Centre for Forensic and Family Psychology
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Simon Duff

Director of Stage II Training in Forensic Psychology, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences



Simon Duff has a BSc in Psychology and Physiology, MSc in Forensic Psychology, and a PhD in Applied Psychology. 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 Director of Stage II Training and Placement Manager. He was a member of the Division of Forensic Psychology committee and the BPS Research Board.

Expertise Summary

Until recently Simon's primary clinical work, based at the Merseycare NHS Trust's community service, Mersey Forensic Psychology Service and the associated MSU, The Scott Clinic, was with men who have offended sexually against children. However, working across a community and medium secure setting he also routinely worked with men who had offended sexually against adults, women who had offended against children, violent people, stalkers, and individuals with fetishes. This work has been the driver behind much of Simon's research focus, which is concerned with sexual offending and stalking. Simon has recently moved to work at a local Low Secure Service.

Simon has collaborated 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. Simon is trained in a number of different ways of working with individuals including EMDR.

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, the Channel 5 series, Robbing Your Relatives, and has spoken on radio about pornography and issues of sexual offending.

Teaching Summary

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

Research Summary

Aspects of stalking

Conceptualizations of rape


Theory of Mind



Selected Publications

Simon's clinical work was previously 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 used a variety of approaches to work with individuals including EMDR, Schema Therapy, Mindfulness, and CBT. 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. Most recently he has co-facilitated the Non-Offending Partners Group. The forensic team have been 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.

Currently Simon works at a local Low Secure service working with a range of men.

Simon has provided input to court proceedings, MAPPA and Parole Board hearings, assessments in HMPS and secure services.

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, stalking, and sexual assault.

Centre for Forensic and Family Psychology

University of Nottingham
Division of Psychiatry and Applied Psychology
School of Medicine
YANG Fujia Building, Jubilee Campus
Wollaton Road, Nottingham

telephone: +44 (0) 115 846 7898