Hello and welcome to the Fall 2007 edition of the Forum of the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers—our quarterly newsletter. I’m writing this as both an explanation of some changes in the Forum and as a note of introduction. As most of you will know, David Prescott has admirably served as Editor of the Forum over the past several years. I have had the pleasure of working with David on a number of occasions—as a contributor—and always found him to be knowledgeable, professional, and encouraging of those who seek to publish articles in the Forum.
David is taking a break from editing the Forum, as he will begin his tenure as ATSA President starting in January 2008. I hope you are all as excited as I am about David’s impending presidency and the stamp that he will no doubt make on the position and our organization. Having served on the Board of Directors with David, I can tell you (as would others) that he is likely one of the most decent and hardworking fellows you will ever meet. I’m quite confident that he will champion our causes and steer our ship in the same manner as his esteemed forebears. As we face increasing challenges in the Public Policy domain, and as we see our brother and sister organizations also face difficult times, strong leadership will be essential. David is the right man for the job, as a majority of you confirmed in electing him President.
But, you cannot be both President and Editor of the Forum, so you get me. I hope that, by now, a good many of our membership are somewhat familiar with me and what I do but, for those who are not, let me take a bit of space to introduce myself. Hello, my name is Robin J. Wilson, and I’m your new ATSA Forum Editor. I got my start in the sexual offender assessment and treatment business in 1984 under the tutelage of phallometric pioneer Dr. Kurt Freund at the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry in Toronto, ON Canada. After several years of assessment and research work with Dr. Freund, I returned to school and left the Clarke with Dr. Ron Langevin (inaugural editor of Annals of Sex Research—later to become Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, ATSA’s official Journal) to work in one of the Correctional Service of Canada’s (CSC) first community-based sexual offender treatment programs. Ultimately, CSC hired me as its first community-based sexual offender specialist, and I built what would eventually become the model program for CSC’s National Sex Offender Treatment Maintenance Program.
My involvement with ATSA began in 1995 (New Orleans), when I had my first abstract accepted for presentation. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend that year and Dr. Langevin had to present in my stead, but I was back the next year to graciously accept the 1996 Graduate Research Award from Dr. Bill Murphy in Chicago. I have attended and presented at every ATSA conference since. In fact, I make it a point to attend every conference, for three reasons: 1. I get to play in a really cool band (AUDIOphilia) with some amazing colleagues, 2. I get to talk about deviant sexuality for a whole week without looking over my shoulder or having to explain myself, and 3. it is easily the most invigorating professional experience of the year. I always come away from the annual conference feeling like I have a purpose and, it pushes me to start thinking about how I can better my work in this often-daunting field. The focus on research and practice always comes at a time when my resolve needs a shot in the arm. Which brings us full-circle to my new role as Editor of the ATSA Forum.
The Forum of the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers has long stood as an easily-accessible, multi-dimensional publication. It provides our membership with general level information about timely issues and practice updates, in a manner that is sometimes differently-focused or easier to digest than a full-blown journal article. Indeed, many contributors use the Forum as a “teaser” to spur readers to go and find the source material. For my part, I have been fortunate enough to publish both position papers and explanations of exciting things that have been happening in my professional domain. It is my intention to carry on this tradition.
As Editor, I wish to encourage our members to write about the exciting things they are doing in their domain. As such, consider this a “call for papers”. Tell us what you’re doing…Tell us why you’re so excited about ____…Write a book review… In short, the Forum belongs to all ATSA members, and it should be relevant to all ATSA members—whether you are a reader or a contributor. I encourage all of you to be one, the other, or both.
Robin J. Wilson, Ph.D.
Clinical Director, The GEO Group, Inc.
Florida Civil Commitment Center
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