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Abstract: Building Motivation to Change in People of All Ages who Have Sexually Abused

This workshop focuses on practical aspects of engaging in treatment people of all ages who have sexually abused. It reviews relevant research findings and controversies related to treatment efficacy, and addresses key barriers to engagement in treatment. These barriers include extrinsic/contextual factors (such as the effects of treatment participation on loved ones) as well as intrinsic factors such as cognitive rigidity and other areas of responsivity) and mismatches of trans-theoretical model elements. This workshop also addresses the identification of at-risk cases through three empirically grounded strategies for identification of at-risk cases and clinical triage (i.e. session-by-session outcome measurement, alliance measurement, eliciting “change talk” in problem situations). Finally, the workshop discusses very recent advances in motivational interviewing and the good lives model, with a discussion of specific skills. Case examples, demonstration, and discussion take place throughout the day.


David S. Prescott has worked in and around inpatient settings since 1984, and specifically with individuals who have sexually abused since 1987. He has a strong interest in sharing resources, networking, and training to increase knowledge in these fields. Specifically, his clinical and training interests focus on motivational enhancement, developing and maintaining therapeutic relationships, and assessing treatment progress.

He currently serves as Clinical Director for the Becket Programs of Maine, which provide treatment for troubled youth in Maine and New Hampshire. Prior to his move to New England, he served as the Clinical Director at the Minnesota Sex Offender Program in Moose Lake, Minnesota and Treatment Assessment Director at the Sand Ridge Secure Treatment Center in Mauston, Wisconsin. In this position, he oversaw the progress of patients and groups of patients and coordinates an early stage of the conventional treatment track. From 1992-2004, Mr. Prescott worked as a Clinical Supervisor at Bennington School, Inc., and has been a consultant to that program ever since.