Monfredo: Former Worcester Public School Member Publishes Book
Saturday, April 19, 2014
The book is one that should be shared by psychology professors at the college level in their teaching and as a reference guide for social agencies. In the book Tom has chosen to challenge his clients to learn how to manage their behaviors and transform the way they approach life. This book, Respect, is both a philosophy of living and a very specific set of exercises to help youth and young adults who have sexually abused to live abuse – free lives.
This professional manual and student workbook begins a journey for the professional and the student that is a unique approach with very specific steps in the process. According to Tom, to make Respect work, the clinician must have integrated its principles as deeply as his/her clients. To accomplish this task, this manual moves back and forth between speaking to professionals and speaking directly to youth. The book is not meant to be shared directly with clients for there is a separate set of worksheets and accompanying CD that are available for them.
A seven step process
Respect‘s seven step process integrates the elements of relapse prevention, thinking errors work, multi-sensory and brain-based approaches to learning. Step one- reality…you have to know your reality to accept it. You have to accept your reality to change it. Step two – empathy…is looking at yourself through your victim’s eyes and having the pain and betrayal fall into yourself. Step three- Self esteem…before you can do anything you have to love yourself. You’ll do more harm to people if you don’t love yourself. When you love yourself you can do anything and think halfway decent. Step four – plan … the problem is like a puzzle. You have to have the right pieces to put it together. If you don’t have the last piece, it’s not complete. Step 5 – Evaluation … you’ve got to try out your plan in the mall, you know, here you live. I saw a kid on the elevator. I didn’t go on it. I avoided the situation. Step 6 – choice… this group gives me confidence so I can make a choice. Step seven – Trust… Trust is freedom.
Origin of 'Respect'
The idea for the book began while Tom was working as lead clinician in a psychiatric day treatment program called BUDD (Better Understanding Develops Direction) for individuals with Mental Retardation, Mental illness, and physical challenges. The place was originally called the Lipton Center but is now called Community Health Link. A pedophile with a dual diagnosis (MR and schizophrenia) had molested a child in a swimming pool and no one knew how to treat him, including Tom. Thus, according to Tom as he reviewed the case he stated, “I began to study the brain and how it receives information which led me to multisensory process. I also learned that one pedophile can molest up to 300 children. If I can treat one person successfully I can prevent 300 victims from this occurrence. “
He went on to say that this is what changed him and his clinical direction. Thus, he developed Respect; presented it at The World Congress on Violence in Caracas, Venezuela and met Dr. Ken Fletcher, director of the Behavioral Science Research Core at UMASS Medical, and who later received a $600,000 grant to use Respect with juveniles who had sexual offenses at YOU, Inc. The program Respect treats:
· Adolescents, both male and female, with sexual, conduct, and adjustment issues
· Adults diagnosed with cognitive delay, mental illness, physical challenges with behavioral issues
· Adults with normal intelligence with sexual behavioral issues
· You can use it – I can use it; to think before I act
· Respect uses individual, family, and group therapies
According to its author, Respect is simply an action-oriented process on how to make a decision in 7 seconds based on martial art principles and putting Respect between Stimulus and Response.
Steve Bengis, Executive Director of Neari Press, stated, "Respect is a powerful way for all of us to approach daily living.” Few approaches to sex offender treatment and management attempt to be truly transformative. Author Keating has chosen to challenge his clients to learn how to manage their behaviors and transform the way they approach life. As the author acknowledged, Respect is an action program. It is not what you say it’s what you do that counts. Respect is an integral part of the healing of many affected individuals.
A note about the author… I worked with Tom in the '70s when I was an assistant principal at Woodland Community School and Tom was working through the Child Study Department making home visits and helping out families in need. Tom was then and continued to be very passionate about reaching out to those children and families in need.
He took children to sporting events and family members to appointments. He was always doing what he could to assistance his clients. Later in life Tom continued his work for those individuals in need and now has his own practice in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. It’s wonderful to see an individual who has given so much to others receive accolades now as an author.
Related Slideshow: AP Opportunities at Worcester’s High Schools
According to ProPublica, studies have shown that students who take advanced classes have increased chances of attending and finishing college. However, with the number of advanced placement (AP) courses offered at Worcester's public high schools varying significantly, not every student is given the same chance. The slides, below, show the Worcester public high schools whose students have the most and least AP opportunities to help them get into - and graduate from - college.
The below data were collected from the Civil Rights Data Set, released by the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Right, and refers to the 2009-10 school year. The data were analyzed by ProPublica.
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