Staff Profile


Dr Belinda Siesmaa

Faculty Director of Quality

School: Faculty of Sciences, Engineering and Social Sciences Faculty Office

Campus: Canterbury Main Campus

Tel: 01227 921872

Profile summary

"Quality is about people, not just paperwork"

I am the Faculty Director of Quality for the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Social Sciences. I am also the Course Director for the MSc/PGCert Forensic and Investigative Psychology.  During my time at CCCU I have also been the Interim Subject Director (Psychology), Deputy Subject Director (Psychology), Postgraduate Programmes Lead (Psychology) and Programme Director for the MSc Psychology (conversion course). 

I am a BPS and HCPC Forensic Psychologist and BPS Registered Supervisor for Forensic Psychologists in Training (QFP - Stage 2), in addition to being a Committee Member for the Division of Forensic Psychology Training Committee. I am also an External Examiner for the MSc Forensic Psychology at the University of Winchester and University of Gloucestershire.

I have 20 years’ experience working within various clinical/forensic settings (e.g. probation, prison, policing, community, inpatient, NHS and therapeutic communities) and academic environments (e.g. Kings College London, Monash University, Goldsmiths University, University of Huddersfield) in both Australia and the UK.  As such, I have frequently been involved in the innovation, development and roll out of various therapeutic and academic programmes within and across different sectors (e.g. NHS, HMPPS, private sector, Universities).  Additionally, I am familiar with both the Stage 1 and Stage 2 routes given my role as a MSc Forensic and Investigative Psychology Programme Director and RAPPS supervisor for Stage 2 FPiTs.  I specialise in forensic risk assessment and rehabilitation of adult male offenders (prison and community), in particular those with personality disorder and mental illness. I also has experience in Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), CBT and schema therapy. 

Research and knowledge exchange

I have supervised both quantitative and qualitative (TA, IPA) undergraduate and postgraduate students in the following areas: human trafficking, stalking, bystander effect, drill music, intimate partner violence, cyber crime, mental illness, personality disorder, public perception of offending, child sexual exploitation, criminal narratives and terrorism.

Teaching and subject expertise

As Faculty Director of Quality, I ensure as a Faculty, a) we do what we say we will do b) we do it the best we can c) we engage in continuous improvement and that staff and student experience is core to all elements of my role.  

My forensic skills set includes: Clinical Assessment and Case formulation, Forensic Risk Assessment (HCR-20, VRS, VRS:SO, PCL-R, Static-2000 (and other versions), RM2000(S/V/C); Stalking Risk PRofile; SAPROF; MCMI), Schema Informed Therapy, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Personality Disorder and assessments (SCID-II and IPDE), Mental Health (Axis I and Axis II disorders), Offending Behaviour (violent, sexual and general offending) alongside providing a range of group therapies.

My teaching skill set includes being module convenor of a Year 3 Undergraduate Module 'Applied Psychology' and Postgraduate Programme modules, including: Understanding Criminality and Offending Behaviour; Investigative Psychology; Criminal Justice and the Investigative Process; Forensic Assessment Treatment and Professional Practice and Dissertation modules for both the MSc Forensic and Investigative Psychology programme and MSc Foundations in Clinical Psychology programmes.

External activities

I have extensive experience in leadership and strategic roles, throughout which I ensure 'people' are at the heart of my work.  I have skills in the areas of leadership, supervision, management, quality assurance, consultation and collaboration. I am passionate about innovation, development and streamlining processes that are responsive, practical and creative.  I work well under pressure, which is reflected by having won CCCU’s student nominated ‘Golden Apple’ award in 2020 for ‘Most Calm in a Crisis’ and pride myself on my attention to detail, organisation, communication, networking and interpersonal skills. 

Publications and research outputs

Spruin, E., Dunleavy, T., Mitchell, C., & Siesmaa, B. (2022).  Investigating the criminal thinking styles of mentally diossrdered offenders within the UK.  The Journal of Forensic Practice.  

Spruin. E., & Siesmaa, B. (2017).  The Emotional Experience of Mentally Disordered Offenders: An Exploratory Study Using Smallest Space Analysis (SSA). Journal of Forensic Psychology: Research and Practice.

Russell, S. & Siesmaa, B. (2017).  The Experience of Forensic Males in Dialectical Behaviour Therapy. A qualitative exploratory study. Journal of Forensic Practice, 19, 1, 47-58.

Spruin, E., & Siesmaa.B. (2016). The Criminal Experience of Mentally Disordered Offenders (Chapter 2). In L Sher & J. Merrick, Crime and Criminal Behaviour. New York: Nova Science Publishers.

Harvey, J. & Coulston, B. (2015). Mental Health and the Criminal Justice Setting: the role of the applied psychologist (Chapter 2).  In Jones, P. Interventions in Criminal Justice. Pavilion Publishing and Media.

Spruin, E., Canter, D., Youngs, D., & Coulston, B. (2014). Criminal Narratives of Mentally Disordered Offenders: An exploratory study. Journal of Forensic Psychology Practice, 14, 438-455.

Bruce, M., Crowley, S., Jeffcote, N. & Coulston, B. (2014). Community DSPD Pilot Services in South London: Rates of Reconviction and impact of supported housing on reducing recidivism. Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health, 24, 129-140.


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Last edited: 05/12/2017 03:57:00