Staff Profile


Miss Belinda Siesmaa

Senior Lecturer

School: School of Psychology and Life Sciences

Campus: Canterbury Main Campus

Tel: 01227 921872

Profile summary

Dr Belinda Siesmaa (nee Coulston) is the Deputy Subject Director (Psychology) and Senior Lecturer.  Belinda is also the Programme Director for the MSc/PGCert Forensic and Investigative Psychology programmes.  Belinda has also been the Programme Director for the MSc Psychology (conversion course) and Postgraduate Programmes Lead (Psychology).   Belinda is a Chartered Forensic Psychologist in the UK (BPS and HCPC), a BPS Registered Supervisor for Forensic Psychologists in Training (QFP - Stage 2), Committee Member for the DFP BPS Training Committee and a registered Psychologist (non-practicing registration) with the Australian Health Care Practitioner Registration Agency (AHPRA).  Belinda is also an External Examiner for the MSc Forensic Psychology at the University of Winchester.

Belinda commenced her psychology training in Melbourne, Australia, and was awarded a Bachelor of Applied Science (Psychology) and Graduate Diploma of Psychology from Deakin University before working in community mental health. Following this, Belinda specialised in forensic psychology working with varying offending populations in both community and prison settings. During this time Belinda completed her Masters of Criminology (Forensic Psychology) at Melbourne University. Belinda was awarded her PhD (Investigative Psychology) from the University of Huddersfield.  

For the past 18 years, Belinda has worked within applied clinical/forensic settings and academic environments.  Throughout her career, Belinda has been involved in the development and implementation of various offending behaviour programmes across probation, prison, community and mental health services, as well as prison based therapeutic communities in both Australia and the UK.  Belinda has also worked for the Victoria Police, Prison service, NHS, Monash University (Australia) and Kings College London (Institute of Psychiatry). Belinda specialises in forensic risk assessment and rehabilitation of adult offenders (prison and community), in particular those with personality disorder and mental illness. Belinda also has experience in Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), CBT and schema therapy.

Research and knowledge exchange

Belinda has 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

Belinda’s skill sets include: 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.

Belinda is also a 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

Siesmaa, B. (2014, 2015, & 2016).  Guest Lecture: Careers in Forensic Psychology Goldsmiths University, New Cross, England.

Russell, S., & Coulston, B. (April, 2014). Poster: The Experiences of Forensic Males in Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (Forensic Version): A Qualitative Exploratory Study. 11th National Conference Research in Forensic Mental Health Services.  Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London.  London, England.

Bruce, M., & Coulston, B (February, 2014).  Symposium:A New Pathway for Community Forensic Personality Disorder Services (3 papers).  15th Annual Conference-British and Irish Group for the Study of Personality Disorder (BIGSPD). Lincoln, England.

Kerr, R., Bruce, M., Sonigra, K., Russell, S., Coulston, B., Brennan, F. (February, 2013) Symposium: Engaging non-engagers: transforming the landscape of "treatment" for violent offenders'. 14th Annual Conference - British and Irish Group for the Study of Personality Disorder (BIGSPD).   Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Siesmaa, B. (April, 2012). Presentation: The Schema Modes and Criminal Thinking Styles of Mentally Disordered Offenders. European Association of Psychology and Law (April, 2012).  Nicosia, Cyprus.

Spruin, E. & Siesmaa, B. (April, 2012) Presentation: Deconstructing the personal narrative through offending behaviour and interpersonal style. In: The Annual Conference of the European Association of Psychology and Law (EAPL). Nicosia, Cyprus.

Siesmaa, B. (March, 2012).  Guest Lecture:  Introduction to Forensic Risk Assessment.  The University of Huddersfield. England.

Siesmaa, B., & Spruin, E. (June 2011).  Presentation:  Unlocking the minds of offenders: Deconstructing offenders through understanding their personal narrative.  The Stockholm Criminology Symposium. Stockholm, Sweden.

Publications and research outputs

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