Keynote Speakers – Confirmed

Chijs van Nieuwenhuizen
Chijs van NieuwenhuizenPresidential Keynote


Ask them first! Actively involving youngsters in risk assessment

Risk assessment is an important guideline in the treatment of youngsters in forensic youth care and forensic child and adolescent psychiatry. Risk assessment, however, is mainly filled out by professionals and/or researchers and youngsters are often not actively involved in risk assessment. This is a missed opportunity as active involvement may lead to an improved working alliance, more engagement and a stronger predictive validity (Kroner, 2012; Kroner et al., 2020). In my presentation, I will talk about the pros and cons of engaging youngsters in risk assessment and I will elaborate upon why this is important in relation to effective interventions. I will also talk about the Transition Inventory. This inventory is a self-report instrument that directly involves youngsters in risk assessment (Kroner & Mills, 2015). We explored the psychometric properties and feasibility of the authorized Dutch translation. Results show that the Transition Inventory is a reliable questionnaire that can be used in clinical practice to involve youngsters in risk assessment. In addition, we believe that the Transition Inventory strengthens shared decision making in forensic youth care and forensic child and adolescent psychiatry.

BIO

Chijs van Nieuwenhuizen, clinical psychologist/psychotherapist, is professor in Forensic Mental Health Care (Tilburg University), professor in Transforming Care for Youth ((Tilburg University) and visiting professor University College Ghent, Faculty of Education, Health & Social Work. At GGzE, she is program leader of the Research group Forensic Mental Health Care and works as a clinician at De Catamaran, hospital for youth forensic psychiatry & orthopsychiatry.

Van Nieuwenhuizen studied clinical and experimental psychology at the University of Groningen. In 1998, she got her PhD in Medicine at the University of Amsterdam. In 2004, she was officially registered as psychotherapist (behavioural therapy and psychoanalytic therapy), in 2016 as MH-psychologist (children & youth) and in 2021 as clinical psychologist (adults). Van Nieuwenhuizen is, among other things, president of EFCAP (European Association for Forensic Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Psychology and other involved Professions), member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Child Care and Protection Board, member of the ZonMw committee ‘Research programme Mental Health Care’ and member of the NWO committee ‘Reintegration in society of adolescents and adults with autism and psychosis’.
Clare Allely
Clare AllelyKeynote


Exploring How Certain Features of Autism can Provide the Context of Vulnerability to Engaging in Terroristic Behaviour/Online Extremist Groups and Child Sexual Abuse Material

Rather than being the perpetrators of offending, individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are more likely to be the victim of crime. However, there is nevertheless a small subset of individuals with ASD who do offend. In the small subgroup or subset of individuals with ASD who do offend it tends to be certain types of offending including computer offences (e.g., hacking); stalking and harassment offences; sexual offences, various forms of online offending; violent offences that are impulsive or fear induced and also obsessive preoccupation offences such as arson.

In this presentation I will provide some understanding of how certain features of ASD may provide the context of vulnerability to engaging in a terroristic behaviours and online extremist groups. It has been highlighted in the literature, the role that autistic special interests, fantasy, obsessionality, the need for routine/predictability, social and communication difficulties, cognitive styles, local coherence, systemizing, and sensory processing may play in terrorism pathways and modus operandi. Additionally, for an individual who is socially isolated and alienated, the search for a “need to matter” or social connection and also support may also be potential risk factors.

We will also explore how certain features of ASD can provide the context of vulnerability to engaging in the viewing of indecent child imagery or child sexual abuse material (CSAM). Some examples of these features include the inability to appreciate the consequences and implications of viewing of images of minors and also literal thinking, impacting on the ability to appreciate that something that is so freely available can actually be illegal. There is an urgent need for the innate vulnerabilities associated with ASD which can contribute to the engaging with CSAM, terroristic behaviours and online extremist groups to be recognised in criminal law.



Pre-congress workshop

The Psychology of Extreme Violence: Threat Assessment and Exploring the Pathway to Intended Violence in Some High Profile Cases.

In this workshop we will explore the pathway to intended violence (PTIV) in extreme acts of violence (e.g., mass shooters, school shooters and lone-actor terrorists). The PTIV was created by Calhoun and Weston (2003) as an applied and empirical model for threat assessment. The model proposes six steps towards a violent act: grievance, violent ideation, researching and planning, preparation, probing and breaching, and attack. In this workshop we will look at the PTIV in a number of cases including: Dylann Storm Roof who shot nine people at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina on June 17, 2015; Adam Lanza who entered Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut killing 26 people, 20 of them young children on December 14 2012 and Elliot Rodger who killed six people and injured fourteen others by gunshot, stabbing and vehicle ramming near the campus of the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), before fatally shooting himself on May 23 2014.

Researchers have repeatedly found that there is no prototypical, one-size-fits-all character that perpetuates extreme acts of violence or mass shootings. One of the reasons for the difficulty in creating a profile for these perpetrators is that the profiles themselves are not unique enough, and capture characteristics of many individuals (e.g., substance misuse/abuse and anger management problems) who are highly unlikely to perpetuate violence. For this reason, the risk-focused assessments that are inherently reactive, focusing on predictive accuracy have been an insufficient approach to these incidents. Threat assessments were developed and introduced to provide an alternative, proactive means to prevent the violent incidents from occurring in the first place. Threat assessments are more consistent with a public health method to reduce risk factors and increase protective factors by providing mechanisms for which the individual can effectively get to the root at what motivated and encouraged their violent behaviour. Resolving what is causing and invoked the threatening behaviour is a form of de-escalation and prevention. In the field, threat assessments recognise, evaluate, and handle threats. Being able to predict the risk of an individual carrying out an act of targeted violence accurately is likely to be impossible given the low base rate of these acts. Nevertheless, prevention is possible if there is a focus on fact-based behaviors, and threat management is in place.

The Terrorist Radicalization Assessment Protocol (TRAP-18; Meloy et al., 2015) is a collection of 18 behavior-based warning signs for terror incidents. There are eight proximal characteristics and ten distal characteristics. In this workshop I will explore the TRAP-18 and some studies which have examined the utility of this threat assessment. Some case studies will also be explored using the TRAP-18 (e.g., the perpetrator of the 2018 Toronto van attack, Alek Minassian).



BIO

Clare S. Allely is a Professor of Forensic Psychology at the University of Salford in England and is an affiliate member of the Gillberg Neuropsychiatry Centre at Gothenburg University, Sweden. Clare is an Honorary Research Fellow in the College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences affiliated to the Institute of Health and Wellbeing at the University of Glasgow. She is also an Associate of The Children's and Young People's Centre for Justice (CYCJ) at the University of Strathclyde. Clare acts as an expert witness in criminal cases involving defendants with autism spectrum disorder and contributes to the evidence base used in the courts on psychology and legal issues through her published work. She is author of the book “The Psychology of Extreme Violence: A Case Study Approach to Serial Homicide, Mass Shooting, School Shooting and Lone-actor Terrorism” published by Routledge in 2020 and author of the book “Autism Spectrum Disorder in the Criminal Justice System: A Guide to Understanding Suspects, Defendants and Offenders with Autism” published by Routledge in 2022.
Jon Taylor
Jon TaylorKeynote


The dark side of the mind: Promoting compassion to inhibit callousness and cruelty

Human beings possess a range of motives. On the one hand, we can be motivated to notice suffering and behave in ways that prevent or alleviate further suffering (compassion). Alternatively, we can be motivated to turn away from suffering and respond with a callous indifference. And within our basic nature, some of us find that we can gain pleasure from causing distress.

This presentation considers the ways these latter two motives can be explored, challenged, and shifted using Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) as a primary therapeutic modality to understand and address risk with young people who commit serious offences. The presentation will provide a broad overview of CFT before providing a description of a therapeutic framework that enables clinicians to address risk of harm from a trauma sensitive and compassionate perspective. Early data from forensic CFT will also be provided.



Pre-congress workshop

The Darkside of Desire: developing compassion in young people and adolescents who commit sexually motivated offences.

This workshop builds on the themes of the forensic CFT presentation and develops the focus around key areas of risk and vulnerability associated with sexually motivated offending. The workshop will look to create a context for compassion focused working by considering the relational experiences of young people who commit sexual offences and explore the developmental repercussions of adverse early experiences.

The impact of traumatising early relationships on the development of a containing therapeutic alliance will be a specific consideration as the foundation for psychological work, and the context for psychological and behavioural change. The workshop will then address trauma sensitive ways of understanding sexual preoccupation and sexualised states of mind, sexual arousal and sexual interests and the role of callous and cruel motivations as key drivers in sexually motivated offending. The workshop will cover de-shaming ways of identifying and working with risk and similarly explore ways to develop a healthy identity that facilitates community reintegration and resilience.



BIO

Jon Taylor is a consultant forensic psychologist and psychotherapist who has worked in range of prison, secure hospital and community forensic settings for almost 30 years. With a keen interest in developing a rich understanding of the role of trauma and adversity in the lives of those who develop offending behaviours, Jon is committed to promoting and modelling a compassionate and co-operative approach to all aspects of forensic service provision. Jon has undertaken post graduate therapy training with Paul Gilbert, the founder of Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) and has used CFT in clinical practice for the last decade. Jon is a member of the Compassionate Mind Foundation and cofounder of the CFT forensic special interest group. Jon is one of the leading trainers in the UK for forensic CFT and has several publications on the application of CFT to forensic practice.
Mónica López López
Mónica López LópezKeynote


LGBTQ+ youth in the Child Welfare System: Experiences of resilience and resistance to intersectional discrimination

The representation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ+) children and youth in child welfare systems has been largely ignored in scientific inquiry until recently, especially within the European context. The scientific literature addressing the experiences of LGBTQ+ youth in the child welfare context has established five key findings: 1) LGBTQ+ youth are overrepresented in child welfare systems; 2) LGBTQ+ youth go through more placement changes than their heterosexual and cisgender peers; 3) LGBTQ+ youth are more likely to be placed in group or residential homes than in family care; 4) LGBTQ+ youth often leave care without a suitable preparation for their transition to independence; and 5) LGBTQ+ youth are exposed to discrimination, hostility, and violence associated with their sexual and/or gender minority statuses within child welfare services. Despite these key findings indicating that LGBTQ+ youth involved in the child welfare system face risks across multiple social contexts, research also shows that care-experienced LGBTQ+ youths find ways to overcome adversity and healthfully thrive with the availability of supportive social relationships.

Using data from two studies conducted in the Netherlands and Spain, this presentation will examine the experiences of LGBTQ+ youth in contact with child welfare systems by exploring the challenges and sources of social support in their care trajectories as well as during their process of transition to independent living. We will discuss the policy and practice implications for the development of safer and more inclusive care settings that are better tailored to the particular needs of this group in care.



MASTERCLASS

Promoting wellbeing and resilience among LGBTQ+ youths in the Child Welfare System through policy and practice

(Mónica López López & Luis Armando Parra)

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, and other sexualities (LGBTQ+) youths experience high incidences of prejudice, discrimination, and violence at the intersections of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and race and ethnicity. These intersectional experiences of prejudice, discrimination, and violence are known to result in severe, and often chronic, mental health challenges among LGBTQ+ youth. These lived experiences of LGBTQ+ youths and their relation to mental health challenges, however, have been widely understudied internationally and among more vulnerable LGBTQ+ persons, such as LGBTQ+ youth living in out-of-home care who are further stigmatized at the intersection of their care status. At the same time, research indicates that these youths prove to be resilient through the benefits of having various sources of social support which enable them to feel socially connected and exhibit a positive outlook on life. LGBTQ+ children and youth also report the importance of practitioners as sources of information, comfort, and optimism that allow them to develop a positive LGBTQ+ identity and exercise resilience.

Therefore, the goal of this masterclass is twofold: first, to explain how prejudice, discrimination, and violence specific to sexual orientation, gender identify, race and ethnicity, and care-experienced status intersect and relate to mental health challenges; and second, to explore LGBTQ+ youths’ processes of resilience-development through relationships with care professionals in the child welfare system. This masterclass will include a deep discussion on how policy and system efforts can tackle these issues through education programs for family, community, and child welfare system professionals on anti- heterosexist or homophobic ideologies and practices, as well as through community-based trauma response services.



BIO

Mónica López López obtained her PhD in Psychology at the University of Oviedo, Spain. She is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences of the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. Her research provides guidance to address decision making disparities and to reduce inequalities in child protection systems. In her research, Mónica focuses on the voice of the service users, children and families, as a powerful instrument to improve welfare services. Her recent projects include Hestia, a European funded project comparing policies and practices of child protection in England, Germany and the Netherlands; Audre and Firmus on the experiences of LGBTQIA+ young people in out-of-home care in the Netherlands and Spain respectively; and Brighter Future, a European project addressing the social inclusion of children in care through training for education professionals.

Mónica has been involved in transferring scientific knowledge, teaching at the international master Youth Society and Policy, training professionals, and working in international research networks. She is a board member of EUSARF (European Scientific Association on Residential and Family Care for Children and Adolescents) and iaOBERfcs (International Association for Outcome-Based Evaluation and Research on Family and Children’s Services). She was the founder of the EUSARF Academy, a network for PhD students and early careers conducting research in the field of child and family welfare. In 2020, Mónica received the Best PhD Supervisor of the Netherlands Award by the Dutch PhD Network (PNN).

Mónica is the Coordinator of Internationalization for the Department of Pedagogical and Educational Sciences at the University of Groningen, and an Academic Ambassador of the University of Groningen.


Luis Armando Parra
Luis Armando ParraKeynote


MASTERCLASS

Promoting wellbeing and resilience among LGBTQ+ youths in the Child Welfare System through policy and practice

(Mónica López López & Luis Armando Parra)

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, and other sexualities (LGBTQ+) youths experience high incidences of prejudice, discrimination, and violence at the intersections of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and race and ethnicity. These intersectional experiences of prejudice, discrimination, and violence are known to result in severe, and often chronic, mental health challenges among LGBTQ+ youth. These lived experiences of LGBTQ+ youths and their relation to mental health challenges, however, have been widely understudied internationally and among more vulnerable LGBTQ+ persons, such as LGBTQ+ youth living in out-of-home care who are further stigmatized at the intersection of their care status. At the same time, research indicates that these youths prove to be resilient through the benefits of having various sources of social support which enable them to feel socially connected and exhibit a positive outlook on life. LGBTQ+ children and youth also report the importance of practitioners as sources of information, comfort, and optimism that allow them to develop a positive LGBTQ+ identity and exercise resilience.

Therefore, the goal of this masterclass is twofold: first, to explain how prejudice, discrimination, and violence specific to sexual orientation, gender identify, race and ethnicity, and care-experienced status intersect and relate to mental health challenges; and second, to explore LGBTQ+ youths’ processes of resilience-development through relationships with care professionals in the child welfare system. This masterclass will include a deep discussion on how policy and system efforts can tackle these issues through education programs for family, community, and child welfare system professionals on anti- heterosexist or homophobic ideologies and practices, as well as through community-based trauma response services.



BIO

Luis Armando Parra, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan. In his research, Dr. Parra uses an intersectionality approach to further understand the lived experiences of adolescents and emerging adults who belong to multiple marginalized social groups. Specifically, Dr. Parra studies the effects of heterosexist, cissexist, and racist discrimination, as sources of stress, on neurobiological regulation, and in turn, their associations with mental health.
Simone Fox
Simone FoxKeynote


Multisystemic Therapy Across Europe: Implementation and Evolution

Multisystemic Therapy (MST) is a community-based, family intervention for young people with complex social, clinical and educational problems such as aggression, antisocial behaviour or substance misuse. MST aims to improve family functioning in order to reduce challenging behaviour in the home and in the community with the ultimate aim of preventing out-of-home placements, either in care or custody and enhancing life trajectories. Since the first efficacy trial (Henggeler et al., 1986) and subsequent implementation of MST, the treatment has been expanded globally. There are now more than 600 MST programmes across 15 countries worldwide, including 10 European countries. This keynote will review the MST journey in Europe, regarding its implementation, research and adaptation.



Pre-congress workshop

Using the Multisystemic Therapy Model to work Collaboratively with Young People at Risk of Gang Involvement

Young people who are involved in gangs or are at risk of criminal or sexual exploitation form a sub-group of those referred to Multisystemic Therapy (MST). Existing studies of MST have produced mixed findings about whether it is a useful intervention for young people involved in gangs. In 2019, the Youth Endowment Fund supported the development of four new teams across England to deliver an augmented version of MST focusing specifically on young people involved in Child Criminal Exploitation (CCE).

This workshop will provide an overview of MST and the research around gangs and exploitation. Based on some of the learning from the UK experience of adapting MST to focus on CCE and gang involved young people, participants will gain experience of applying MST principles and working collaboratively through using case studies.



BIO

Dr Simone Fox is a Consultant Clinical and Forensic Psychologist, and Multisystemic Therapy (MST) Consultant. She is employed by South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and Kings College London. She has previously worked with adult mentally disordered offenders in medium secure units and prison, as well as with young offenders within a Young Offenders’ Institution. She has significant experience in undertaking psycho-legal assessments for adults and young people in the criminal justice system. She is a co-editor of the Oxford Casebook of Forensic Psychiatry and the accompanying Forensic Psychiatry guide (part of the Oxford Specialist Handbooks in Psychiatry). She has published several book chapters and over 20 peer reviewed journal articles.
Arne Popma
Arne PopmaKeynote


A translational social neuroscience model for the development of antisocial behavior from childhood to adulthood.

Social neurosciences aim to bridge research frameworks stemming from both sociology, focusing on the population level, and neurosciences, focusing on the individual (biological) level. In Forensic Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, a biopsychosocial developmental framework has for long been embraced. However, in an ever developing field, with new insights from sociology, complexity science and precision medicine, this framework might benefit from an update incorporating these new ideas. In this keynote, an overview is presented from new insights, examples of ongoing research embracing such a social neuroscience and precision medicine perspective in The Netherlands (e.g. https://www.gutsproject.com/). Specific attention will be directed to co-creation with young people and families of both research and interventions, as an important driving underlying principle.



Masterclass

Co-creating new interventions with young people and informal caregivers in Forensic Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

Even though a large variety of effective interventions have been developed over the years in our field, we still struggle with reaching the right youngsters at the right time. In addition, dropout rates are often high, and youngsters often give negative feedback on current treatment options, while often distrusting our institutions and even our profession. In this Masterclass, we will explore co-creation of research and interventions as a key concept in designing together with young people and their families, instead of as professionals designing for them. Several examples will be discussed; from a ‘credible messenger network’ intervention (where youth at risk first build relationships with trusted key-figures in their neighborhood before adding a psychologist or psychiatrist) to an online platform co-designed and co-run by young people themselves. Co-creation may as such serve to enhance effectiveness of our prevention and intervention endeavors.

BIO

Arne Popma is a Professor and the head of the Department of Psychiatry at Amsterdam University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. His research centers on the development of antisocial and aggressive behavior in children and young people and Public Mental Health. He also serves as the chairman of the Dutch Psychiatry Association (NVvP) and works as a child and adolescent psychiatrist at Levvel in Amsterdam, where he oversees the Forensic & Behavior research department.

Venue

Teatro Micaelense
Largo de São João
9500-106 Ponta Delgada
S. Miguel - Açores - Portugal

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Contacts

For scientific questions and abstracts assistance, please contact:

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For general information about the event, including registration, please contact us at:

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