Sex Offending: Brain and Behaviour…
25 March 2014, Newport, South Wales.
Key Note Speaker Professor Anthony Beech University of Birmingham : The understanding and treatment of sexual offenders in the 21st century: A neurobiological perspective The aim of the presentation is to briefly describe pre, perinatal, and post-natal risk factors (such as trauma, head injury) that have an effect upon the brain. It is argued that such deficits in optimal brain function may lead (in part to offending). In particular it would appear that sexual offenders may present with functional abnormalities in the neuroanatomical structures that underpin successful emotion control. In the second half of the talk recent advances in therapeutic practices to address such problems in emotion regulation will be described.
Key Note Speaker Adam Carter – ‘An integrated model of change for the treatment of sexual offending: the importance of biological factors’ This presentation will introduce a bio-psycho-social model of change that covers empirically-based risk factors that sexual offending treatment should aim to address. It will consider current integrated theories of offending and the emerging literature presenting biological bases for psychological and behavioural phenomena. Consideration will then be given as to how treatment programmes can draw upon a bio-psycho-social theory to enhance engagement and change with people convicted of sexual offences. Adam Carter is Head of Sex Offender Treatment Programmes for Prison Service England and Wales
Workshops – Delegates can attend 2 of the 4 workshops ie A or B and C or D
Workshop A: Neurological Disorders, Vulnerable Offenders and Language and Communication Support Needs. The work shop introduces communication components, signs and symptoms and strategies to help offenders better engage and benefit from programmes and course offered. Offenders with these support needs are disadvantaged in participation in prevention and rehabilitation programmes. Dr April May Kitchener is an Educationalist specialising in working with vulnerable offenders and those at risk of offending, founder of Siarad Da and lectures on Safeguarding at University of South Wales.
Workshop B: EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation & Reprocessing): A viable treatment option for perpetrators of sexual offences/harm? This workshop will provide a brief overview of EMDR, including its theoretical underpinnings and evidence base. Discussions/exercises will be carried out to explore the feasibility of applying this treatment approach with perpetrators of sexual offences/harm who have experienced trauma. Dr Cerys Miles is a Senior Chartered & Registered Forensic Psychologist and is the Clinical Lead for Sex Offender Assessment & Treatment with Forensic Psychological Services, NOMS Wales. She also works as an academic supervisor with Cardiff Metropolitan University.
Workshop C: Maltreatment, Impaired Development and Sexual Offending: An Adolescent Assessment & Treatment Case Study. This workshop will present a case study of an adolescent boy with a prolific offending history. We will outline the treatment plan and how neurobiological knowledge was factored in. Delivered by Dr Tricia Skuse – Highly Specialist Clinical Psychologist, Wales Forensic Adolescent Consultation & Treatment Service and Jonny Matthew – Independent Social Worker & Criminologist at www.JonnyMatthew.com
Workshop D: Emotion Regulation in Sexual Offending The focus of this talk will be the role of emotion regulation in sexual offending. In particular we will pay particular attention to the neurobiology of emotion regulation, drawing upon findings from neuroscience and physiology. We will also consider the ways in which this understanding can inform the development of treatment programs for use with sexual offenders. Such programs may involve a focus on the development of techniques which have been linked with changes in physiology and the functioning of specific neural circuits which have been linked with emotion regulation. Such techniques include mindfulness meditation and heart rate variability biofeedback. Steven Gillespie is a post-doctoral Research Fellow at the School of Psychology, University of Birmingham. Steven’s research interests include cognitive-affective processes in sexual offenders, and potential techniques for improving emotion regulation in forensic populations.