Date: 27/03/2019 at 9:30am End date: 29/03/2019 at 4:00pm Venue: St Werburghs Community Centre, Horley Road, St Werburghs, Bristol BS2 9TJ Trainer: Dr Andrew Smith
Training comprises of 3 days, which can be taken individually or all together. All training days open at 9.30 to start at 10am, and finish at 4pm.
A strengths-focused approach to counselling victims of sexual abuse who have gone on to sexually offend
Many individuals who have sexually offended, or who are thought to pose a sexual risk to others, have experienced adversity and trauma in their lives, including being themselves victims of sexual abuse. In order to fully understand the harm cased to others by their sexual offending, and to go on to live pro-social lives in which mutually respectful and non-exploitative relationships can be established, such individuals sometimes have to come to terms with their own victim experiences. In many cases, this can be best achieved through a counselling process focusing specifically on victim issues, separate from but contributing to offence-focused treatment work.
The training day has been designed to help counsellors engage with this complex client group, focusing on the following:
Counsellors’ feelings when working with people who have sexually offended, and how to manage conflicting emotions
Research with regard to being a victim of abuse and perpetrating abuse
Attending to shame issues
Managing the disclosing and discussing of abuse
The therapeutic and safeguarding benefits of exploring a client’s victim experiences
The difference between empathy and collusion
How to cope with concerns about being manipulated, groomed and the client attempting to sexualise the counselling relationship
Exploring how victims of abuse can develop faulty schemas about the world, leading to distorted thinking about sexual and relational matters
Understanding cycles of sexual abuse, whereby victims can become perpetrators, resulting in involvement with the criminal justice system
Understanding cycles of sexual abuse whereby victims, as parents, can fail to protect children from abuse, often necessitating child protection investigations
What does therapeutic/rehabilitative/safeguarding progress look like?
How to manage denial and minimisation of offending behaviour
The day will include Powerpoint presentation, large and small group discussions, case study work.
A strengths-focused approach to counselling individuals caught up in the child protection system due to their partner posing a sexual risk
There is a need for counselling provision for partners of individuals who have committed sexual offences, particularly partners of persons who have sexually offended on the internet – a rapidly increasing crime. Often partners are very isolated due to the stigma of sexual offending. They tend to bear the brunt of the involvement of Child Protection Services, being left in the home to care for children after the father has been removed. Often counselling sessions with partners are dominated by the clients’ complaints about child protection professionals. The training day has been designed to help counsellors engage with these issues to provide a constructive way forward for this growing client group, focusing on the following:
Understanding how the child protection system works
The experience of sex offenders going through the child protection system
The experience of partners going through the child protection system
Working with denial, minimisation and risk assessment with this specific client group
The Journey of Risk Awareness
The importance of establishing what clients want:
Help through the crisis?
Re-negotiating the relationship with a partner?
Increasing safeguarding ability?
Tension between the non-abusing partner having a responsibility to protect, and co-depedency issues
Pitfalls and advantages of counsellors and therapists working systemically with child protection professionals
Working with one partner: either the person posing the sexual risk, or the partner
The pros and cons of working with both partners, separately and together
What ability to protect children from a partner looks like
How to enhance ability to protect
The day will include Powerpoint presentation, large and small group discussions, case study work. Attendees will also be provided with a brief workbook to help improve the protective ability of the non-abusing partner
A strengths-focused approach to counselling sex offenders with mental health problems, learning disabilities, or on the autistic spectrum
Some individuals who pose a sexual risk have little insight or empathy with others, or else have periods when this is the case. These client groups, sometimes with difficult to shift paraphilias, are demanding to work with, leaving counsellors and other practitioners feeling deskilled. Such clients may be in a supportive living context, or living in the community but without the skills to straightforwardly develop healthy social and sexual relationships. A strengths-based perspective is applied to work with such individuals, the exploration of which is designed to help clarify what is likely and unlikely to be achieved with such individuals, whilst maintaining hope and meaning in the therapeutic process.
The training day has been designed to help counsellors engage with the above client group, focusing on the following:
Research findings about sexual offending and the above client groups in question, including prevalence and risk issues
A strengths–focused perspective on diagnostic categories
Working systemically with clients within
The importance of small steps and valuing each encounter
Enduring paraphilias within these client groups
How to maintain hope and enhance tolerance in the face of restrictions and constraints (for both counsellor and clients)
Are you a counsellor or an advocate or both?
Working with the ‘Good Lives Model’ with the client groups in question
Safety and New Life planning
The day will include Powerpoint presentation, large and small group discussions, case study work
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