Vol. XXVI, No. 4
Fall 2014
Text Only Version
In This Issue
Regular Features
Editor's Note
President's Message
Featured Articles
Sexual Abuse as a Public Health Problem
Group Culture in High-Risk Groups: Developing Safety
Grant Harris
Students' Voice
Taking Advantage of the ‘Little’ Opportunities
Without a Compass:
How to Navigate Ethical and Professional Challenges as a Student
2014 Conference Summary
2014 Public Engagement Event
New ATSA Members
Gail Burns-Smith Award Speech
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Forum Team
David Prescott
Book Review Editor

Sarah Gorter
Production Editor

Katie Gotch
Coordinator of Public Affairs
Forum Editor
Contact the editor or submit articles to:

Heather M. Moulden, Ph.D.
Forensic Program
St. Joseph's Healthcare
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
E: hmoulden@stjoes.ca
P: (905) 522-1155 ext. 35539
Regular Features
Editor's Note
by Heather Moulden

Heather Moulden, Forum Editor

Hello fellow ATSA members and Forum readers! In this, my first Forum issue, I would like to start by thanking Robin Wilson, Maia Christopher, and the ATSA Board of Directors for the opportunity to be the new editor of the ATSA Forum Newsletter. By way of introduction, I have been an ATSA member since 2002; first as a student member and currently as a Clinical and Research member. I am a clinical psychologist working in a teaching hospital and affiliated university in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Looking forward, my objectives as editor are to carry on in Robin’s impressive footsteps by facilitating communication within the organization and its members, and also between members and stakeholders. To this end I hope to promote member contributions to the Forum and the student voice specifically, to increase readership by aligning the Forum content with members’ needs and interests, and to increase the opportunity for interaction between Forum contributors and their readers.

While in San Diego I couldn’t help noticing a parallel between the Forum aims and many of the themes emerging in the current Forum issue. Specifically, many contributors shared their reflections on how to improve engagement with the public regarding sexual abuse – just as the ATSA Forum team works toward engagement with members. In this issue we learn about ATSA’s first public engagement event in San Diego (which was a great success by the way). ATSA came together with other organizations to get professionals and the public talking about advancements in interventions, policies, and sexual abuse prevention. Grappling with similar issues, The Leverhulme Trust funded project, “Community engagement and partnership working with sexual offenders” shared a transcript of their first online debate. Contributions from 16 participants from 5 countries (UK, USA, Holland, Canada, and Australia) tackled how best to conceive of and approach sexual abuse as a public health problem. Finally, we hear about the importance of language in shaping our own and public perceptions of individuals who engage in sexual abuse. An important perspective as we move toward increasing engagement with the public.

In this issue we also hear from our student members about issues relevant to all members. Our student representative, Chantal Hermann encourages students to take advantage of ATSA opportunities. This piece is also a good reminder to non-student supervisory members of the many ways to mentor and support student involvement in ATSA and the importance of professional membership. Both student and non-student members will also find helpful advice regarding ethical issues within our supervisory relationships. This piece was based on an event at the conference in San Diego, and we felt it was important to share it here for the benefit of all members. How we treat and train our students foreshadows the state of our profession in the next generation. Ethical practice and the highest quality training is truly an investment in the future of sexual abuse prevention and treatment. This theme was echoed in David Prescott’s review of a book reminding us that we can learn so much from other cultures, our clients, and non-professionals about ethical practice.

Finally, this issue shares a compelling argument and practical suggestions for fostering safety and change in group work with high risk clients. The piece challenges us to evaluate the role of fixed rules and norms versus fluid but consistent therapeutic style and interactions.

In addition to a new editor, readers will also notice our new design. This issue presents the Forum’s fresh format and style designed to match ATSAs new look. Please explore the Forum to find some new features we hope will enhance the accessibility, reader interaction, and general enjoyment of reading the ATSA Forum.

In closing, I’m so pleased to be working on the Forum with such an excellent, helpful, and welcoming team. I’m truly excited about contributing to ATSA and working with members in their roles as Forum authors and readers. Please contact me with your articles, ideas, and feedback.

Heather M. Moulden
ATSA Forum Editor


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