CAMH Sexual Behaviours Clinic Training

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The Sexual Behaviours Clinic (SBC) hosted an in-person training at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in November 2017 at CAMH in Toronto, ON - and it's now available for you online. This is the SBC's 7th year of providing a series of excellent speakers in the area of sexually inappropriate behaviour, paraphilias, and sexual abuse prevention.

When you purchase a ticket for the online training, you will receive a link to the full set of videos, along with PDF's of the handouts from the presenters within 48 business hours of your purchase. The link will be available until December 2018.

The presentations will be of interest to service providers in forensics, addictions, mental health, and the criminal justice system. Additionally, individuals in the child protection arena will find these trainings particularly beneficial.

Part 1 (three hour presentation) - James Cantor, Ph.D.

Pedophilia as a phenomenon of the brain: Update of evidence and the public response

SUMMARY

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the first MRI study of pedophilia. Since that time, two independent scientific teams have been racing to identify evidence that pedophilia is—not the result of being a victim of childhood sexual abuse as most people believe—but is instead an innate characteristic resulting from prenatal brain development. Now with the benefit of ten years of accumulated evidence, we can answer some of our initial questions: Is pedophilia in the brain? Do the brains of pedophiles work the same way as the brains of non-pedophiles? Can an MRI diagnose pedophilia like phallometry can? This dramatic and quickly growing body of research has impacted not only the scientific view of pedophilia, but also the public’s views. Suddenly, there is an empathetic narrative, in contrast with the single-mindedly and increasingly hysterical demonizing of people who are faced with a condition they did not chose and cannot change. The CBC’s award-nominated documentary film, “I, Pedophile,” following the implications of the science and the VICE documentary “Age of Consent,” following vigilante groups who target pedophiles will be discussed.

BIOGRAPHY

Dr. James Cantor is a clinical psychologist and sexual behaviour scientist. For the past 20 years, he has been studying the nature and causes of sexual interests from relatively familiar ones—such as heterosexuality and homosexuality, transsexuality, and asexuality—to rare and exotic phenomena, including vorarephilia (sexual fantasies of being swallowed) and furries (people who have sex while dressed or cross-dressed as animals). The most widely discussed of his findings has been his research using neuroimaging and other techniques to isolate the causes of pedophilia and hebephilia (the sexual preferences for prepubescent and pubescent children). His team’s results have been published in the highest impact journals of psychology, including Psychological Bulletin, the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, and the Journal of Abnormal Psychology. Dr. Cantor regularly appears in the media internationally to discuss how society can better apply science to prevent sexual abuse and provide more ethical and more effective treatment for people with atypical sexual interests. Interviews with him have appeared on BBC, CNN, and CBC; in The New York Times, De Morgen, Le Quotidien, de Volkskrant; and on Dan Savage’s Savage Love. Dr. Cantor is a Senior Scientist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto, Associate Professor of Psychiatry on the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine, and his is the past Editor of the Sexual Abuse, the top research journal in this field and the official journal for the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers. For updates and downloads, visit his website www.jamescantor.org, and follow @JamesCantorPhD on twitter!


Part 2 (three hour presentation) - Jill D. Stinson, Ph.D.

Got DBT? Understanding and applying Dialectical Behavior Therapy in sex offender treatment

SUMMARY

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT; Linehan, 1993) is a skills-based behavioral therapy that has received strong support from numerous RCT’s as the go-to treatment for persons with chronic suicidality and self-harm, personality disorder, and reactive aggression and other mood-dependent behavior. DBT is a versatile treatment with individual and group components that can be used for adolescents and adults who have engaged in illegal or otherwise problematic sexual behavior. Sex offenders benefit from DBT’s emphasis on self-monitoring, interpersonal and emotional skills development, and the use of a hierarchical treatment structure that addresses multiple behavioral problems and life concerns. Therapists benefit from a comprehensive method of conceptualizing and addressing complex and co-occurring behaviors in this population. In this presentation, we will review the Biosocial Model and DBT case conceptualization with sex offending clients, the application of sex offender treatment targets in the context of DBT's hierarchical framework, and the use of DBT skills and strategies in sex offender treatment.

BIOGRAPHY

Jill D. Stinson, PhD, is Assistant Professor and Director of Clinical Training in the Department of Psychology at East Tennessee State University. She previously served as an administrator and sex offender treatment coordinator at Fulton State Hospital, a maximum- and intermediate security forensic mental health hospital in Missouri. Her research and publications focus on sex offenders with serious mental illness, the role of self-regulation in treatment of personality and severe behavior disorders, and the impact of early childhood trauma in high-risk psychiatric and offender populations. Dr. Stinson is an active member of the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers and an associate editor of Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment.


Part 3 (six hour presentation) - Jill Levenson, Ph.D., LCSW

Trauma-informed Care: Re-Constructing Sex-Offending Treatment Goals for a New Generation

SUMMARY

Sexual Offending Treatment Programs (SOTX) have historically focused on relapse prevention and correcting distorted thinking about sexual abuse, often contextualized within an assumption of recidivism risk and paraphilic interests. This almost exclusive emphasis on content-driven treatment goals and offense-related behaviors may preclude opportunities for the generalization of skills to a client’s overall life patterns and relationships.
There is now an abundance of research documenting the prevalence and impact of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) in the clients we serve. Childhood trauma can lead to neurobiological, cognitive, and social impairments, which can compromise self-regulation and psychosocial functioning across the lifespan. The United States Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) provides guidelines for trauma-informed care (TIC) across a variety of behavioral health problems and client populations.


This full-day session will propose a more contemporary evidence-based model of SOTX based on SAMHSA’s trauma-informed approach to behavioral health and service delivery. It introduces TIC in the context of the risk-need-responsivity principles of effective correctional rehabilitation, with an emphasis on TIC as a strategy for enhancing responsivity. The session will introduce the link between early adversity and treatment targets related to static and dynamic risk factors. A new paradigm for thinking about SOTX goals will include: enabling client accountability (not simply offense culpability), correcting distorted cognitive schema about self and others (not just about sexual abuse), enhancing general, sexual, and emotional self-regulation capacities (which translates to relapse prevention), engaging in positive relationship-building and healthy communication skills (reducing intimacy deficits), and improving the ability to understand the perspectives of others (AKA empathy). Another important shift in the TIC approach is the avoidance of confrontational counseling styles, and the integration of client-centered and strengths-based interventions within a relational context.


Trauma-informed care emphasizes that change and healing begins with corrective relationships, and therapeutic alliances are often the first step toward helping clients build healthier interpersonal skills. By transforming treatment goals and measuring outcomes that demonstrate client change across various domains of interpersonal functioning, we can better design programs that reduce risk by enhancing relevant skills across many important aspects of a client’s life.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES:

1. Participants will be introduced to interdisciplinary research describing the prevalence of childhood adversity and its impact of on neurological, cognitive, social, emotional, and behavioral development.

2. Participants will be able to define SAMHSA’s four principles of trauma-informed care.

3. Participants will incorporate components of trauma-informed practice into traditional SOTX goals.

4. Participants will be able to describe a new paradigm of SOTX focusing on strengths-based interventions and relational skills.

5. Participants will be able to describe and construct new SOTX goals that help clients improve skills across different life functioning domains, which are expected to reduce dynamic risk for re-offense.

BIOGRAPHY

Dr. Jill Levenson is a Professor of Social Work at Barry University in Miami, FL. She is a SAMHSA-trained internationally recognized expert in trauma-informed care, and she has published extensively sex offender treatment and policy. She has presented at many regional conferences as a keynote speaker about trauma-informed care in clinical, correctional, and forensic settings, and is frequently quoted in the media. Dr. Levenson is also a licensed clinical social worker providing outpatient sex offender treatment in Florida. She has co-authored four books about the treatment of sex offenders and their families, including her groundbreaking 2017 book about trauma-informed care with clients who have sexually abused (with Gwenda Willis and David Prescott).

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