Staff profile

Dr Rachael Wheatley


She/her

Professional Psychological Practice Programme Manager (Postgraduate Diploma in Forensic Psychology Practice)

Subject

Psychology

College

College of Health, Psychology and Social Care

Department

School of Psychology

Research centre

Health and Social Care Research Centre

ORCiD ID

0000-0002-1633-5812

Campus

Kedleston Road, Derby Campus

Email

R.Wheatley@derby.ac.uk

About

I hold the degree of Doctor of Psychology, and I am an experienced Forensic Psychologist. I am an HCPC registered practitioner psychologist and have a BPS chartership (Stage 2 qualification in forensic psychology). I am an Associate Fellow of the BPS, Chartered Scientist, and a full member of, as well as General Committee member (previously Honorary Secretary), for the Division of Forensic Psychology. I also hold EuroPsy and the Register of Applied Psychology Practice Supervisors (RAPPS) certification.

My primary professional and academic interest is in tackling Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) and specifically, understanding and addressing stalking.

Teaching responsibilities

I am the Professional Psychological Practice Programme Manager (Postgraduate Diploma in Forensic Psychology Practice), which is an innovative flexible online professional practice qualification starting in 2023. I am also currently module leader on the MSc in Forensic Psychology for forensic risk assessment and case formulation (on-campus and online versions). I am a supervisor to MSc students carrying out their independent studies and research dissertations, and to a PhD student investigating protective and desistance factors related to stalking. 

Professional interests

My primary professional and academic interest is in understanding stalking as a problem behaviour and a crime, and understanding what effective management of stalking is. Over the last decade or so I have specialised in understanding stalking concentrating my practice on conducting forensic risk assessments with people who have stalked, providing case and service consultancy and peer supervision, delivering practical and awareness training, undertaking and supervising research in this area, and forging strong national and international links with experts in this field. I have been an invited (and accepted) speaker at numerous national and international conferences on this topic, have published peer-reviewed articles in respectable journals, contributed a book chapter, provided podcast and YouTube episodes, and have been an invited specialist member of high-level roundtable consultations, and the like. I am the lead author of the BPS resource for psychologists on working with people who have engaged in stalking (released 2022), and I am the co-developer (and continued therapy deliverer) of the innovative Early Awareness Stalking Intervention (EASI) project, which aims to tackle stalking by intervening early with those charged with stalking by provided brief intervention. 

Research interests

My primary professional and academic interest is in understanding and addressing stalking. My research interests are related to Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) and most proactively within the area of stalking, specifically investigating what drives people who stalk and how practitioners can best respond to help them desist. My doctoral studies used IPA and Repertory Grids, which I visually adapted and referred to as the Visually Adapted Repertory Grid Technique (VARGT). I have an interest in developing the popularity of repertory grids for furthering VAWG-related research, and in particular, using the VARGT.  

I am active in research plans aimed at investigating intimate partner abuse and “so-called” honour-based abuse.

I am an active member of various research networks and also the founder of the Young People and Stalking Research Network (supported by the Alice Ruggles Trust) and Deputy Chair of the National Stalking and Harassment Offences Working Group Knowledge Exchange Network (supported by the police, Suzy Lamplugh Trust and national Stalking Consortium).

Membership of professional bodies

I am:

Qualifications

Recent conferences

HMPPS Midlands Psychology Service and Leicestershire Police Stalking Conference, ‘An exploratory relational study into how stalkers make sense of their offending behaviour: early observations’ and ‘The HMPPS Midlands Psychology Service strategy for addressing stalking’, August 2018

Division of Forensic Psychology Conference, ‘What drives men who commit stalking offences and how practitioners can best respond to their needs- Thesis Teasers’, June 2019

Division of Forensic Psychology Conference, ‘Introducing the EASI model’- June 2022

HMPPS Insights training and webinars, ‘Working with people who stalk: Understanding the challenges in engagement, assessment, treatment and risk management, 2019-2022

NHS Grudges and Grievances Conference 13th International, ‘Stalking and prisoners: The perpetrator’s perspective’, September 2019

BPS CPD event, ‘Working with people who stalk: Understanding the challenges in engagement, assessment, treatment and risk management’, 2020-2022

Action Against Stalking (Scotland) masterclass, ‘Working with stalking perpetrators: Integrating research with practice experiences and evidence base’, April 2022

2nd Annual Canadian Forensic Psychology Conference, ‘It’s so hard to get out of that bubble: A phenomenological analysis with men who have stalked’, Feb 2022

The Tackling Stalking and Harassment Conference 2022, ‘Early intervention with stalking cases, 7 July 2022

7th European Congress of Psychology, Psychology as the Hub Science: Opportunities and Responsibility, ‘The responsibilities and opportunities of working as Forensic Psychologists in the UK’, Slovenia, July 2022

Experience in industry

I was previously employed by Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service Psychology Services Group for 21 years. During this time, I worked across a range of categories of prisons in the male and female estate, and within probation settings. I supervised numerous trainees to qualification (level 8 equivalent) over that time, became an experienced negotiations advisor, and often delivered training in relation to forensic risk assessments and professional witness roles. I have held various responsibilities and roles and latterly, within a senior leadership role, I oversaw the delivery of psychology services into a cluster of prisons, was deputy chair of the HMPPS national psychology research board and took on the role of national stalking lead to advise relatedly on policy and service delivery. After being in post 0.2 FTE as a Senior Lecturer within Forensic Psychology for a few years, I am now employed by the University of Derby as a Professional Psychological Practice Programme Manager. I am also an independent forensic psychology practitioner.

International experience

Through my stalking research and practitioner work, I have forged strong national and international links with experts in this field. I have been an invited (and accepted) speaker at numerous national and international conferences on this topic, have published peer-reviewed articles in respectable (international) journals, and have founded a research and knowledge exchange partnership with the Stop Stalking Clinic in Berlin, Germany.

Additional interests and activities

I am a proud and active trustee for the Alice Ruggles Trust, whose aims include raising awareness of stalking (including coercive control) and bringing it to an end.

I am on the reviewer team for the British Journal of Forensic Practice (since 2019).

I am currently co-editing a book about aspects and contexts related to stalking and young people.

In the media

I have contributed a book chapter on stalking for a key textbook titled, "Forensic Psychology", provided podcast and YouTube episodes, and I am the lead author on the BPS resource for psychologists on working with people who have engaged in stalking (released 2022), and I am the co-developer (and continued therapy deliverer) of the innovative Early Awareness Stalking Intervention (EASI) project, which aims to tackle stalking by intervening early with those charged with stalking by provided brief intervention. I have featured in vlogs for raising awareness of national stalking awareness week for the BPS and DFP, and have featured in video information as part of the Stalking Awareness for Education Environments (SAfEE) qualification provided by St Mary's University and the Alice Ruggles Trust.

Podcast: 

Episode (5) on STALKING for the 'Forensic Psychology Podcast' which was aired in November 2020.

Media links for EASI:

https://www.westmidlands-pcc.gov.uk/new-initiative-developed-to-tackle-the-growing-problem-of-stalking/

https://www.alicerugglestrust.org/post/early-awareness-stalking-intervention

Recent publications

Courses