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A healthy developed prefrontal cortex (i.e. front of the brain), is arguably most important for a human being to be able to function well in society. Trauma and adverse impact to the prefrontal cortex during development can cause a host of issues such as excessive anger, impulse control problems, low frustration tolerance, and trouble completing tasks and following rules. Overall poor executive functioning unattended can lead to serious behavioral, emotional, and social problems.

Executive function is a set of distinct cognitive skills that enable an individual to identify and pursue goals. The cognitive skills that compose executive function are typically thought to include inhibition, attentional control, working memory, and the flexibility to switch between tasks. The emergence of executive function has been linked to the subsequent development of emotion regulation, theory of mind, moral reasoning, and social competence. However, deficits in executive function can result in several problematic outcomes, including an increased risk of engaging in criminal offending behavior.

Intended for treatment professionals, this training is designed to provide attendees with a working knowledge of executive function and its influence on criminal offending and other problematic behaviors. Interviewing, screening, and intervention considerations will also be discussed. Related topics considered during this training will include criminal recidivism, anger, violence, and aggression, rumination, psychopathology, adverse childhood experiences, alexithymia, metacognition, substance misuse, head trauma, hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis dysregulation, central, nervous system dysfunction, impulsivity, theory of mind, adaptive functioning, sleep problems, special needs populations, and antisocial behavior to name a few. Empirically based research findings will be discussed throughout this training.



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This training will provide participants clinical knowledge and tools to:

a). Define and explain executive function and other related topics.

b). Learn and understand the causes, red flag indicators, and consequences associated with executive dysfunction.

c). Learn and understand the role and impact executive dysfunction plays in criminal offending behavior.

d). Learn and practice interviewing, screening, and intervention approaches related to clinical treatment of executive dysfunction and criminal offending behaviors.

e). Learn and apply empirically based research findings on the topic of executive dysfunction and criminal offending behaviors.


Target Audience:

Mental health counselors, psychologists, social workers, drug and alcohol counselors, marriage and family therapists, telehealth treatment professionals, and other clinical mental health professionals.


Instructional Level: Intermediate

Instructor(s): Jerrod Brown, PhD, MA, MS, MS, MS

Material Author(s): Jerrod Brown, PhD, MA, MS, MS, MS

Jerrod Brown, Ph.D., M.A., M.S., M.S., M.S., is a professor, trainer, researcher, and consultant with multiple years of experience teaching collegiate courses. Jerrod is also the founder and CEO of the American Institute for the Advancement of Forensic Studies (AIAFS). Jerrod has also provided consultation services to a number of caregivers, professionals, and organizations pertaining to topics related to autism spectrum disorder (ASD), fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), confabulation, suggestibility, trauma and other life adversities, traumatic brain injury (TBI), and youth firesetting. Jerrod has completed four separate master’s degree programs and holds graduate certificates in Neuropsychology, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Other Health Disabilities (OHD), and Traumatic-Brain Injuries (TBI). Jerrod has also conducted over 200 workshops, webinars, and on-demand trainings for various organizations and professional and student audiences. In 2021, Jerrod completed a post-doctoral certificate in Leadership and Organizational Strategy from Walden University and a Professional Certificate in Forensic Psychology from San Diego State University Global Campus. Currently, Jerrod is pursuing a graduate certificate in Neuroscience and the Law from Michigan State University. Jerrod has published several articles and book chapters, and recently, co-edited the book Forensic Mental Health: A Source Guide for Professionals (Brown & Weinkauf, 2018) with Erv Weinkauf. Jerrod is also regularly featured on several national and international podcast programs. Email:

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