Vol. XXX, No. 4
Fall 2018
Text Only Version
In This Issue
Regular Features
Editor's Note
President's Message
Is there such thing as “sexual harm” or is it always Abuse or Trauma?
Featured Articles
Moving beyond the “sex offender” dialogue:
How ATSA members can promote person-first language
Pros and Cons of Manualized Approaches to Sexual Abuse Specific Treatment:
Experiences of Programs in Kansas & Oregon
The Clinical Practice Corner: Juvenile Practice
The ATSA Adult Clinical Practice Committee
Students' Voice
The ATSA Student Experience:
A Personal Anecdote on Attending the Conference and Joining the Student Committee
Book Reviews
Two by Jeglic and Calkins
The Safer Society
Handbook of Assessment and Treatment of Adolescents Who Have Sexually Offended
2018 ATSA Conference Events
Public Engagement Event
Welcome Incoming Board Members
2018 ATSA Awards
New ATSA Members
Newsletter Tools
Search Past Issues
Print-Friendly Issue
Print-Friendly Article
Forum Team
David Prescott
Book Review Editor

Sarah Gorter
Production Editor

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
Students' Voice
The ATSA Student Experience:
A Personal Anecdote on Attending the Conference and Joining the Student Committee
Carissa Toop

As an undergraduate student it was recommended to me by my supervisor, Dr. Sandy Jung, that I attend the ATSA conference. At the time, I knew very little about the field of sexual abuse, but was excited about the opportunity to attend my first international conference. I had little idea of what I could expect, including whether I would enjoy taking part in academic conferences. Fast forward five years and I have yet to miss an ATSA conference – I am hooked! Each year, I look forward to the ATSA conference and all that is has to offer. The opportunities for students are endless. In addition to high calibre presentations and workshops, the ATSA conference provides numerous student-focused networking events. My personal favorite is the Next Generation Reception – a laid back environment where students have the chance to meet well-known researchers whose work inspired them to attend the conference in the first place (and did I mention there is also free food!). Through these opportunities, I have made a number of meaningful professional contacts and acquired a passion for research pertaining to sexual abuse. Each year I look forward to reuniting with the friends and colleagues I have met at ATSA and discussing the latest developments in the field and new ideas for research.   

After a few years, I realized how much the ATSA conference had given me and I wanted to give back by becoming more involved in the behind the scenes work. For me, this meant becoming involved with the ATSA Student Committee. The principle objective of the ATSA Student Committee is to support the next generation of professionals dedicated to preventing sexual abuse. To do this, the committee oversees a number of different operations and events that make this conference inclusive and meaningful for students including:

  • The Student Clinical Case and Data Blitz – a symposium consisting of rapid, 5-minute presentations examining important issues related to the prevention, assessment, management, and treatment of individuals who engage in non-consensual sexual behaviours. This event primarily features student presenters, allowing students to obtain experience presenting in a symposium format at an international conference. ATSA 2018 will host the 5th Annual Student Clinical Case and Data Blitz. All are welcome to attend this year’s event during the Thursday Concurrent Program (T-27; October 18th, 2018 from 1:30 – 3:00pm). 

  • Student Poster Awards – during the poster sessions, high quality research and visual presentation is recognized through two awards. A prize is available for the top student poster of each poster session. Newly graduated professionals are also eligible for these awards if their research had been completed while they were a student. This year’s poster sessions will be held on Thursday, October 18th, 2018 and Friday, October 19th, 2018 from 5:15 – 6:00pm.

  • Next Generation Reception – the reception is a “backstage pass” designed to connect student attendees with leaders in the field. This is a comfortable, social environment where students can network and engage established researchers in the field of sexual abuse in lively conversation to discuss issues and ask questions. This event is open to students attending the ATSA conference and will be held this year on Thursday, October 18th, 2018 from 6:30 – 8:00pm. Important: This event requires an invitation and thus, if you have not already done so please send your RSVP to Kelly McGrath at kelly@atsa.com

  • Preparing the Next Gen Workshop – This past conference, the ATSA Student Committee hosted a free half-day preconference workshop focused on developing professional skills critical to a successful career. Due to its popularity, this workshop is returning for the 2018 ATSA Conference as a FULL-DAY preconference workshop FREE for students. It will be held on Wednesday, October 17th, 2018 from 8:30am – 5:00pm.

In recent years, under the guidance of ATSA Student Representative Andrew Brankley, these events and other critical tasks have been divided among a group of dedicated students who share the same passion about ATSA as I do. It was a highly rewarding experience to see these successful student events unfold at ATSA 2017 in Kansas City knowing that I played a role in helping accomplish this. If you are a student who enjoys ATSA and is interested in getting more involved I highly encourage you to consider joining the ATSA Student Committee. For more information regarding the Student Committee please contact Andrew Brankley, ATSA Student Representative, at Andrew.brankley@psych.ryerson.ca

I look forward to seeing you all at ATSA 2018 in Vancouver!

Carissa Toop


Carissa Toop, B.A. (Hons.) is a graduate student of Clinical Psychology at the University of Saskatchewan. Prior to her graduate training, she earned a bachelor’s degree (honours) in psychology from MacEwan University. Broadly speaking, Carissa’s research and clinical interests lie in the assessment and treatment of sexual and non-sexual violence. She has published and presented on the topics of risk assessment, intimate partner violence, and sexual offending, and is a member of the ATSA Student Committee. Carissa is currently completing her doctoral degree under the supervision of Dr. Mark Olver. Her dissertation research will focus on the application of the Violence Risk Scale (VRS), a multi-purpose risk assessment tool, to intimate partner violence.


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