Our Sessions

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Keynote: Franca Cortoni PhD, CPsych Women who sexually offend: Assessment, treatment, & management

Women who sexually offend constitute a small yet significant proportion of all sexual offenders. In recent years, increased empirical attention has revealed important differences between women and men convicted of sexual offenses, indicating that these women require gender-informed assessment, treatment, and management practices. This workshop will review the latest empirical findings on women who sexually offend and present their implications for gender-responsive assessment, treatment, and management practices. When relevant, comparisons between women and men will be discussed. Finally, this workshop will provide guidelines to assess, treat, and manage transgendered women who committed their offenses prior to transitioning.

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Jeffrey Aaron Ph.D. Beyond the “Sexual” in Psychosexual: Clinical Formulation of Youth

Workshop Description: When youth are in treatment or under supervision after adjudication for a sexual offense, concern for the safety of others often drives intervention and may be the foundation for case conceptualization. The youth’s sexual history as victim and offender, risk factors for sexually reactive behavior, and access to potential victims may be first line considerations, followed by similar concerns for non-sexual offending. These considerations may constructively inform appraisal of both intervention needs of the youth and safety needs of the public, but they likely represent only a portion of what is relevant for either. This workshop will consider case formulation from a broader perspective that includes adolescent development, psychopathology, trauma, family, and values considerations designed to support a more comprehensive formulation of intervention needs.

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Closing Session: Robbie's Rule

This session is a case study of the lifecycle of a crime, including the lasting effects of the event on the victim, law enforcement investigations, adjudication and outcomes after the trial. Rob shares his experience with overcoming childhood sexual abuse and effects this secret cast over his life and family for decades. Years after his initial report went nowhere, Rob once again summoned the strength to come forward. This second report falls on the desk of a detective who believes him. Cutting through decades of red tape, she works tirelessly to find and weave together fragmented evidence, bringing forward charges and an eventual conviction for the 30 year old crime. Along the way, Rob discovers a gap in the law which prolonged his fight for justice. Later, Rob connects with the Probation & Parole Officer supervising the man who offended against him, after he is taken into custody for parole violation. 

Presenters: Lt. Heather D. Harris, Rachel Harris, Robert Buswell

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Supervision of Sex Offender for Community Providers

This workshop is not intended for probation officers. This workshop will give community providers/partners an opportunity to experience community sex offender supervision through the use of case examples and interactive scenarios. 

Presenters: Randi Lanzafama and a cast of characters yet to be determined.

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Working Together To Help The Clients

Working Together to Help The Clients offers an insight into the history of polygraph, it’s usage in the supervision and treatment of Sex Offenders, and how we can better work together to help clients successfully complete their treatment and/or probation/parole obligations.

Presenter: A.J Spencer

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Teaching Sex Education to Adult Males Convicted of a Sex Offense

Healthy sexuality is an important topic within the realm of treatment for individuals who have been convicted of a sex offense, as these individuals may lack an understanding of healthy sexuality, have deficits in social skills, and have cognitive distortions around sex, consent, and related topics.  

While our understanding of healthy sexuality, and how to teach this topic, has evolved over the past two decades, many psychoeducational programs have not.  Therefore, we’ll look to close the gap with some key topics and methods for facilitating sex education through lecture, discussion, and skills practice.

Presenters: Dr. M. Laaksonen, LCP, CSOTP

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The Overlap of Sex Offending and Domestic Violence

Research shows a substantial percentage of child sexual abuse is perpetrated by a family member, those who are victimized sexually as children are at higher risk for non-sexual intimate partner violence, and almost one-fourth of women have experienced sexual violence by an intimate partner.  

Therefore, we’ll explore this connection of sexual violence within the larger context of domestic violence.  We will then discuss assessing risk among these dual offenders and the treatment, monitoring, and supervision implications.

Presenters: Dr. M. Laaksonen, LCP, CSOTP and David Boehm, LCSW, CSOTP

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The Practice of Ethics and Risk Management

Mr. Robert Landau, Esq. will share his experience in defending licensed mental health professionals and share suggested risk management practices.  He will challenge participants to analyze their risk management practices with the goal of reducing or preventing licensing board complaints and/or lawsuits regarding the standards of care or practice such as confidentiality, informed consent, documentation, boundary issues and other clinical legal issues. 

Mr. Joseph Lynch, LCSW will present his legislative and regulatory knowledge. He will provide highlights and updates of the Practice Standards of the Virginia Behavioral Health Boards of Social Work, Counseling and Psychology. This presentation will provide 3 hours of continuing education in ethics in keeping with the regulations of the Virginia Behavioral Health Boards.

Presenters:  Joe Lynch LCSW, Robert P. Landau and David Boehm, LCSW, CSOTP

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Assessment of Child Pornography Possessors (Adult Sex Offender Presentation)

This beginner-to-intermediate presentation (Assessment of Child Pornography Possessors) will address the evaluation of child pornography possessors (CPP).  

Over the past two decades, advancements in technology have delivered the possibility of greater social connectivity.  These advancements have manifested in greater Internet accessibility, affordability, and anonymity.  Outside of the societal benefits, these elements have contributed to an increase in risky behaviors such as child pornography. Historically, child pornography was a practice limited to underground sex shops that physically transmitted illicit materials.  However, technological improvements have contributed to a deluge of child pornography offending.  Both the criminal justice and mental health systems have experienced a wave of individuals charged with child pornography possession with limited direction as to how to proceed.  

Presentation attendees will be supplied with information covering a brief historical overview of child pornography possession, rates of offending, technology that underlies the sharing of such material, and emerging practices in the assessment of CPP. Presenters will review the developing theories concerning CPP, including whether child pornography possession is a variation of traditional sexual offending or represents a different manifestation of risky sexual behavior.  Additionally, CPP’ similarities and differences compared to “traditional” contact offenders will be reviewed so stakeholders can make informed decisions with respect to risk, needs, and responsivity principles. 

During the presentation, attendees will be introduced to the limitations of traditional risk assessments when applied to this population as well as emerging instruments that are undergoing empirical validation.  Recommended best practice will include existing ethical guidelines, such as ATSA and Specialty Guidelines for Forensic Psychology, base rates of CPP, the extent child pornography possession can predict pedophilia, and recidivism rates for release failure, general recidivism, sexual recidivism, and child pornography recidivism.  The presentation will pull from relevant social science research, law enforcement practices, and technology publications.  Lastly, presenters will briefly review the relationship between child pornography possession and previously undetected sexual offending.  

Learning goals: Attendees will 

1. Identify one way CPP differ from traditional contact offenders.

2. Identify the challenges applying sex-recidivism instruments in CPP cases.

3. Recognize base rates of reoffending for CPP.

Level: Workshop attendees should have an intermediate level of knowledge of sexual risk assessment. Presenters will frequently be referencing common sexual offending theories/models and sexual recidivism instruments to facilitate discussion. 

Presenter: Alex Rodrigues, Psy.D

Certificate Questions?

For questions about conference certificates or registration issues, please email us at registration@vsota.com. Thanks! 

Continuing Education Units (CEU's)

The Virginia Board of Health Professions, via the Board of Psychology, will distribute VSOTA Continuing Education Credits at its conference and training events. 

The 2024 conference will offer 12.5 CEUs.

For information on obtaining CEUs at VSOTA events you may contact 

 Teresa VanNostrand or David Boehm.