Belinda Siesmaa (nee Coulston) is the Lead for Postgraduate Psychology Programmes and Senior Lecturer at Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU). Belinda is also the Programme Director for the MSc and PGCert Forensic and Investigative Psychology programmes. Belinda is a Chartered Forensic Psychologist in the UK (BPS and HCPC), a BPS Registered Supervisor for Forensic Psychologists in Training (QFP - Stage 1), and a Committee Member for the DFP BPS Training Committee. Belinda is also registered Psychologist (non-practicing registration) with the Australian Health Care Practitioner Registration Agency (AHPRA).
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, where she has worked 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 is currently completing her PhD (Investigative Psychology) at the University of Huddersfield.
For the past 16 years, Belinda has worked within applied clinical/forensic and academic environments. Throughout her career, Belinda has been involved in the development and implementation of a variety of offending behaviour programmes across probation, prison, community and mental health services, as well as a prison based therapeutic community. 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 and delivers training in her specialised areas.
Research and knowledge exchange
Belinda is currently researching the role of criminal narratives, schema modes and criminal thinking styles in relation to offending behaviour and psychiatric diagnosis.
Belinda’s other research interests include:
- Personality Disorder
- Dialectical Behaviour Therapy
- Female Offenders
- Domestic violence
- Schema therapy
- Criminal narratives
- Investigative Psychology and
- Criminality (e.g. offending behaviour, risk assessments, rehabilitation)
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, RM2000(S/V/C)), 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 currently in the process of a developing an MSc Forensic and Investigative Psychology, alongside being the Module Convenor for the BSc Psychology third year Applied Psychology module and Co-convenor for the second year Forensic and Investigative Psychology, alongside contributing to the MSc Conversion course and being a research supervisor and personal tutor.
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.