Staff profile

Professor Basia Spalek

Professor in Conflict Transformation




College of Health, Psychology and Social Care


School of Allied Health and Social Care

Research centre

International Centre for Guidance Studies (iCeGS)


Kedleston Road, Derby Campus



I am a research professor interested in understanding how contexts characterised by conflict, distrust and violence can be re-negotiated in order to create spaces of empowerment and security.  I have undertaken research exploring community-based approaches to preventing violence, community-based approaches to counter-terrorism, police and community engagement, inter and intra community tensions and social cohesion, and critical thinking skills in relation to working with violent extremism.

I have led international, national and local research projects for wide-ranging organisations, including the European Commission, the Office for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the Royal United Services Institute, the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, the Home Office and West Midlands Police.  My works has been funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC, the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the European Union, alongside other funders.

I have also researched victimisation, victims' needs and victims' rights.  I am a BACP registered and practising Integrative Psychotherapist and I provide therapy for a wide range of different clients within diverse settings, including prisons, community contexts and at trauma clinics.  I am a specialist in working with trauma and my latest book Crime Victims and Trauma is due to be published in 2016 by Palgrave Macmillan.  I am interested in applying an integrative psychotherapeutic framework to non-clinical settings, for example for agencies of the criminal justice system, for community leaders, for counter-radicalisation initiatives.

I am currently a member of the UK People's Tribunal on Child Sexual Abuse We are collecting information about institutional child sexual abuse in order to provide material for the Independent UK inquiry into institutional child sexual abuse.

Teaching responsibilities

I teach on the MSc in Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy at the University of Derby.

Research interests

Counter-terrorism, radicalisation, victimisation, trauma and conflict.

Membership of professional bodies

Nominated Expert on 'Compensation of victims, prevention of crime and related aspects relevant to the security of citizens’ for the Human Rights Law Centre, University of Nottingham, a successful tender to provide for the EU Fundamental Rights Agency reports and other services on human rights in the United Kingdom. 

Registered member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy.


Recent conferences

Experience in industry

I have acted as a consultant to the West Midlands Counter-Terrorism Unit, the Crown Prosecution Service, the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD, an internationally known research and consultancy organisation), the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI, a Whitehall based governmental think tank), HM Prison Service, Wilton Park (a forum for global change), the Department for Communities and Local Government in the UK, the Australian Government Families & Communities Taskforce, the North Sea Working group on Proactive Policing in the Global Neighbourhood, the Open Society Institute, based in Budapest, the OSCE and I am currently a rapporteur to the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI).

These activities have influenced policy and practice. For example, my work for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) involved writing a horizon scanning policy document on equality issues for the future, which the Equality and Diversity Lead within the CPS used to develop future practices from.  My work for the ISD and for RUSI helped to focus policy makers’ attention upon the impacts of counter-terrorism measures on communities.  My work with the Australian Government involved presenting a policy paper on the risks posed by radicalisation in relation to families. 

International experience

Additional interests and activities

I am an enthusiastic runner and regularly complete Marathons and Half Marathons

Recent publications


Peer Reviewed Journal Articles

A student ambassador speaking with parents at a University of Derby event

Basia Spalek, Professor of Conflict Transformation at the University of Derby, provides some top tips for parents on how to deal with empty nest syndrome.