My main areas of interest are forensic and clinical psychology, including the factors underpinning offending behaviour and to the prevention of suicide and self-harm. I have a special interest in psychopathy and how the behavioural and psychological features of the psychopathic disorder lead to offending behaviour. I have published widely on the science of risk assessment and safety planning in mental health services.

My background is as a Consultant in Clinical and Forensic Psychology and I have spent my career as a clinical-academic working in secure mental health facilities, attempting to address the needs of people with severe mental illness or personality disorder who can present a danger to themselves or to the general public. I have a strong interest in clinical and forensic psychology as it applies to the family and criminal courts and have acted as an expert witness in many legal cases.

  • BSc (hons), Psychology, University of London
  • MSc, Clinical Psychology, University of London
  • PhD, Psychology, University of London

Areas of Expertise

  • Risk assessment, risk management, and child protection
  • Sexual offending, paedophilia and models of human sexuality
  • Psychopathy and severe personality disorder
  • Suicide and self-harm
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Publications

  1. & The pupil's response to affective pictures: Role of image duration, habituation, and viewing mode. Psychophysiology 53(8), 1217-1223.
  2. & As Far as the Eye Can See: Relationship between Psychopathic Traits and Pupil Response to Affective Stimuli. PLOS ONE 12(1), e0167436
  3. & Risk taking and the triarchic model of psychopathy. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 1-14.
  4. & Psychopathy and impulsivity: The relationship of the triarchic model of psychopathy to different forms of impulsivity in offenders and community participants. Personality and Individual Differences 114, 134-139.
  5. & Automatic Direction of Spatial Attention to Male Versus Female Stimuli: A Comparison of Heterosexual Men and Women. Archives of Sexual Behavior 45(4), 843-853.

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Teaching

  • PS-M29 Personality and sexual disorders

    Personality and sexual disorders are two of the highest profile long-term psychological disorders that place significant demands on either mental health services, the judiciary system, or both. This module examines key disorders, including paedophilia, psychopathy/anti-social personality disorder and borderline personality disorder. Each disorder is considered from biological/genetic, social/familial, societal, neurological and psychological explanatory frameworks. Treatments based on these models are critically reviewed.

  • PSY319 Final Year Independent Research Project

    Students conduct an independent research project under the supervision of a member of staff. The research topic is decided in conjunction with supervisors and Research topics. Students must obtain ethical approval, design, conduct, analyse and write up a piece of research in order to achieve Graduate Basis for Chartership with the British Psychological Society (BPS).

External Responsibilities

  • British Psychological Society Representative, CAFCASS Cymru Advisory Committee

    2016 - Present

  • Director, Wales Applied Risk Research Network (WARRN)

    2004 - Present

  • Chartered Clinical Psychologist , British Psychological Society

    1994 - Present

  • Chartered Forensic Psychologist, British Psychological Society

    1994 - Present

Career History

Start Date End Date Position Held Location
1997 1999 Lecturer School of Psychology, Cardiff University
1999 2001 Senior Lecturer School of Psychology, Cardiff University
2001 2004 Reader School of Psychology, Cardiff University
2004 2009 Professor School of Psychology, Cardiff University
2009 2016 Head of Psychology Pastoral Healthcare

Administrative Responsibilities

  • REF Impact Lead - Department of Psychology, Swansea University

    2016 - Present

Key Grants and Projects

  • Supporting reduction of suicide in the general population of Wales via the use of Structured Professional Judgment, Economic and Social Research Council 2017 - 2020

    Collaborative DTP Pathway and Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, £79,899

  • In the eyes of the beholder – the use of pupil response as a measure of emotional processing 2013 - 2016

    WellcomeTrust , £42,189