Assessing forensic risk: a psychodynamic approach (P20)

Join experts from the renowned Portman Clinic in critical analysis of models of forensic risk assessment through a psychodynamic lens

Through a series of engaging, virtual lectures delivered by a group of expert speakers, this ten-week course offers you an innovative framework for understanding the complex and subtle issues involved in assessing and managing the risk of violence and sexual offending.

You may work in a variety of settings, including generic mental health services, social care, forensic mental health and the criminal justice system.

Aims and learning objectives

In this ten-week CPD course, you will examine:

  • models of risk assessment
  • key psychodynamic concepts in understanding symptoms, offending and enactment
  • psychodynamic theories of violence
  • psychodynamic theories of sexual offending and perversion
  • psychodynamics of the relationship between offender and victim
  • the impact of childhood development on adult enactment and offending: developmental history, attachment and cycles of violence and abuse
  • understanding transference and coutnertransference in relation to risk and clinical work
  • borderline and psychotic states of mind
  • dynamics of coercion and control

Who is this course for?

This course is for you if you are a clinician or practitioner working in generic mental health services, social care, forensic mental health or the criminal justice system and come into contact with individuals who present a risk of harm to others.

The course will assist institutions in providing a safe and secure environment for their staff working with high risk individuals.

Course details

There will be ten sessions, each lasting two hours:

Please note the earlier start time on 2 February.

SessionsDateStart timeEnd time
Session 1/1012 January 20242.30pm4.30pm
Session 2/1019 January 20242.30pm4.30pm
Session 3/1026 January 20242.30pm4.30pm
Session 4/102 February 20241.30pm3.30pm
Session 5/109 February 20242.30pm4.30pm
Session 6/1023 February 20242.30pm4.30pm
Session 7/101 March 20242.30pm4.30pm
Session 8/10 8 March 20242.30pm4.30pm
Session 9/10 15 March 20242.30pm4.30pm
Session 10/1022 March 20242.30pm4.30pm

This course will be delivered remotely using Zoom.

You will need a device with a microphone and camera together with a suitably fast internet connection. Although mobile devices and tablets can be used, we recommend the use of a laptop or desktop PC for the best experience. Some devices provided by employers may have restrictions in place. Please use this Zoom test link to check your set up before booking.

You will be sent the necessary login link about a week before the course start date. Should you have any concerns about the accessibility of remote delivery please contact us to discuss how we can best help you.

This course is delivered by the renowned Portman Clinic and will introduce you to models of risk assessment and examine the applications and limitations.

You will examine key psychodynamic concepts in understanding symptoms, offending and enactment and gain an understanding of the impact of childhood development on adult offending behaviour.

You will also examine psychodynamic theories of sexual offending and perversion, and borderline and psychotic states of mind.

Lectures in this series include:

Introducing a relational approach to risk assessmentDr Jessica Yakeley
Relational Approaches to Sexual OffendingDr Andrew Williams
Online perversionsDr Ariel Nathanson
Offending as a psychodynamic enactmentDr Tomasz Fortuna
Perversions in Groups and OrganisationsPedro Freire
Counter-transference issues in working with mentally-disordered offendersDr Alla Rubitel
Stalking: A relational approachGabrielle Brown
Violence as tragedy, violence as tyranny’Dr Stephen Blumenthal
Violence and sexual deviation in adolescenceDr Ariel Nathanson
Violence and psychopathyDr Jessica Yakeley

Although there are no formal academic entry requirements, we ask that you have had some previous learning/experience in the basics of psychodynamic theory.

Library membership

Included in your course fee, you will receive online membership to the Tavistock’s internationally-renowned library for the duration of your course.

Our friendly and knowledgeable library team will help to support you through your specialist CPD course, whatever your level of professional or academic experience. You will have access to an extensive range of eBooks, online journals, all the relevant key databases and our specialist audio-visual collection, plus reference access to all our print books.

Our information skills trainer has made lots of material available on Moodle to help you navigate our comprehensive electronic collections. PCs and photocopiers are available for your use (charges apply for printing and copying), as well as various online resources including audio/video playlists.


“Fascinating course with really informative lecturers. Difficult and challenging content presented so thoughtfully and skilfully.”
“I found this course has given me a good foundation and taste for forensic psychotherapy specifically. All of my peers attending brought something different to each lecture and there was huge learning in this for me.”
“This course met my expectations and beyond. The pace and layout was excellent.”
“I found the course in-depth and an eye opener for personas who were not trained in psychotherapies, as nurse in primary care I was able to identified several instances of what was discussed.”

Course facilitators

Register your interest

Bookings are now closed. Register your interest to join our waiting list and be the first to hear when this course reopens.

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