I am an Assistant Professor (tenure track) in the Department of Psychology at Saint Mary’s University (Halifax, Nova Scotia). I completed my Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Ryerson University where my graduate work was supported through tri-council funding and a pre-doctoral research grant from the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers. I was awarded the dissertation award by the American Psychology-Law Society for my dissertation on hebephilia (sexual interest in pubescent children) in men who have perpetrated sexual offences.
At Saint Mary’s University, I supervise and teach undergraduate and graduate students in the Department of Psychology. I conduct research on the conceptualization, assessment, and management of atypical sexual interests in forensic and clinical populations, with a particular focus on sexual interest in children. As part of this research program, I have become increasingly interested in the primary prevention of childhood sexual abuse and barriers to the implementation of prevention programming. Lastly, I conduct research on the conceptualization of non-exclusive sexual interests and its impact on sexual behaviour (e.g., are people with a wide range of sexual interests more likely to offend against a wider range of victims).
In addition to my academic work, I am a Clinical and Forensic Psychologist in Nova Scotia. I have a diverse clinical background providing evidence-based assessment and treatment to adolescents and adults in forensic, hospital, and private practice settings. I have experience conducting diagnostic, cognitive, risk, personality, malingering, and specialized forensic assessments (e.g., criminal responsibility, section 34 assessments). I also have experience providing evidence-based treatment for a wide range of mental health disorders in individual and group format. I have presented clinical workshops and trainings to student trainees, healthcare professionals, and lawyers.
For more information about my background please see my CV: Stephens CV March 2020