Professor
Psychology
Telephone: (01792) 602006
Room: Academic Office - 707A
Seventh Floor
Vivian Building
Singleton Campus

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. & Implicit measurement of violence-related cognitions. Psychology of violence
  2. & 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.
  3. & Pupillary Responses to Static Images of Men and Women: A Possible Measure of Sexual Interest?. The Journal of Sex Research, 1-11.
  4. & As Far as the Eye Can See: Relationship between Psychopathic Traits and Pupil Response to Affective Stimuli. PLOS ONE 12(1), e0167436
  5. & The pupil's response to affective pictures: Role of image duration, habituation, and viewing mode. Psychophysiology 53(8), 1217-1223.

See more...

Teaching

  • PS-M29 Psychopathy and Sexual Offending

    Psychopathy is a severe personality disorder strongly associated with violence and antisocial behaviour and places a large demand on both mental health services, and the judiciary system. The module will cover the measurement of psychopathy, the aetiology of psychopathic traits, and models of psychopathic behaviour from a biosocial viewpoint. Sexual offending is a major societal problem. The module will examine how deviant sexual interests may occur, and how these might be measured. The issues of the assessment of risk posed by sexual offenders and the management/treatment of offenders will be discussed.

  • 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).

  • PSY321 Forensic Psychology

    The module will first explore the role a psychologist in forensic matters as they pertain to criminal behaviour, with a strong emphasis on violence and sexual violence. This will include how information is gathered and used in order to understand offending behavior and its use in risk management and treatment. The module will then go on to consider the role of mental disorders in relation to issues such as criminal responsibility and the treatment of such disorders, before turning to examine in detail the relationship between one particular form of mental illness (psychosis) and one particular form of criminal behavior (serious violence to others). The module will then consider how we go about the examination of individuals in terms of risk of violence to others and sexual violence and conclude by focusing on the management of offenders, including how psychology has informed forensic risk assessment procedures as well as making a substantial contribution to offender rehabilitation.

Supervision

  • Untitled (current)

    Student name:
    MSc
    Other supervisor: Dr Jeremy Tree
  • Supporting Reduction of Suicide in the General Population of Wales via the use of Structured Professional Judgement (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof Ann John
    Other supervisor: Prof Ann John
  • Untitled (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Andrew Kemp

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