envelope Contact 

Measuring Risk Relevant Change: Implications for the Therapeutic Process and Risk Management in Sexual Offending Populations

Mark Olver


This presentation provides a review and synthesis of the sexual offense treatment change literature with implications for dynamic sexual violence risk assessment and management. A rationale is provided for the importance of dynamic approaches in sexual violence risk assessment, and that change is most informative when it is risk relevant and generated from a credible change agent (e.g., treatment, aging, increase in supports). Models and methods for evaluating sexual violence risk change are then briefly reviewed, followed by a more detailed overview of sexual offense treatment change research in frequently evaluated domains of psychological functioning (e.g., sexual deviance, mental health and wellbeing, attitudes and cognitions). Prominent examples of dynamic sexual offense risk measures, and their change properties demonstrated through research, are reviewed followed by an illustration of methods to systematically incorporate change information into risk appraisals.       


Dr. Mark Olver Ph.D. is Professor and Registered Doctoral Psychologist in the Clinical Psychology Program at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada, where he is involved in graduate and undergraduate clinical and research supervision, teaching, administration, and applied forensic research. Prior to his academic appointment, Mark worked as a clinical psychologist in various capacities, including providing assessment, treatment, and consultation services for young offenders in the Saskatoon Health Region and for adult federal offenders in the Correctional Service of Canada. Mark’s research interests include offender risk assessment and treatment, young offenders, psychopathy, and the evaluation of therapeutic change. He is the co-developer of the Violence Risk Scale-Sexual Offense version (VRS-SO) and the Violence Risk Scale-Youth Sexual Offense version (VRS-YSO) and he provides training and consultation services internationally in the assessment and treatment of psychopathic, sexual, and violent offending populations.