Professional certificate in therapeutic practice with sex offenders - London
The professional certificate in therapeutic practice with sex offenders has been developed to provide counsellors, psychotherapists, and other practitioners such as psychologists, probation officers, social workers, and project workers with the necessary knowledge, skills, and tools to work therapeutically with this client group. The course also prepares practitioners to work with partners of such individuals and with couples, where one party is at risk of sexual offending.
The course is divided into five, two-day modules, offered at weekends.
Saturday - arrive at 9.30am for a start at 10am; finish at 5pm.
Sunday - arrive at 9am for a 9.30am start; finish at 4pm.
Each weekend module builds upon the others in order to provide an increasingly comprehensive level of training. The prerequisite for joining the professional certificate is the completion of StopSO’s three introductory training days;
1. Crossing the line, including legal and ethical issues
2. Assessing risk
3. Treatment interventions
Participants who can evidence significant experience of working with sex offenders may be exempt from completing the above introductory days.
Day one - Saturday 5th October 2019
Emotional issues for practitioners, including making the best use of supervision/the counselling process (Andrew Smith).
- course introductions
- contracting with regard to confidentiality and conduct
- anxieties and expectations
- shame and stigma related to sexual offending
- folk devils, master status
- the statistical reality of sexual offending
- moral pollution
- transference and countertransference issues
- vicarious traumatisation
- confirmation bias
- principles of reflective practice
- examples of poor, unreflective practice
- examples of good, reflective practice
- what is good supervision?
- what is needed from a supervisor, when working with this particular client group?
- how to make the most of supervision
- example counselling process with clients who have sexually offended
- initial stage - contracting, negotiating evolving goals, developing rapport
- lifeline work
- offence-focused interventions
- 'good lives'
- psycho-educational work
- fantasy management
- safety planning
Day two - Sunday 6th October 2019
Attachment, trauma and mental health issues (Andrew Smith).
- four different attachment styles, and how they can relate to sexual offending
- research regarding attachment and sexual offending
- what is trauma? Different types of trauma
- research regarding trauma and sexual offending
- the trauma of being a victim of sexual abuse, and the relationship to sexual offending
- the relationship between dysfunctional attachment, trauma, patriarchy and common schemas/implicit theories, observed in the discourses of sex offenders
- exploration of main issues arising from above
- therapeutic approaches to working with sex offenders with trauma and attachment issues
- different views of mental health problems
- types of mental health problems
- the relationship between mental health problems and sexual offending
- personality disorders and sexual offending
Day one - Saturday 2nd November 2019
Internet offending and sexual addiction (Mike Sheath).
- assumptions about internet offenders - viewers or 'doers', 'crossover' and 'direction of travel'
- 'traditional' sex offender theory and counselling practice
- similarities and differences between internet and contact sexual offenders
- motives for viewing child sexual abuse material - cognitive, sexual, emotional, practical
- schema theory and its applicability to 'contact' and 'non-contact' offenders
- drivers of pornography addiction, dis-inhibition, and collecting
- the CSAM cycle. Combining traditional sex offender theory with addiction theory
- raising empathy, offering insight and control
- issues for partners (large group discussion)
Day two - Sunday 3rd November 2019
The legal and child protection systems, related to sexual offending (Mike Sheath).
- the process by which individuals who are suspected of sex offending are arrested, charged, tried and sentenced
- what happens when a person is given a custodial sentence
- what happens when a person is given a community sentence
- the restrictions placed on individuals who sexually offend - licence, orders, sex
- offender register, employment restrictions
- finding of fact hearings
- different types of investigations and care orders
- how offenders are assessed by prison, probation and social work staff
Day one - Saturday 30th November 2019
Power, control, and paraphilias/sexual assault and rape (Andrew Smith).
- psychological and sociological perspectives on power
- sexual offenders with intellectual disabilities
- psychopathology, personality disordered sexual offenders
- different paraphilias
- when is sado-masochism a clinical problem?
- treating voyeurs
- treating exhibitionism
- treating idiosyncratic harmful fetishes
- what constitutes rape and different forms of rape
- different forms of rape, illustrating different motivations and different triggers
- sexual exploitation
- different therapeutic approaches to treatment for individuals who perpetrate sexual assault and rape of adults
Day two - Sunday 1st December 2019
Working with neuroatypical and adolescent offenders (Andrew Smith).
- definitions - learning disabilities, learning difficulties, Autistic spectrum, Asperger
- syndrome neuroatypical and neuroatypical people
- the relationship between neuroatypical people and sexual offending
- best practice when working with neuroatypical people who pose a sexual risk
- how did sex seem when you were an adolescent?
- how adolescent sexual offending is similar and different to adult sexual offending
- adolescent sex offenders and denial
- adolescent sex offenders and victim empathy
- adolescent sex offenders with attachment trauma problems
- adolescent sex offenders with male entitlement schema
- working with adolescent sex offenders who are in care settings
Day one - Saturday 11th January 2020
Paedophiles - offending and non-offending (Julie Newberry).
- welcome; introductions; ground rules; aims of the day (large group session)
- what it means to find oneself sexually attracted to children
- thinking about paedophilia – definitions, prevalence, aetiology, treatment
- the experience of 'Kevin', the online paedophile community and findings from the Minor-Attracted Adult (MAA) daily lives research project
- research findings on attraction and fantasies; self-identity; experiences of support; debate and dissent within the paedophile community
- thinking about the interactions between paedophilia, online images of abuse, and sadism
- 'sexual libertarian' and 'child protection' discourses in the literature
- supporting the non-offending paedophile
- film extracts from 'The Woodsman' and 'The Paedophile Next Door'
- a new paradigm on adult sexual attraction to children; reflecting on sexuality, abuse, and hope. The implications for practice
Day two - Sunday 12th January 2020
Working with female offenders (Julie Newberry).
- discussion of issues arising from previous sessions
- summary of main learning covered so far
- emotional reaction to women who sexually abuse
- theories of why more women are being convicted of sexual offences, and why the impact of female offending is often minimised
- backgrounds of females who offend
- females who offend to please men
- females who offend in ritual abuse settings
- females who offend in gang cultures
- females who offend against underage, non-related males
- females who offend against their own and other peoples' children
Day one - Saturday 8th February 2020
Working with family members (Andrew Smith).
- outline of family system theory
- discussion of pros and cons of system theories
- working with other agencies, when involved with families
- the lessons which can be learnt from serious case reviews, in terms of inter-agency working and child sexual abuse
- who to potentially involve when working with family members and other agencies
- discussion about small group case study analysis (large group discussion)
Day two - Sunday 9th February 2020
Couple work/existential and trans-personal issues (Andrew Smith).
- discussion of issues arising from the previous day
- summary of main learning covered so far
- main challenges of couple work
- what are we trying to achieve in couple work?
- non-offending partners
- the tensions between co-dependency and improving the non-offending partner’s ability to protect
- the pros and cons of couple work
- different couple work scenarios
- theories of different stages of personal and moral development
- values, faith, and meaning with regards to sexual offending
On three of the Saturdays (October 5th, November 30th, and February 8th), between 4pm and 5pm, there will be a one-hour learning group to reflect on integrating theory with practice. Examination will be via students completing an ongoing reflective learning log, and a viva. Completion of all the modules, the learning log, and the viva is necessary to receive the professional certificate.
About StopSO UK
The Professional Certificate in Therapeutic Practice with Sex Offenders has been developed to provide counsellors, psychotherapists and other practitioners such as psychologists, probation officers, social workers and project workers, skills and tools to work with this client group.
Contact Jo@stopso.org.uk for further details