John Atkinson



I joined HM Prison Service in 2004, initially working as a Psychological Assistant. In 2005 I was promoted to Trainee Psychologist and I enrolled part time on the MSc in Applied Forensic Psychology at York University. My role in the prison involved facilitating intervention programmes with female offenders, predominantly in the area of substance misuse. In 2009 I moved to Cheswold Park Hospital, a low and medium secure forensic psychiatric hospital. Here, I gained experience in a wide range of areas of forensic psychology and mental health, working with men diagnosed with mental illness, personality disorder and learning disability. From 2010-2012 I was also employed as an Associate Lecturer at Bradford University where I co-developed and delivered an undergraduate module on forensic psychology.

I have completed Stage 2 of the Qualification in Forensic Psychology which led me to achieve chartered status in Early 2016. My particular interests lie in developing and running interventions to motivate change in clients in the areas of sexual offending, substance misuse and antisocial/violent behaviour. I am a certified Group Schema Therapist and I am the hospital lead in this area of treatment.

  • University of Northumbria
    BSc (hons) Psychology (1998-2001)
  • University of York
    MSc Applied Forensic Psychology (2005-2007)
  • British Psychological Society
    Qualification in Forensic Psychology (Stage 2) (2008-2016)


  • HM Prison Service – HMP New Hall (2004-2009)
  • Cheswold Park Hospital, Doncaster – Secure Forensic Psychiatric Hospital (2009-present)
  • University of Bradford (2010-2012)
  • University of York (2017)








Selected publications

I am currently working on a chapter on Group Schema Therapy in a Forensic Psychiatric Hospital for a book on the applications of schema in forensic settings.



MSc in Applied Forensic Psychology

  • Forensic and Generic Skills – Module Organiser
  • Forensic Psychology in Practice
  • Legal and Contextual Issues
  • Forensic Mental Health

External activities


  • Chartered with the BPS Division of Forensic Psychology
  • Registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)

Editorial duties


Contact details

John Atkinson
Department of Psychology
Room PS/A101

Tel: 01904 324367