Diagnosis (and Risk Assessment) of Sexual Offending Behavior

Speaker: Candace Risen, LISW

Course Description:

Sexually offending behaviors include a wide range of sexual expression that has been deemed abnormal, hurtful, and possibly deviant by at least one other person at best and all of society at worst. This is a complicated issue because attitudes about sexual normalcy change over time. Sexual acts that were considered offensive or deviant twenty years ago might be considered acceptable and normal today. Furthermore, at any given moment in time, a particular behavior may be considered acceptable by one social circle and offensive by another.

This workshop will provide a thoughtful and compassionate approach to the evaluation of sexual behaviors that have been found “offensive” either by law or by the person himself or the partner. Such behaviors often present to a therapist in the form of an acutely distressed individual whose secret world has just been exposed and who is subject to the wrath and contempt of most if not everyone around him. This individual often desperately wants help, but has no faith that he will be treated with anything but harsh judgment and scorn. As therapists, we too often have to manage our own intense negative feelings as we struggle to develop a therapeutic connection in order to provide quality care.

After this workshop participants will be able to:

1) Discern sense from sensationalism, fact from fear, regarding problematic sexual behaviors.

2) Discuss the role societal values play in determining what constitutes sexual deviancy.

3) Explain the concept of a sexual addiction and how it relates to the diagnosis of a paraphilia

4) Utilize the various components of an evaluation to their fullest

5) Identify and discuss the various motivations and contributing forces underlying problematic sexual behaviors

6) Discuss the impact of the internet on sexually offending behaviors