation focuses on how people can survive and thrive in the current environment. It explores what we can learn from restorative justice to help people recover their lives in the wake of sexual abuse. A basic tenet of Restorative Justice is that those affected by abuse should be able to participate in its resolution. Through the approaches Dr. Ackerman embodies, people who have been abused can experience connection and hope.
  • Ending Racialized Violence: A Webinar Conversation with Dr. Apryl Alexander
    Perhaps the most surprising aspect of violence is how preventable it actually is. In the wake of recent events, this webinar conversation will focus on what we know about the prevention of violence and abuse, and how we can use education to end sexual, racialized, and other forms of social violence. It will outline how participants can explore their own biases and challenge their attitudes, beliefs, and actions in order to help reduce racism.
  • Webinar: Trauma-Sensitive Yoga and Embodied Therapy
    Trauma-Sensitive Yoga (TSY) has garnered worldwide attention in the past decade. Much of this attention has stemmed a handful of high-quality studies by a community of scientist-practitioners showing that TSY can be an effective adjunctive treatment for trauma-related conditions. Fundamental aspects of TSY include interoception (observing one’s internal physical sensations) and taking effective action based on what one notices within a relational context.
  • Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Using Workbooks In Work with Young People in Treatment Webinar
    This brief workshop will consider and discuss the use of workbooks in treatment with young people, in any form of treatment, residential or outpatient, and some of the dos and don’ts. We’ll discuss the role of workbooks as an addendum to and part of treatment, rather than the entirety of the treatment, and the value of workbooks in helping to shape, implement, and measure treatment, as well as framing the basic concepts of treatment. Finally, we’ll provide guidelines for the effective use of workbooks in treatment – and when not to use them.
  • Solution-Focused Strategies: Police Work, Suicide Prevention, and Beyond – Webinar
    This webinar conversation will explore Solution-Focused Therapy (SFT) as applied in the presenter’s work in suicide prevention, as well as in individual and family therapy more generally. It will describe the successes of a project she has piloted with the New Zealand Police. As always, this webinar conversation will be interactive, discussing how the presenter’s experiences could be applied elsewhere.
  • Trauma-Informed Resilience Skills in the COVID Crisis – Webinar
    This presentation will describe how professional helpers can help others build resilience in these uncertain times. This session will offer practical skills for helping others cope, using principles of trauma-informed care (TIC).  Participants will learn to understand and respond to COVID-related anxieties through the lens of trauma. 
  • An Evolution of Practice: From the Dodo Bird to Deliberate Practice – A Conversation with Scott Miller – Webinar
    Scott Miller has pursued a decades-long journey in search of what makes psychotherapy work and how professionals can become more effective. While this might seem simple enough, the actual journey has been far from straightforward. Beginning with his own training and assumptions, Scott will describe his trajectory from the surprising research findings about what makes therapy work to the steps that professionals can take to become more effective.
  • Preventing Child Sexual Abuse in the COVID Era – Webinar
    Founded in 1992 by Fran Henry, a survivor who learned first-hand the complexities of sexual abuse, Stop It Now! prevents the sexual abuse of children. It does this by mobilizing adults, families, and communities to take actions that protect children before they are harmed. Stop It Now! provides support, information, and resources to keep children safe and create healthier communities, while keeping the focus on adult responsibility and accountability. As a part of this mission, Stop It Now! offers help for personal situations through a confidential national prevention Helpline.
  • Reintegrating People Who Have Sexually Abused Into the Community – Webinar
    The presence of people who pose a risk to the community has, understandably, been a concern to communities across time, place, and culture. What can communities (and the concerned professionals within them) do to best reduce the likelihood of harm? In which directions does the evidence point?
  • Considering Culture in the Time of COVID-19
    The past few years have seen a re-emergence of international dialog and debate about race, culture, and ethnicity. Since COVID-19, the situation has become more dire, with black and Hispanic people dying at disproportionately higher rates. What challenges are our clients of color facing? How have professionals of color been affected by the current crisis? And what can we all do to be helpful to one another in these times? These will be the questions discussed during this webinar conversation with Tyffani Dent.
  • Telehealth in the COVID-19 Era: Reports from the Front Lines – Webinar
    The rules around telehealth and teletherapy were already confusing before the arrival of the Coronavirus and have now changed dramatically. In this combination webinar and conversation, Katherine Gotch in Oregon will share what she has learned as a professional staying abreast of public policy and as an evaluator of people convicted of sex crimes. She will be joined by Shan Jumper, ATSA President and Clinical Director of the Illinois Treatment and Detention Center in Rushville, Illinois, who, among his other