2020 Workshop Series

Into Dark Places: In the Mind of a Sexual and Violent Offender

Presented by Elisabeth Ross

Psychotherapist, counsellor and supervisor

Abstract

This workshop encourages experiential learning about issues of sexual harm and violence. The workshop is aimed at psychotherapists, counsellors and others who wish to understand more about forensic aspects of this kind of offending. Through a group constellation exercise based on a case study, it will take participants into the mind of a convicted sex offender, who was also convicted for extreme violent offences in the past. At one stage, he was on the list of the 10 most wanted offenders in Britain. He has kindly agreed to the use of his ‘fucked up head’ (his words) to give others an opportunity to understand and learn from him by being party to what goes on in his mind, specifically:

• how it feels to be him
• the challenges to feel ‘not a human being’, being hated and ostracised by society
• the compulsion to harm others
• how ruminating about being violent feels
• feeling paranoid
• the impact perpetrating has on his psyche
• understanding the necessary stages of healing to ‘become a human’

Whilst in the group constellation, we will learn and get an understanding about the differences between general and forensic therapy, including:

• working with ‘anti-social personalities’
• Understanding the interlink between traumatic experiences and criminal behaviour

Please note: Participants need to be aware that the constellation of the client’s mind will not be sanitised, and there will be swearing & explicit violent and sexual offensive language. The presenter expects therapists to take care of themselves, as the workshop might be very challenging.

Level: All

Intended Audience: Psychotherapists, counsellors and others who wish to understand more about forensic aspects of this kind of offending.

Max audience size:

Learning outcomes

1) Have a greater understanding about the differences between general and forensic therapy
2) Gain insight into the dynamics of violent sex offending
3) Understand the interlink between traumatic experiences and criminal behaviour
4) Learn about the nature of work with ‘anti-social personalities’

Biography

Elisabeth Ross MBACB (Accr),
AdvDip in Forensic Counselling and Psychotherapy

Elisabeth is a psychotherapist, counsellor and supervisor in general and forensic practice in south London. One of her clinical specialisms is extreme abuse (spiritual, satanic, ritual abuse and mind control) and working with survivors of organised crime.

Her specialism in forensic therapy is working with all kinds of sex offending, and working with people who are thinking of offending against adults and children, but have not done the crime yet. She is also interested in terrorism, extremism and mental health. She provides general supervision and specialist supervision for therapists within the trauma field as well as forensic supervision.

She runs workshops based on material prepared in partnership with clients called INSIDE OUT: Inside the mind of a ‘borderline personality disorder’, Into Dangerous Places: inside the mind of a sexual and violent offender, Beyond Comfort: inside the mind of a person suffering from eating distress, Counselling the Unimaginable: inside the World of African Witchcraft, Counselling the Unimaginable: inside the World of Extreme Abuse’, ‘Inside the Mind of a Spiritual Abuse Survivor’ and ‘From Exorcism to Psychotherapy’.

Elisabeth has held key posts including Director of One in Four UK, working with survivors of child sexual abuse (2005-09), and Chair of the UK Forensic Therapists Association (2008-14). Elisabeth has worked for the Irish Catholic Church counselling service Towards Healing for the past 17 years and runs their ‘Trauma Recovery Programme’ for survivors of clerical, religious and industrial abuse in London.
She was a member (2009-11) of the board of the Criminal Justice Forum of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy. Elizabeth is currently also a Restorative Justice Officer.