Well, here we are, just a short month away from the annual conference in Atlanta. I know that many of you are gearing up for presentations, both as speakers and listeners. To get you all in the mood for stimulating work in our field, this Fall’s Forum has much to offer.
I have always found myself fascinated by the neuropsychological work done in our field, ever since collaborating with Ron Langevin on EEG studies with sexual offenders back in the early 1990s. We have come a long way since then, and the developing technologies are allowing us a window into how the brain mediates sexual behavior, including deviant sexual behavior, like never before. On the cutting edge is ATSA’s own Dr. James Cantor of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto. James’ work on brain correlates and pedophilia is beyond merely interesting. In this issue, James is kind enough to give us something of a layman’s explanation of his complex work. And, by the way, take a good look at the graphics he provides—they are pictures of Michael Kuban’s brain. Little known ATSA trivia: I am responsible for bringing Mike into the fold, having hired him in 1990 as my replacement in Kurt Freund’s lab.
Since leaving as Editor of the Forum to take on the job of ATSA President, you would think that David Prescott would be too busy to share his thoughts with us in the Forum. Not true. We have yet another contribution from David this issue. This time, David assists us in better understanding the need for, and dynamics present in, treatment readiness programming. This has long been an area of interest for many in the ATSA fold, including Liam and Bill Marshall who, with their colleagues, have recently published research on this topic. Preparing men for the process of change, ensuring their motivation to make those changes, and assisting them in overcoming the treatment interfering factors that distract them from success is of critical importance in all successful interventions. This is a good part of what Andrews and Bonta were talking about when they conceptualized the “Responsivity Principle” in the Risk/Needs/Responsivity (RNR) model.
Also in this month’s edition is a thought-provoking piece on grooming by Tim Horton of Malibu, CA. Tim suggests that what we (as therapists) call grooming may not always be so. This proposition bears further scrutiny, especially as we strive to develop programs and risk management frameworks that are more responsive to the needs of our clients, while ensuring public safety. Like Tim, I have always thought that some of the language we use is more soothing to us than useful to our clients.
This quarter’s Forum also brings us back on track with my pledge to include at least one student contribution per issue. I have pressed ATSA Student Coordinator Danielle Harris, a Ph.D. candidate at Griffith University in Australia, into giving us a brief preview of her dissertation research regarding differences between certain subgroups of sexual offenders. Her findings, specifically regarding those most prolific of offenders, shed light on our attempts to treat and manage what many call “sexually violent predators”.
Otherwise in this issue, you’ll find reports regarding elections results and from various Committees. I would like to highlight the Research Committee’s announcements regarding the annual Graduate Research Award and the Pre-Doctoral Research Grant. I’m sure you’ll all join me in heartily congratulating Julia McLawsen and Jane Harries.
Last, I want to let you all know that, as ATSA members, we now have access to other SAGE journals via our Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment online access. Once you have signed into the “Member’s Only” page on the atsa.com website and have clicked on the SAJRT link, click the “browse” tab at the top of the SAGE page and then have a look at what’s available. Among those journals you can “browse” are:
- Child Maltreatment
- Crime and Delinquency
- Criminal Justice and Behavior
- Criminal Justice Policy Review
- International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology
- Journal of Interpersonal Violence
- Trauma, Violence, & Abuse
In closing, let me reiterate my pledge to publish student works here in the Forum. Come on students, don’t be shy. Further, this is also a good medium for non-students to share their thoughts and ideas about the work they do. Please feel free to email me and let me know if you’re interested in publishing a piece. This is your Forum.
Enjoy all that Autumn has to offer, and see you in Atlanta!
Robin J. Wilson, Ph.D.
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