HDR Confirmation Presentation - Andrew Allen - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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HDR Confirmation Presentation - Andrew Allen

We would like to invite you to attend the Confirmation Presentation of Andrew Allen, a Doctor of Philosophy candidate in the School of Social Sciences.

Thesis Title: Sexual Violence and Fantasy: Investigating the Utility of Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing Therapy

When: Tuesday 4 August from 2pm- 3pm

Where: IC1.49a  (To gain easy access to the SRC (IC1.49A), please take the lift alongside the auditorium (as no swipe access is required). As you exit the lift, turn right and walk to the end of the passage and into the SRC (no swipe access required during working hours).


Sexual violence is a prominent and global health concern, characterised by a continuum of harmful sexual behaviour, ranging from coercion to engage in sexual acts, to serious violent assault and even death. Origins of sexual violence encompass multiple pathways to offending, including genetic predispositions, adverse childhood experiences, sociocultural processes, and contextual influences. For perpetrators of sex crimes, a recurring consideration in treatment frameworks resides in an individual’s experience of sexual fantasies that arguably preceded and perpetuate harmful sexual behaviour. However, empirically supported psychological interventions for sexual fantasy management in the context of sexual violence perpetration is suboptimal, prompting the need for both further research and alternative treatment approaches. The theoretical underpinnings of both the cognitive nature of sexual fantasies and eye-movement desensitisation reprocessing (EMDR) therapy present opportunities for such exploration. This thesis will (a) systematically examine the available evidence concerning psychological interventions for sexual fantasies; (b) explore how the phenomenological characteristics of sexual fantasies related to sexual behaviour differ between perpetrators of sexual violence and the general community; and (c) investigate the efficacy of an abbreviated EMDR intervention for sexual fantasies in the general population. A literature review, three empirical studies, and a discussion have been designed for this purpose. Collectively, it is expected that information generated from this thesis will be used to inform future research and interventions regarding sexual violence perpetration, with the ultimate goal of mitigating risk of harm and promoting public safety.


Prior to joining the Discipline of Psychology in the School of Social Sciences, Andrew completed his undergraduate and postgraduate psychology training at the University of the Sunshine Coast. Andrew has since enrolled in a PhD focused on exploring the utility of Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy concerning sexual fantasies and violence. As a Clinical Psychologist, Andrew coordinates courses in the Master of Psychology (Clinical) and Master of Professional Psychology programs at USC, with career experience in the areas of intellectual disability, mental health, adolescent sex offending, chronic health conditions, and psycho-oncology across government and non-government sectors.

We look forward to seeing you there!