LIVE Virtual “From Our Own” Presentation: Utilizing the Therapeutic Relationship as a Corrective Experience in Sex Offender Treatment - Thursday, March 25, 2021

This online workshop will be conducted live through a virtual platform called Zoom. E-mail instructions will be sent out closer to the date with how to access the program.

Registration Options

$20 for Professionals
$20 for MU Alumni
FREE for Current Students

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Workshop Description

For decades the gold standard of sex offender treatment has been a combination of relapse prevention and cognitive-behavioral therapy, however these approaches are undergoing a shift in the early 21st century (Bland, 2014). As research has highlighted the limitations of a purely risk management approach, the field has turned its attention to the benefits of humanistic and person-centered therapies resulting in the development of the Good Lives Model of Offender Rehabilitation. This change has created a renewed focus on the value of the therapeutic relationship in sex offender treatment, though most of the current research focuses on ideal counselor qualities rather than the mechanism of healing that comes from the relationship itself. This program will draw from the foundations of attachment theory to provide a framework for understanding individuals with sexually abusive behaviors and highlight why the therapeutic relationship is uniquely valuable with this population.

CE Hours: 2
Date:Thursday, March 25, 2021
Time: 6:30-8:30pm
Presenter: Kristen Robertori, MA, MS, LAC, NCC, DRCC, CTP

Learning Objectives
Following this presentation, participants will be able to:
  1. Understand the prevalence of adverse childhood experiences (ACES) with individuals who engage in sexually abusive behaviors as well as the role they play in their offending behaviors and adult attachment styles;
  2. Utilize a trauma-informed lens to understand how relational processes are repeated in the therapeutic encounter and how client/therapist interactions offer a wealth of clinical information necessary for case conceptualization and ongoing assessment;
  3. Recognize the unique challenges counselors face developing a therapeutic relationship with this population as well as employ strategies to overcome the obstacles that impede relationship-building;
  4. Understand how the reciprocal nature of the therapeutic relationship creates many opportunities for corrective experiences uniquely beneficial to this population and how this aligns with recent shifts in sex offender treatment approaches.
Presenter Information:
Kristen Robertori, MA, MS, LAC, NCC, DRCC, CTP is a Licensed Associate Counselor and holds both a master’s degree in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice and in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Monmouth University. She has over fifteen years of experience in the mental health field and since March 2014 has been providing group and individual therapy at a civil commitment facility for adult male sexual offenders. She approaches clinical care within a trauma-informed framework focusing on her clients’ adverse childhood experiences (ACES) and their contribution to the development of maladaptive schemas, disorganized attachment patterns, and affective and behavioral dysregulation. Through a process-oriented approach, Kristen utilizes relational interventions to engage her clients in restructuring destructive patterns, themes, and narratives in order to decrease the risk of reoffending and facilitate post-traumatic growth..

Kristen’s dedication to providing meaningful care to the most marginalized populations has led to several notable opportunities and achievements. She has given several grand rounds presentations on her work and was selected to present this specific program on behalf of the International Association of Addictions and Offender Counselors (IAAOC) at the 2021 Annual American Counseling Association Conference. More recently, she was invited to join a mental health advisory board for New Jersey State Senator Vin Gopal and is drafting legislation to improve the quality of sex offender treatment in the state. Kristen is an active member of the American Counseling Association (ACA), the International Association of Addiction and Offender Counselors (IAAOC), the Association for Humanistic Counseling (AHC), and the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA) along with its New Jersey chapter (NJATSA).

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