AAFP: Differentiating Delusional Disorder from Extreme Beliefs: An introduction to the 17-Factor Model

Presented By Mark Cunningham, PhD, ABPP
Mark Cunningham, PhD, ABPP

4 Hours | 4 CEs

This on-demand professional training program on is presented by Mark Cunningham, PhD, ABPP in partnership with the American Academy of Forensic Psychology (AAFP)

Threat assessment professionals and forensic mental health experts face a challenging differential in determining whether a potential violent actor or post-violence defendant suffers from a delusional disorder or is simply radicalized in his extreme religious or political beliefs. An SPJ tool termed “Model of Analysis for Differentiating Delusional Disorder from the Radicalization of Extreme Beliefs–17 Factor" (MADDD-or-Rad-17) is available to aid in systematically distinguishing these cases and in promoting transparency in associated reports and testimony.

In this model of analysis (SPJ), 7 primary arenas of analysis were distilled from scholarship regarding features of delusions and delusional disorder. Seventeen factors are specified for operationally defining and qualitatively describing the 7 primary arenas of analysis. Within each factor, features may be specified that further disaggregate the analysis. This program serves as an orientation to the MADDD-or-Rad-17.

Intended Audience

This on-demand professional training program is intended for mental health and other allied professionals

Experience Level

This on-demand professional training program is appropriate for beginner, intermediate, and advanced level clinicians.

CE / CPD Credit

APA, ASWB, CPA, NBCC Click here for state and other regional board approvals.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this program you will be able to:

Describe the diagnostic criteria for delusional disorder

Describe five factors that render the differential between delusional disorders and extreme political beliefs more challenging

Describe seven primary arenas of analysis for making the differential

Describe 17 factors illuminating the seven primary arenas of analysis for making the differential


Presented By

Mark Cunningham, PhD, ABPP

Mark D. Cunningham, Ph.D., ABPP is a Seattle-based, board-certified clinical and forensic psychologist, researcher, and prolific scholar, authoring more than 60 publications that have been cited an aggregate of 1800+ times in the scholarly literature, as well as by SCOTUS (Moore v. Texas, 2017) and ...


1. Introduction

2. Orientation and Overview: MADDD-or-Rad-17

3. Need for a SPJ Tool

4. Case Illustration - Christopher Monfort

5. History of Delusional Disorders as Diagnostic Classification

6. Factors Contributing to Diagnostic Divergence

7. Extreme Over-Valued Beliefs (EOB)

8. Social Influences and Diagnostic Constructs

9. MADDD-or-Rad-17 - Applications in Monfort

10. Practice Case - Brian Nichols

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CE Credit

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Convenience & Flexibility

Learn at your own pace, from wherever you might be!

Program Partner

American Academy of Forensic Psychology (AAFP)

We are proud to partner with the American Academy of Forensic Psychology (AAFP) for this training. AAFP is a non-profit organization of board-certified forensic psychologists whose mission is to contribute to the development and maintenance of forensic psychology as a specialized field of study, research, and practice. The Academy does this by providing high-quality continuing education workshops, providing a forum for the exchange of scientific information among its members, and conferring awards upon outstanding students and practitioners in the field of forensic psychology.

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