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Dr Melanie Forster



  • Psychology with Biology (BSc Hons, University of Manchester, 1992)
  • Clinical Psychology (Doctorate, Institute of Psychiatry, London 1997)
  • Graduate Teacher Training Programme (QTS, North East England 2010)

Having completed my first degree in Manchester (1992), I went on to complete my Doctorate in Clinical Psychology training at the Institute of Psychiatry in London (1997).  My Doctorate thesis looked at the effectiveness of the ADOS and Theory of Mind and Executive Functioning tasks in reliably differentiating between different subgroups on the Autism Spectrum.  Since qualifying I have worked as a Clinical Psychologist within the NHS for many years, primarily within children’s services including generic and specialist CAMHS.  During this time I also worked as a Tutor on the Doctorate Training Programme in Clinical Psychology at the University of Teesside, as the Lead for Recruitment and Marketing and helped develop the new Personal and Professional Development (PPD) strand of training.  I completed a post-graduate teaching qualification in 2010 and began working with the North Yorkshire Local Authority as a SEND Consultant.  This post involved advising on SEN provision and mental health support within schools and colleges across the county.  Most recently I have worked closely with Youth Offending Services across the North of England in helping build therapeutic services for vulnerable young people with a positive history of trauma and mental health difficulties.



My interests lie within the area of emotional resilience and promotion of mental health in vulnerable young people, including those with SEND and within the Youth Offending and Criminal Justice System.  I am also interested in the development and assessment of trauma, with particular reference to trauma-informed child and family services.


Develop and supervise qualitative research projects for postgraduate students within the department, including those completing their MSc Empirical Project and MSci Research Project.


Selected publications

  • Forster, M., Bertolucci, J., & James, S. (2022). The journey towards active self‐care and empowerment: Insights from a thematic analysis of a women's therapeutic expressive writing group (UK). Counselling and Psychotherapy Research.
  • Hobson, H., Kalsi, M., Cotton, L., Forster, M., & Toseeb, U. (2022). Supporting the mental health of children with speech, language and communication needs: The views and experiences of parents. Autism & Developmental Language Impairments7, 23969415221101137.
  • Hobson, H., Cross, M., Jefferies, V., & Forster, M. (2022, May 19). “What Is the Future of Research on Language and Communication Needs and Mental Health? A Report by the Special Interest Research Group for Language, Communication and Mental Health.” PsyArXiv, 19 May 2022. Web.
  • How to enhance the mental health and emotional wellbeing of secondary students with SEN (2016, LDA, ISBN: 978-1-85503-598-0) Dr Melanie Forster
  • How to enhance the mental health and emotional wellbeing of primary students with SEN  (2015, LDA, ISBN: 978-1-85503-597-3) Dr Melanie Forster



I am the Module Coordinator for three modules across which I teach: for the MSc in Development, Disorders and Clinical Practice (DDCP) programme I teach on both the Assessment and Treatment of Developmental Disorders modules; I also deliver the Child and Adolescent Mental Health (CAMH) Module for the MSci (Hons) Psychology programme.  Additionally I offer work-based placements for MSci students taking the elective Advanced Work-Based Learning Module.  I also lead on the University of York 'Mental Health in Schools' online teaching resource for secondary aged pupils.

External activities


  • Involved in the development and delivery of a therapeutic writing group for members of a local charity
  • Work clinically part-time for a local CYP Neurodevelopmental Team as part of the Autism Service.
  • A core member of a Special Interest Research Group (SIRG) for Language, Communication and Mental Health


Contact details

Melanie Forster
Department of Psychology
University of York
Room PS/C/220

Tel: 01904 323295