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Research interests

I am registered with the UK Health and Care Professions Council as both a Forensic and Clinical Psychologist and am currently Professor of Forensic and Clinical Psychology at the University of Bath, UK.

I have varied experience in both clinical practice and academic settings. I spent several years working in Birmingham Children and Family Services undertaking child/parenting assessments and providing Expert Witness testimony to the courts in child protection cases. I also worked with children and families who were being fostered and/or adopted.

I have an extensive body of research published in peer reviewed journals, as well as by national and international organisations. Current work is largely focused on technology-assisted child sexual abuse, but more broadly considers child maltreatment, trauma and risk assessment, considering both victims (e.g., prediction, prevention and impact of maltreatment) and offenders (e.g., harmful sexual behaviour; online grooming).

My research always has an applied element, with an aim to impact on individuals, organisations and policy making. During my career, I have undertaken international consultancy (e.g., the British Council) and led European and nationally funded research. I have worked collaboratively with a variety of NGOs and other organisations, such as the World Health Organisation (WHO), the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), Escaping Victimhood, the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) and regional police. My work on the early institutionalisation of young children across Europe was considered at international level and led to training in multiple European countries.

Research interests 

  • Technology assisted child sexual abuse: victim vulnerabilities, offender grooming and policing
  • Child maltreatment: prediction, prevention and impact, including resilience
  • Institutionalisation of children
  • Interventions for trauma
  • Harmful sexual behaviour in young people

My previous and current PhD research team have a variety of projects; examples include:

  • Online bystander interventions (A. Davidovic; current)
  • Neuroimaging and resilience (H. Cornwell & S. Eaton; current)
  • Cultural perspectives of child maltreatment in Malaysia and the UK (E. Ong Chet; 2019)
  • Parental role in children’s response to trauma (Hope Christie; 2019)
  • Homicidal bereavement (F. Costa; 2018)
  • Attachment representations in institutional care in Chile (M. Garcia Quiroga; 2017)
  • Online sexual grooming and abuse via technologies (J. Kloess; 2014)
  • Victim vulnerabiltiies to online grooming (H. Whittle, 2014)  

Teaching interests

Postgraduate: Director of Studies on the new MSc in Applied Forensic Psychology and Counselling. My teaching topics include child maltreatment (theories and practice), online grooming and abuse; expert witness testimony; report writing; professional issues (e.g., codes of conduct; professional and personal boundaries).

Education/Academic qualification

Clinical Psychology - lateral transfer, British Psychological Society

20022006

Award Date: 1 Nov 2006

Forensic Psychology, Doctor of Philosophy

Sep 199420 Dec 1997

Award Date: 12 Jul 1998

PG Cert in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, University of Birmingham

20012003

Psychology, Bachelor of Science in Psychology, University of Birmingham

Sep 1991Jul 1994

Associate Fellow, British Psychological Society

2010 → …

HCPC registered Forensic Psychologist and Clinical Psychologist, Health and Care Professions Council

2009 → …

Chartered Clinical Psychologist, British Psychological Society

2006 → …

Chartered Forensic Psychologist, British Psychological Society

2002 → …

External positions

Senior Lecturer in Forensic Psychology, University of Birmingham

1 Aug 200831 May 2014

Lecturer in Applied Psychology, University of Birmingham

1 Nov 200131 Aug 2008

Independent forensic psychology assessments for chilIndependent forensic psychology assessments for child care proceedingsd care proceedings

1 Jan 19981 Dec 2003

Psychologist, Birmingham City Council

1 Oct 199731 Oct 2001

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