Welcome to the Practice section of the ATSA website. This section includes information for practitioners in the field of sexual offender treatment, assessment, management or supervision.
Professional Practice Publications
The Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA) Practice Guidelines are designed to assist ATSA members provide quality treatment services by recommending clinical practices that reflect the best available knowledge.
ATSA members, the Practice Guidelines are available in the member's only section at no cost.
The Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA) represents professionals committed to the welfare of their clientele, the community and their professional colleagues. Based upon a foundation of theory and research, as well as knowledge and skill professions are self-regulating. An inherent assumption in this process is the adoption and adherence to a Code of Ethics. ATSA’s Code of Ethics is intended to reflect scientifically informed and professionally accepted beliefs regarding professional behavior and conduct.
- Assessment, Treatment and Supervision of Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities and Problematic Sexual Behavior
There has been increasing public and professional attention paid to Internet-facilitated sexual offending in recent years. Internet-related sexual offending includes different crimes: the largest number involve viewing, trading, or producing child pornography to be traded or posted on-line. Other offenders use the Internet to make contact with a child, adolescent or other vulnerable persons for sexual chat (electronic correspondence), exploitation such as convincing a child to view or produce pornographic images (e.g., having the child take and email a nude picture of him/herself), or to arrange face-to-face meetings to commit sexual offenses (sometimes referred to as “luring” or “traveler” offending). Both criminal justice and clinical data suggest there have been steady increases in the number of cases prosecuted and, subsequently, the number of clinical referrals for these behaviors.
The treatment of sexual offending behaviors is complex and involves multiple etiologies, individualized risk reduction and risk management needs, and heterogeneous biopsychosocial, interpersonal, and legal factors. Clinicians and researchers have attempted to identify approaches which promise the greatest success in addressing these behaviors. Findings from a meta-analysis examining the effectiveness of various treatment interventions for adult sex offenders indicated that, when used in combination with other treatment approaches, biological interventions like testosterone-lowering hormonal treatments may be linked to greater reductions in recidivism for some offenders than the use of psychosocial treatments alone (Losel and Schmucker, 2005). Other data, described below, suggest that non-hormonal psychotropic medications can also be effective supplements to standard therapeutic interventions for sex offenders as well.
This document is designed to provide an overview of key issues pertaining to the use of hormonal and non-hormonal agents to reduce or inhibit sexual arousal and recidivism in some sexual offenders.
The document Risk Assessment for Males Who Have Engaged in Harmful or Illegal Sexual Behavior provides a comprehensive review of general and specific risk assessment procedures developed for use with adults convicted of sexual offenses. In the interest of comprehensiveness, the authors have included a section on adolescent risk assessment. Children (including adolescents) are different from adults and warrant separate consideration in all aspects of their care, including risk assessment. Nevertheless, readers will no doubt find the section on adolescent risk assessment a useful component of this paper. As noted throughout this document, risk assessment is just one aspect of the assessment, management, and treatment of adults who have committed sexual offenses.
Many victim advocates have increasingly recognized the benefits of working more closely with sex offender treatment and management professionals, and those systems, in turn, are working to become more victim-centered in their approaches. In 2012, the Center for Sex Offender Management (CSOM) was awarded an Office on Violence Against Women Technical Assistance grant to develop resources related to this type of collaboration. CSOM partnered with the Resource Sharing Project, the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers, and NSVRC, over the next few years to develop resources and trainings.