Contact: Jo Sims - jo@stopso.org.uk - 07473 299883 for any more information please see website www.stopso.org.uk

Workshop Description

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.

Day 1:

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.

Day 2:

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

Day 3:

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

Institutional contexts

Community contexts

Family contexts

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

Measuring progress

The day will include Powerpoint presentation, large and small group discussions, case study work

COST

£360 for 3 consecutive days

£120 for 1 day

EARLY BIRD AVAILABLE

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