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Abstract: A positive/motivational strength-based approach to sexual offender treatment 

In the most recent examination of our treatment program for sexual offenders the actual recidivism rate was observed to be 5.6% compared to an expected rate of 23.8% suggesting our approach to treating sexual offenders is effective. Our treatment program uses a strengths-based approach grounded in positive psychology, motivational interviewing, and the good lives model. Emphasis is also placed on therapeutic process issues such as the client’s perspective, group climate, and the therapeutic alliance. This workshop describes the implementation of effective treatment and describes the program and outcome. Attendees will gain knowledge on how to run effective treatment for sexual offenders through understanding what to treat, participating in exercises, and by observing facilitator role-plays.


William L. Marshall is currently Director of Rockwood Psychological Services which provides treatment and research for various types of offenders, including sexual offenders. Rockwood provides these services in several Canadian Federal penitentiaries and in a centre for mentally disordered offenders as well as for juvenile offenders in various settings. Rockwood also provides therapist trainings in many countries. Bill has over 380 publications including 18 books, the latest of which (Marshall, Marshall, Serran & O'Brien 2011 "A strength-based approach to the treatment of sexual offenders" American Psychological Association, Washington, D.C.) won the "Book of the Year" award from the Society for Sex Therapy and Research. Bill is (or has been) on the Editorial Boards of 17 international journals and was in 2003 elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada for his contributions to science. In 2006, Bill was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in recognition of his contributions to making society safer both nationally and internationally. This is the highest honor a Canadian citizen can receive.


Liam Marshall has a Ph.D. in psychology from Queens University in Kingston, Canada. He has been treating and conducting research on offenders for more than fifteen years. He has been a therapist for and helped design preparatory, regular, denier, low-functioning, maintenance, and juvenile sexual offender programs, as well as anger management, domestic violence, gambling, self-esteem, and cognitive skills programs. Liam has many publications including three books. He has made numerous international conference presentations on sexual offender, violence, aging, and problem gambling issues. Liam is an associate editor, editorial board member, and an invited reviewer for a number of international journals. He is currently: a therapist, and training and research director for Rockwood Psychological Services; evaluation director and co-director of programs for the St. Lawrence Valley Correctional Center Secure Treatment Unit; and evaluation and intervention consultant for the St. Lawrence Youth Association. Liam has delivered more than 70 trainings for therapists who work with sexual and violent offenders in fifteen countries worldwide.