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Building on the skills you developed when completing AT1 (the Oral Narrated Presentation), this assessment task will strengthen your ability to critically evaluate a case study and communicate client information in writing in the way that a professional working in a forensic setting would.It allows you to showcase how well you can identify and present written information about (i) the management of a forensic client with offending behaviors in the community, and (ii) the process (practice) issues that workers should consider.


Mr. Smith (who you were first introduced to as part of AT1 the Oral Narrated Presentation) has been released on parole after serving 18 months incarceration.Upon leaving the Correctional Centre he returned to live in a share house in
Melbourne’s outer suburbs.You have been assigned as Mr Smith’s assessing psychologist. Your role is to provide a report to the treating psychologist who will be providing individual treatment for Mr. Smith while he is on parole.


You are required to write a report that addresses the following:
- gives a brief summary about Mr. Smith’s current circumstances and his background;
- outlines your assessment of his current dangerousness (i.e., his current risk of re-offending (committing sexual violence)) and suggestions that the treating psychologist can make to help him reduce this risk;
- identifies the ethical issues that the treating psychologist should consider and/or address with Mr. Smith when treatment begins;
- explains possible strategies that the treating psychologist could use to build engagement with Mr. Smith; and
- identifies issues of risk for the treating psychologist to consider when dealing with Mr. Smith in terms of his or her own wellbeing in the workplace. 

Mr. Smith's Background

Mr. Smith grew up in a dysfunctional family where his father paid no attention to the emotional health of his children.Mr.Smith, therefore, lacked a father figure who would provide guidance regarding social relations, especially with the opposite sex. The patient has also been exposed to aggression towards women courtesy of his father who used to verbally abuse Mr. Smith’s mother. Additionally, Mr. Smith grew up in an environment that was socially male-dominated. The men in Smith's life, however, had little respect and regard for women which is the basis for Mr. Smith’s beliefs regarding sexual consent.

The client is also a regular drinker which may be a contributor to his offensive behavior. Alcohol tends to remove both their psychological and physical inhibitors making the perpetrator more likely to perform the sexual offensive act (Curt & ‎Anne, 2014, p.97). Mr. Smith also lacks platonic relationships with women. He reports that his relationships with women have been short-term and based on sex. As a result, he is very delusional and he often regards positive social cues from women as sexually motivated.

Mr. Smith therefore often assumes that friendly women find him sexually attractive which ends with him committing sexual assault. Mr. Smith also dropped out of school in year eleven. He, therefore, does not have a very clear understanding of what constitutes a sexual offense. The client is also rebellious and unruly which have impeded his education as well as employment.

Information on Mr. Smith’s current circumstances relevant to his treating psychologist

Mr. Smith is yet to gain meaningful employment although he plans to resume employment in his former posts at his friend’s trucking company. Mr. Smith is also looking forward to a relationship despite moving in with an employed female friend who has a clean criminal record. Additionally, the client is enrolled in a treatment program after being granted parole. However, Mr. Smith is exhibiting very minimal change and is likely to experience a relapse if a proper treatment procedure is not employed. There has however been a decline in his rebellion and he is becoming friendlier.

Assessment of Mr. Smith’s current risk of re-offending (committing sexual violence)

Mr. Smith still poses a risk of sexual assault mainly because he is delusional as he still mistakes friendliness for flirting. Mr. Smith’s female friend is also at great risk of sexual assault given Mr. Smith has not been in a platonic relationship and the fact that Smith mistakes female kindness for sexual attraction.  Additionally, Mr. Smith has also not fully grasped the concept of mutual consent and is therefore likely to take advantage of female friends around him.

Information on Mr. Smith’s Current Circumstances Relevant to his Treating Psychologist

Mr.Smith also does not exhibit remorse for previous actions and his inability to develop a sense of empathy is thus likely to see him commit sexual violence again. The client also still lacks a mentor and father figure to point him in the right direction especially regarding his relationships with women. Mr. Smith's positive progress is also likely to be impeded by the reunion with his old friends whom he plans to move in with once the 24 month period is over. Smith’s old friends are likely to negatively affect his progress as Smith is likely to resume substance abuse which may contribute to sexual assault. His current state of unemployment is also likely to result in idleness which may see him seek sexual assault as an escape.

Suggestions that the treating psychologist can make to help him reduce this risk

Mr. Smith should be encouraged to maintain minimal contact with his previous friends since they negatively influence him. Additionally, the client should seek more platonic relationships with women as this will enable him to understand the interests and behaviors of the opposite sex. It will also give him the chance to develop meaningful relationships with the opposite gender which will help him abandon flings. The meaningful relationships will also help Mr. Smith develop a sense of purpose and drive in overcoming his struggles.

The treating psychologist should also inform Mr. Smith on the importance of mutual consent before sex as this will eliminate accusations of sexual assault. Mr. Smith should also be discouraged from moving in with the female friend to avoid a recurrence of his previous behavior. The psychologist should also appoint a mentor or father figure who will advise Mr. Smith on how to appropriately interact with women. Smith should also steer clear of alcohol and substance abuse as they motivate him to commit sexual offenses.

Ethical issues to consider and/or address with Mr. Smith.

It is important to note that sex offenders are still guaranteed their human rights despite their offenses (Alfred  & Anthony,2010,p.76).Therefore, although the law protects the community from the sexual offenders, it is also the obligation of the state to observe the right and freedoms of the sexual offenders (Dominic,2010,p.46). With that in mind, the treating psychologists should inform Mr. Smith of his human rights and freedoms throughout the treatment process. For instance, the treating psychologist should inform Mr. Smith of his right to treated with dignity and respect despite the limitations placed on his liberty. The patient should also be informed of his freedom to raise concerns if and when he feels subjected to physical, emotional and psychological torture (Graham & ‎Anthony, 2017, p.112).

Assessment of Mr. Smith’s Current Risk of Re-Offending (Committing Sexual Violence)

All measures taken in the treatment of sex offenders should be geared towards competent caring for the patient's well-being. Any action contrary to this principle should, therefore, constitute unethical conduct on the part of the professional. The treating psychologist should also inform Mr. Smith on the need to maintain professional relationships with the relevant staff since engaging in a personal relationships can compromise the competency as well as impair the effectiveness of their psychological work.

Mr. Smith should also be made aware of the psychologist's role in maintaining client confidentiality. It is the duty of the treating psychologist and other staff to seek the client's consent before disclosure of confidential information (William, ‎Yolanda & ‎Liam, 2005, p.172). Disclosure of confidential information without the consent of the client is only allowed by law if the information is used for the protection of the client (Australian forensic psychology for sexual offenders, 2011, p.16).

There should also be a discussion on the methodology used by the treating psychologist. For instance, it is unethical for the practitioner to withhold or tamper with the relevant information (Australian Psychological Society, 2016, p.53). The psychologist should inform Mr. Smith on the need to maintain proper records in order to facilitate future research as well as compliance with the relevant regulations. Documentation, however, should not compromise the confidentiality between the psychologist and the client.

Strategies to build engagement with Mr. Smith.

The psychologist should appeal on the friendly nature of Mr. Smith. A close relationship with Mr. Smith will make it easier for him to open up and reveal more concerning his time. Additionally, the psychologist should assure Mr. Smith of the confidentiality of the information he shares. It is also essential for the psychologist to discuss Mr. Smith’s life interests such as his love for alcohol and eagerness to form new relationships. Discussing personal interests has been found to be effective in helping people open up (Daniel, Tanya &Leigh, 2014, p.43). The psychologist should also treat be patient and non-judgmental towards Mr.Smith.This way, the client will feel valued and respected which may prove useful in increasing the client's openness.

The treating psychologist should also establish Mr. Smith’s feelings and sentiments regarding his treatment by the law enforcement authorities. Enquiring on such issues will portray the psychologist as caring which will get Mr. Smith to talk and divulge information that will be helpful in his treatment. The psychologist should also conduct the treatment in a manner that makes Mr. Smith feel safe and comfortable. This is because pressuring the client may prove counterproductive since most clients tend to become cagey and secretive (Shirley& Prasuna, 2006, p.34). Since Mr.

Suggestions that the Treating Psychologist can make to help him Reduce this Risk

Smith has been previously regarded as resistant to treatment, it is essential for the psychologist to show emotional support by empathizing and showing the client that he is worth the time and effort (Liang, Amy, Thomas & Andrew, 2011, p.102). Lastly, the psychologist should apply a collaboration centered approach to treatment as it is useful in building trust which gives the psychologist a greater chance of success in treating the client.

Risk issues for the treating psychologist to consider when dealing with Mr. Smith

Mr. Smith still poses a threat given his violent past as well as sexual assault history. The treating psychologist should, therefore, be wary of Mr. Smith's rebellious past despite his current friendly nature.Mr.Smith is also likely to pose a threat to a female treating psychologist as evidenced by his wishes for a female psychologist who he can ‘take to a movie. ’Additionally, Mr. Smith is still in denial regarding his offenses which may increase the risk of committing them again. The treating psychologist should, therefore, be vigilant and keen in observing sexually violent tendencies.

Mitigating the risk issues posed by Mr. Smith

The risks posed by Mr. Smith can be mitigated by adhering to the ethical principles of psychological practice. For instance, the treating psychologist, especially female should steer clear of multiple relationships with the client to avoid being compromised. Avoiding personal relationships with the client will also minimize the risk of sexual violence given the client's past (Amy & Harry, 2015, p.89). The psychologist should also maintain proper documentation of the events and issues occurring during treatment. Documentation and recording keeping is likely to discourage the client from harming the psychologist (Leam ‎William & ‎Kevin, 2010, p.45).

References

Alfred A & Anthony L. (2010). Ethical Practice in Psychology: Reflections from the creators of the APS code of ethics. (1st ed, pp.76) John Wiley and sons.

Amy P & Harry M. (2015). Sexual Offending: Predisposing Antecedents, Assessments and Management. (1st ed, pp.89) Springer.

Australian forensic psychology for sexual offenders. (2011). Issues in Criminal and Forensic Psychology and Psychiatry: 2011 Edition, pp.16)

Australian Psychological Society. (2016). Ethical Guidelines: Complementing the APS Code of Ethics. (5th ed, pp.53) Abe Books.

Curt R., & ‎Anne M. (2014). Introduction to Forensic Psychology: Research and Application (4th ed., pp.97).

Daniel T, Tanya G, Leigh H. (2014). Sex Offender Treatment: A Case Study Approach to Issues and Interventions. (1st ed, pp.43)Wiley Blackwell.

Dominic J. (2010). Australia's Preventive Detention Laws: An Analysis of Risk Assessment Practices and Characteristics of Sex Offenders (1st ed, pp.46) Monash University.

Graham M & ‎Anthony R. (2017). Forensic Psychology: Crime, Justice, Law, Interventions. (2nd ed, pp.112)  British Psychological Society John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Leam A, ‎William R., ‎Kevin D. (2010). Assessment and Treatment of Sexual Offenders. (1st ed, pp.45) John Wiley &Sons Ltd.

Liang T, Amy D, Thomas H & Andrew (2011). Ethics for Psychologists: A Casebook Approach. (1st ed, pp.102). Sage

Shirley A, & Prasuna R. (2006). Ethics & Professional Practice for Psychologists. (2 nd Ed, pp.34) Thomson social sciences Press.

William L, ‎Yolanda F & ‎Liam M. (2005). Sexual Offender Treatment: Controversial Issues. (1st ed, p.172) John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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