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Simon Duff

Deputy Director of Forensic Programmes, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences



Simon Duff has a BSc in Psychology and Physiology (University of Southampton), MSc in Forensic Psychology (University of Surrey), and a PhD in Applied Psychology (University of Cambridge). He received a SERC-NATO post-graduate scholarship and worked for 2 years at the University of California, San Diego with Professor Donald Norman. After graduating from the Professional Guitar Program at the Musician's Institute of Technology he took up an Assistant Professor post at the Cognitive Section at the University of Bergen, Norway. This led to a Senior Research Fellow post and a Lectureship at the Department of Clinical Psychology, University of Liverpool. During this time Simon qualified through the BPS Stage II route to become a BPS Chartered and HCPC Registered Forensic Psychologist. Simon moved to the University of Nottingham to work on the Doctorate in Forensic Psychology Programme where he is the Deputy-Director of Forensic Programmes, Director of the Top-Up (2 year) doctorate and Placement Manager. He is a member of the Division of Forensic Psychology committee and the BPS Research Board.

Expertise Summary

Simon's primary clinical work, based at the Merseycare NHS Trust community service, Mersey Forensic Psychology Service and the MSU, The Scott Clinic, is with men who have offended sexually against children. However, working across a community and medium secure setting he also routinely works with men who have offended sexually against adults, women who have offended against children, violent people, stalkers, and individuals with fetishes. This work is the driver behind much of Simon's research focus, which is concerned with sexual offending and stalking. Additionally he is involved with the award winning team at Mersey Forensic Psychology Services in the development of services for the partners of individuals who have offended sexually against children.

Simon collaborates with a number of international colleagues on projects concerned with stalking and with fringe consciousness, has provided input to the BPS response to the government's plans for new stalking legislation, and is an editor on a number of professional journals. As a trained hypnotherapist Simon has been involved in work concerned with the use of hypnosis in changing the quality of life of individuals living with Dementia, with Dr Dan Nightingale, and is collaborating with Dr Jeremy Tree on the use of hypnosis in simulating a variety of neuropsychological disorders. Simon is trained in a number of different ways of working with individuals such as EMDR, EFT, and NLP.

Occasionally Simon works outside of the NHS and has provided expert opinion for the Parole Board, the Courts, MAPPA, and has advised on IPP cases. He also provided clinical input to an episode of the ITV program Bad Girls and spoke on local radio about pornography.

Teaching Summary

Stalking, sexual offending, anger and aggression, communication skills, cognitive interview, the jury, genograms, working with complex cases.

Research Summary

Aspects of stalking

Conceptualizations of rape


Theory of Mind



Selected Publications

Simon's clinical work is currently with the team at Mersey Forensic Psychology Service, a specialist NHS service providing assessment and intervention for offenders in the community and in a medium secure service. The team use a variety of approaches to work with individuals including EMDR, Schema Therapy, Mindfulness, and CBT both in individual and group settings. Simon was the manager and co-facilitator for the introductory sex offender group, working mainly with men who have offended sexually against children, at the stage when these men are at their most psychologically fragile and vulnerable and co-facilitated the intermediate group with a focus on Schema approaches. Most recently he has co-facilitated the Non-Offending Partners Group. The forensic team are involved in a number of research projects, regularly present at the Division of Forensic Psychology Annual Conference, and provide teaching to a range of programmes at a variety of universities.

Simon has played in a number of infamous bands from Hollywood to Rushden including Light a Big Fire, Vladd Roxx, Oui 3, Zeurche!, and Frodo. Currently he plays with Studio7, a classic rock covers band, and has collaborated on songs with the German band BENJROSE, with one featured on their recently released album. He also appears as guitarist on a Daniel Adams EP and as a multi-instrumentalist on a Chris De Burgh fan club album release.

Simon attended the last ever Firefest in October 2014.

Simon is an adventure motorcyclist. After a 2 year spell racing an MV Agusta at Thundersprints and raising money for the cancer charity CLIC Sargant by riding throughout Europe on the Barry Sheene Challenge Simon has continued to explore strange new worlds and seek out new civilizations by riding through the Himalaya region of India, through Cambodia, Mongolia, Patagonia, Vietnam, and the US. He has bought petrol at the highest fuel station in the world, worn leathers at the site of the highest recorded earth temperature (and been asked if he would sell them to a traveling preacher), rode the world's largest production bike up Europe's steepest and twistiest road, and holds the completely unofficial record for circumnavigating Guernsey on a Vespa. He recently completed a trip by Hindustan Ambassador through India and an Arctic dog-sledging escapade. The next trip is hiking through Jordan.

Past Research

Attributions in male sexual offenders

Child vs Adult Theory of Mind differences in male sexual offenders

Aspects of therapeutic need in male sexual offenders

Personality Disorder and Aggression

An ICS conceptualisation of Personality Disorder

Self-harming; 1) attitudes of staff working with women in a medium secure unit

2) attitudes of staff working with men in a high secure hospital

3) attitudes of men in a high secure hospital

Religion and sexual offending

Fringe consciousness (with Dr. Elisabeth Norman and Dr. Mark Price, University of Bergen, Norway)


Future Research

Further aspects of pornography, voyeurism, voice hearing, and drawing.

School of Medicine

University of Nottingham
Medical School
Nottingham, NG7 2UH

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