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Abstract: Diagnosing Sexual sadism

The workshop focuses on new diagnostic tools, which have been developed recently to improve the reliability and validity of the diagnosis of sexual sadism. The use of the Severe Sexual Sadism Scale (SSSS; Nitschke et al., 2009) extended with the findings of the ASISAM project (Schilling et al., 2010) is explained in a practical context by introducing case reports. Furthermore the definitions of the items of the SSSS are explained. Later on, partly difficult, case reports deriving from forensic psychiatric and prison settings are presented and the participants of the workshop are invited to discuss together with the speakers the diagnosis of sexual sadism using the above named new diagnostic tools taking DSM-IV-TR, ICD-10, and the suggestions of the DSM V workgroup into consideration. In the end of the workshop, a difficult case report will be introduced and the participants are invited to diagnose sexual sadism by themselves using a recently developed diagnostic sheet. The results handiness of the diagnostic sheet are discussed regarding the improvement of diagnosing sexual sadism.


Joachim Nitschke works as Consultant Psychiatrist and Psychotherapist and also Consultant Neurologist, with a specialization in Forensic Psychiatry. He is head of the Forensic Clinic at the Ansbach District Hospital in Germany. Before that, he was the Consultant forensic psychiatrist at the Straubing District hospital. Additionally to his work as a court expert witness, he has been a scientific researcher at the Department of Forensic Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at the University Regensburg.

Dr. Frank Schilling is a clinical and health psychologist who received his Ph.D from the University of Ulm (Prof. Friedemann Pfäfflin). He has been working at the Federal Evaluation Centre for Violent and Sexual Offenders since 2002 and is the delegate of the CEO (Prof. Reinhard Eher).