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Health Forum Online    The Psychologist's Source for C.E. Credits Online

The Psychological Factors in Stalking: Victim and Stalker Characteristics

by Kathleen Holland, PsyD 2 CE Credits

Stalking is illegal behavior defined as unwanted contact that is repetitive and experienced as intrusive and/or threatening by the victim. One third of stalkers stalk more than one person and the overwhelming majority of stalkers use more than one method of stalking. While characteristics of stalkers vary, they are generally characterized as rejected, incompetent or predatory in type, with the latter associated with a criminal history and high rates of violence. Stalker characteristics can differentiate them from other criminals, in areas of persistence, relentless obsession, fantasy motivations and childhood histories. For the victim of stalking, there are long-term and significant psychological trauma and disruption of life. Specific threat assessments, case management and judicial interventions and clinical interventions, have been developed to track and prevent additional harm to the victims of stalking. This online CE course will provide clinicians with information and skills necessary to assess and treat victims of stalking for psychological injury, identify categories of stalkers, consult and assist law enforcement officials in specific stalking cases, and provide clinically relevant interventions to those involved in stalking.


Continuing education for this online course is offered through the following approvals:


  • HealthForum is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. HealthForum maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
  • HealthForum (ACE Provider #1156) is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) www.aswb.org, through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) Program. HealthForum maintains responsibility for the program. ASWB Approval Period: (6/20/2017 to 6/20/2020). Social workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval for continuing education credits. Social workers participating in this course will receive 2 Clinical continuing education clock hours.
  • HealthForumOnline, LLC, SW CPE is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0355
  • HealthForum has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6216.  Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. HealthForum is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.


Course Sections/Outline:

  • Introduction: Definition, Prevalence and Relevance
  • Stalking Typologies and Characteristics
  • The Phases of Intimate Partner Stalking and Important Warning Behaviors
  • The Victim’s Experience
  • The Role of Law Enforcement and Health Professionals: Reporting, Risk Assessment and Case Management
  • Web-based Resources
  • References

Learning Objectives:

After completing this course, health professionals will be able to:
  • Describe recent changes in the definition of stalking regarding “fear” and how this influences its prevalence and relevance to society.
  • Identify 4 important stalker typologies and psychosocial characteristics including the role of age, gender, relationship between predator/victim, and co-morbid psychiatric disorders.
  • Clinically recognize 8 warning behaviors associated with elevated risk for violence by the stalker and apply 10 strategies for victims to reduce risk of stranger stalker violence.
  • Discuss 5 distinct roles mental health professionals can play in the multi-disciplinary approach, namely increase reporting, assess for risk, promote prevention, help navigate litigation and provide treatment to reduce the psychological sequelae on victims.