|by Heather Moulden, Ph.D., C. Psych., Forum Editor|
Welcome to the summer 2019 issue of the
Forum. This edition includes some thought-provoking feature articles about our
practice in addition to the usual columns from our students and clinical
committees, as well as committee updates, book reviews, and the FAQ piece addressing the
question, “What are the RNR Principles?”. The Forum is also a great way for
ATSA to communicate with its members, and you will find information about the
conference, office news, and legislative updates. In this issue we are also
reaching out to the membership to invite interested individuals to participate
in the Forum newsletter more directly. At our recent spring meeting, the board
members were supportive of the idea of establishing an editorial board for both
the Forum and Blog. Here at the Forum, we have recently invited additional book
reviewers to join the team and you’ll see some of their work in this issue. If
you are interested, please read on to learn more about the role, and contact
either ATSA Executive Director Maia Christopher or me if you have questions.
In this issue Risk-Needs-Responsivity
Principles get some long-overdue attention. The student piece by Natasha
Maltais reveals our ongoing struggles with the interpretation and application
of these principles to our practice. Thankfully, her co-author and RNR expert,
Sandy Jung, addresses this in the FAQ column. Sandy also includes direction to
some key readings to help us all brush up on these integral elements of our
work, and you can watch the ATSA website for information on her video seminar
on this topic.
Our feature articles address an array of topics
that introduce new ideas, challenge us to think about how we conceptualize the
nature of sexual abuse, relapse, or success, and critically appraise our clinical
decision making. First, in this second segment, Diana Groener addresses sexual
abuse in the context of intimate partner violence (read Diana’s first article
in Volume XXX, No. 3 - Summer 2018). She helps describe the concept, reviews
the limited literature available, and calls on ATSA to turn our clinical and
research attention to this specific context for sexual violence.
In our second feature, Danielle Harris shares
her work on desistence from sexual abuse. In her clear and concise article she
distills a whole book worth of information into the main three mechanisms of
desistence. Not only is this important from a recovery perspective for us as
clinicians guiding clients to this ultimate goal, but philosophically it is
imperative for us, and those we work with indirectly (e.g., police, lawyers,
victims, correctional officers), to know and think about sexual abuse from this
perspective as well.
Finally, Sharon Kelley summarizes her work on
decision making with respect to risk assessment. In this practical article we
read about the rationale for a more critical analysis of our practice. Sharon
provides helpful guidance about how to review and refine this practice to put
us in a better position, for the sake of our clients, as well as the quality of
Our ATSA committees are busy as ever and
included some updates for members in this issue. The Membership Committee would
like to remind you to nominate eligible colleagues for the ATSA Fellow
designation. You will find the criteria and nomination process in this issue,
which includes an earlier deadline. Also, this issue includes information about
the ATSA awards available for nomination and we are all encouraged to consider
recognizing our colleagues for the impactful work they do.
I hope you enjoy this issue of the Forum. As
always, I look forward to reading your articles and I am happy to work with you
on developing ideas for a Forum piece.
Enjoy your summer.