Pre-Conference Workshop III

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Treatment for Children with Problematic Sexual Behavior and Traumatic Stress Symptoms

Children with problematic sexual behavior (PSB) are defined as youth ages 12 and younger who engage in behaviors that are developmentally inappropriate and/or potentially harmful to self and others, involving sexual body parts.  Though children with PSB can present without co-occurring diagnoses or symptoms, it is common for these children to present with a history of experiencing traumatic stress and concerns of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.  Fortunately, evidence-based treatments, such as Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) and Problematic Sexual Behavior – Cognitive Behavior Therapy (PSB-CBT), are available to address concurrent PSB and traumatic stress symptoms in children.  While these treatment models share the same foundation of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and have significant overlap, each has unique clinical components that can be integrated to help these children.  This presentation will provide a brief overview of PSB and traumatic stress symptoms in children, as well as information on assessment, clinical decision making, and treatment planning related to this population.  The TF-CBT and PSB-CBT models will also be reviewed with a particular focus on the overlapping and unique treatment components of each model.  Participants will be provided with information on research supported treatment components from PSB-CBT designed to reduce or eliminate PSB in children and how these components can be effectively utilized within the context of TF-CBT.  Case vignettes will be used to increase participant’s knowledge and understanding of applying this information to their clinical practice.  Participants are strongly encouraged to complete the free online TF-CBT training ( and National Children’s Alliance PSB video series ( prior to attending.


Jimmy Widdifield, Jr., M.A., is a Licensed Professional Counselor at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Center on Child Abuse and Neglect in Oklahoma City, OK. He co-directs a treatment program for children with problematic sexual behavior (PSB) and is a lead therapist in Problematic Sexual Behavior – Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy programs for preschool and school-age children and adolescents with illegal sexual behavior.  Mr. Widdifield is a Master Trainer in the evidence-based PSB-CBT models for preschool and school-age children, and is a senior member of the training and technical assistance team for the National Center on Sexual Behavior of Youth.

Benjamin A. Sigel, Ph.D., is a Licensed Psychologist and Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS).  His areas of expertise include assessment and treatment of children with a history of experiencing trauma and exhibiting problematic sexual behavior.  Dr. Sigel is a Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) and Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) trainer as well as a trainer for the National Center on the Sexual Behavior of Youth (NCSBY).  He is heavily involved in the UAMS AR BEST (Arkansas Building Effective Services for Trauma) program which has disseminated evidence-based treatment for trauma across Arkansas.

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