Child Sexual Abuse & the Digital Landscape: Risks, Clinical Opportunities, & Ethical Concerns - Certificate Workshop Elective
Presenter: Kelly J. Ace, PhD, JD, Family Support Line Program Director
The digital landscape is an ever-changing virtual social space where individuals with access to technology can learn, interact, express themselves, and store personal information. This workshop is designed to help clinicians explore how clients’ use of cell phones, social media, and the internet may 1) put them at risk for sexual abuse and other forms of exploitation; 2) provide opportunities for both healing sexual trauma and reinforcing unhealthy, trauma-related behaviors; and 3) facilitate the development of either healthy or unhealthy relationships. Specific topics include: online “grooming” behaviors of sexual offenders, the connection between online and off-line victimization, the role of online communities/websites in reinforcing unhealthy coping strategies (e.g., self-injury, disordered eating, substance use), and children’s exposure to sexually-explicit online materials. The workshop will also include a discussion of ethical concerns that may arise when working with tech-savvy clients, including clinician social media policies; privacy concerns when communicating electronically with clients; and client-therapist boundaries.