Assessing risk: a relational approach

Course overview

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.

This is an ten week CPD short course and over the ten weeks, you will examine:

  • Introduction: models of risk assessment. Accuracy and limitations of different types of risk assessment.
  • Key psychodynamic concepts in understanding symptoms, offending and enactment.
  • Psychodynamics of the relationship between offender and victim, and between practitioner and client.
  • Psychodynamic theories of violence.
  • The impact of childhood development on adult enactment and offending: developmental history, attachment and cycles of violence and abuse.
  • Psychodynamic theories of sexual offending and perversion. 
  • Borderline and psychotic states of mind. 
  • What can be learned?

Each session will include a lecture and work discussion group.

This course is delivered by the renowned Portman Clinic and will introduce you to models of risk assessment and examine the accuracy and limitations of them.  You will also examine key psychodynamic concepts in understanding symptoms, offending and enactment and gain an understanding of the impact of childhood development on adult enactment and offending.  You will also examine psychodynamic theories of sexual offending and perversion and borderline and psychotic states of mind.

This course is for you if you work in criminal justice or mental health settings and come into contact with individuals who present a risk of harm to others. You may be a clinician or practitioner who assess and manages risk of harm to self or others in individuals with severe psychopathology in secure and community settings.

In order to undertake this course, we ask that you are a clinician or practitioner working in generic mental health services, social care, forensic mental health and the criminal justice system.

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

All the sessions in 2019 will take place weekly on Friday afternoons from 2.30pm - 4.30pm, on the following dates:

  • 27 September
  • 4, 11 and 18 October
  • 8, 15, 22 and 29 November
  • 6 and 13 December

27th September 2019 

Introduction to the Course

Online Perversions

Muzaffar Husain

Dr Muzaffar Husain is a Consultant Forensic Psychiatrist and a Psychoanalyst. He trained in forensic psychiatric settings across the secure estate in the UK. Alongside the Portman Clinic, he works in a regional secure service. He has wide ranging experience in providing expert evidence to criminal courts and parole board hearings in the context of mentally disordered offenders. He works as a medical psychotherapist undertaking individual and group treatment of violent and sexually deviant individuals. He is a member of the British Psychoanalytic Society. 


4th October 2019

Violence and Psychopathy

Jessica Yakeley

Jessica Yakely is a Consultant Psychiatrist in Forensic Psychotherapy and Director of the Portman Clinic, and Director of Medical Education, Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust. She is also a Fellow of the British Psychoanalytic Society and Editor of the journal Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy. She specializes in the psychotherapeutic treatment of people presenting with violent and sexual problems. She has published widely on topics including psychological therapies, medical education, violence, risk assessment, prison health, and antisocial personality disorder. She is Vice-Chair for the Royal College of Psychiatrists Psychotherapy Faculty and Research Lead for the British Psychoanalytic Council. She is currently leading the national development and implementation of community services for a multi-site randomised-controlled trial of mentalization-based treatment for antisocial personality disorder as part of the UK Government’s National Personality Disorder Offender Pathways Strategy.


11th October 2019

Sexual Deviation, Perversions and Risk  

Andrew Williams

Dr Andrew Williams is a Consultant Psychiatrist in Forensic Psychotherapy at the Portman Clinic, having trained as a forensic psychiatrist in secure settings such as Broadmoor hospital. He has published in the areas of forensic group psychotherapy, sexual offending and risk assessment, and lectures widely on topics relating to forensic psychotherapy. He also offers consultation to secure settings such as prisons and secure mental health units.


18th October 2019

Stalking: A Relational Approach

Gabrielle Brown

Gabrielle Brown is Adult Psychotherapist at the Portman Clinic, where she also leads the Forensic Psychotherapy training (D59F). She is Consultant Psychotherapist in Reflective Practice in SLAM. Trained originally in social work, she has extensive experience of working in custodial and forensic settings and with homelessness. Her edited collection ‘Psychoanalytic Thinking on the Unhoused Mind’ was published by Routledge in 2019.

8th November 2019

Counter-transference Issues in working with Mentally Disordered Offenders –

Alla Rubitel

Alla Rubitel is a Consultant Psychiatrist in forensic psychotherapy at the Portman clinic. She co-edited a book “Containment in the community” published by Karnac in The Portman Papers series. She also contributed chapters to the books in the field of forensic psychotherapy and she is the organiser and the chair of P1 CPD course at the Portman clinic.


15th November 2019

Relational Security in Forensic Institutions

Stanley Ruszczynski

Stanley Ruszczynski is a Psychoanalyst and a senior Consultant Adult Psychotherapist at the Portman Clinic where he was Clinic Director 2005-2016.


22nd November 2019

Attachment Issues in Offender Populations

Graham Music

Graham Music is a Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist with extensive trainings as both an adult and a child and adolescent psychotherapist. He works primarily with children and adolescents in the Portman clinic and adults elsewhere.  At the Tavistock he teaches and supervises on the child psychotherapy and other psychological therapy courses. He also leads on training in child development, neuroscience and attachment theory, and has a particular interest in linking cutting-edge developmental findings with therapeutic practice. His current clinical work in the NHS is primarily with issues of post-maltreatment, trauma and forensic work at The Portman Clinic.


29th November 2019

Violence and Sexual Deviation in Adolescence

Ariel Nathanson

Ariel Nathanson (MA, MPsych) is a Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist at the Portman Clinic where he specialises in the assessment and treatment of children, adolescents and young adults who display perverse, delinquent and violent behaviours. Ariel works privately as an organisational consultant to therapeutic communities for highly disturbed children adolescents. He is also a clinical supervisor and consultant to other clinicians and front-line workers who engage violent young people in gangs and in prisons.


6th December 2019

Offending as a Psychodynamic Enactment

Tomasz Fortuna

Tomasz Fortuna trained as a psychoanalyst at the Institute of Psychoanalyst in London. He is a member of the British Psychoanalytic Society and Hanna Segal institute for Psychoanalytic Studies. He has worked as a psychiatrist in the NHS for 12 years and currently works at the Portman Clinic with adults, children, and adolescents and is in private psychoanalytic practice. He teaches and supervises in the UK and abroad. His professional interests include the relationship between psychoanalysis and the arts and the understanding of severe emotional disturbances. He co-authored a book Melanie Klein: the Basics and is a guest editor of Empedocles: European Journal for Philosophy of Communication.


13th December 2019

The Psychoanalytic Understanding of Female Offenders


Muzaffar Husain

The fee is £750 per person.

Included in your course fee, you will receive full membership of 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 to navigate our comprehensive electronic collections.  PCs and photocopiers are also available for your use.

Library staff curate various online resources, such as Audio/Video Playlists and Subject Updates, to help you stay on top of latest developments, as well as regularly sharing helpful news and research on Twitter and Facebook. Find out more on the Library website:

Certificate of attendance
Course length:
10 weeks
Tavistock Centre, 120 Belsize Lane, NW3 5BA
Admission status:
September 2019 to December 2019

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