Department of Psychology

Dr Catherine Hamilton-Giachritsis

HCPC registered Psychologist (Forensic/Clinical) with expertise in child maltreatment, online abuse and institutionalisation of children

Reader in Clinical PsychologyPhD, CPsychol, AFBPsS

10 West 3.23
Tel: +44 (0) 1225 38 3970


What Works in Child Protection: An Evidenced-Based Approach to Assessment and Intervention in Care Proceedings’ (edited by Dixon, Perkins, Craig and Hamilton-Giachritsis; published by Wiley)

Soon to be released:
Report on the impact of online and offline sexual abuse by Hamilton-Giachritsis, Hanson, Whittle and Beech, commissioned by the NSPCC


I am registered with the UK Health and Care Professions Council as both a Forensic and Clinical Psychologist and am currently a Reader in Clinical Psychology at the University of Bath, UK, having previously been Assistant Director of the Centre for Forensic and Criminological Psychology at the University of Birmingham, UK until 2014.

I have varied experience in both clinical practice and academic settings. I spent several years working in Birmingham Children and Family Services undertaking child/parenting assessments and providing Expert Witness testimony to the courts in child protection cases. I also worked with children and families who were being fostered and/or adopted. Although I have worked with both victims and offenders, the majority of my practice work has focussed on victims of child maltreatment and their parents.

I have an extensive body of research published in peer reviewed journals, as well as by national and international organisations. My research focuses on child maltreatment, trauma and risk assessment, considering both victims (e.g., prediction, prevention and impact of maltreatment) and offenders (e.g., harmful sexual behaviour; online grooming). It always has an applied element, with an aim to impact on individuals, organisations and policy making. During my career, I have undertaken international consultancy (e.g., the British Council) and led European and nationally funded research. I have worked collaboratively with a variety of NGOs and other organisations, such as the World Health Organisation (WHO), the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), Escaping Victimhood, the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) and regional police. My work on the early institutionalisation of young children across Europe was considered at international level and led to training in multiple European countries. Current projects are focused on online abuse (e.g., offender identification and differential impact), homicidal bereavement and institutional care.

Research interests 

  • Child maltreatment: prediction, prevention and impact (online and offline), including resilience
  • Online abuse:  victim vulnerabilities, offender grooming and policing
  • Institutionalisation of children
  • Interventions for children and families at risk of or affected by maltreatment
  • Harmful sexual behaviour in young people

Research projects

  • The impact of online and offline sexual abuse (with NSPCC, CEOP, University of Birmingham)
  • Policing online sexual abuse (with University of Birmingham, Aston University and police)
  • Using virtual reality to develop perspective-taking and empathy in parents (with University of Barcelona)

My PhD research team based at the Universities of Bath and Birmingham have a variety of projects, including:

  • Evaluating  the impact of a residential programme for homicidal bereavement (Filipa Costa)
  • Attachment representations in institutional care in Chile (Manuela Garcia Quiroga)
  • Cultural perspectives of child maltreatment in Malaysia and the UK (Edward Ong Chet)
  • Parental role in children’s response to trauma (Hope Christie; 1st supervisor- Sarah Halligan)  



I am Academic Director of the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology. My teaching on that course include child protection, expert witness testimony, report writing and facilitating debates.


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