Working with personality disordered offender clients in mainstream prison environments: practice that is needs driven

Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond our control this workshop has been cancelled.

The workshop presents an integrated approach to understanding personality development by illustrating theory into an applied understanding. The purpose of this is to encourage attendee practitioners to consider how we should be conceptualising the offender client on a continuum, to understand the way the individual functions so we can identify where the origins of some of the individual’s problems have evolved from. By using this approach we can then begin to generate more holistic, meaningful case formulations of the offender client’s functioning. From this perspective practitioners can then more fully understand why the offender client has offended in the way they have; understanding their offending behaviour in a wider context of the offender client’s life and functioning, rather than merely seeing the individual through their offence related behaviour only.

Provisional timetable

09:30 Registration/Tea and Coffee
10:00 Workshop starts (there will be a break for lunch)
16:30 Workshop ends


The workshop builds on initial theory input by also overviewing what is meant by a personality disorder; referring to currently used DVM IV criteria and the difference between unstructured clinical judgment and the use of structured tools such as the IPDE to assist in structuring clinical judgment for diagnostic purposes. The workshop will also encourage attendee practitioners to consider the differences between merely using labels in a clinically narrow manner; instead developing a wider understanding of the concept of personality disorder to assist the practitioner in collaboration with client in formulating the level and extent of the individual’s difficulties determining an assessment of severity and functionality. Real case material and examples will be used in the afternoon in an experiential way.

This workshop is intended for Psychologists working in the forensic field and other associated areas of the discipline.

There will be some pre-workshop recommended reading provided to delegates. 

Learning outcomes and objectives

  • Will have developed an understanding of what is meant by an integrated theory of personality development
  • Gained understanding in what is meant by personality functioning on a continuum
  • Differentiate between what is considered to be ‘normal’ or healthy personality functioning in contrast to disordered personality functioning; how this can affect the individual
  • Can identify the presentation that can be difficult to initially understand by mainstream staff groups
  • Have practiced formulating a meaningful management plan that can be integrated into sentence planning 

Facilitator: Dr Terri Van-Leeson CPsychol

Dr Van-Leeson has a wide variety of experience spanning 16 years in the field of Psychology. This includes having worked with male and female offender groups, in mental health settings through to both community and prison based environments. In more recent years she has developed her interests in using a formulation based approach to offender client assessment, treatment and evaluation. This enables her to work more collaboratively and meaningfully with the client, rather than conceptualising the offender’s need within a specific assessment framework only or a particular offence category.

Dr Van-Leeson firmly believes in promoting the highest standards of ethical practice and currently focuses on encouraging staff groups to work with those offender clients who have the highest level of need; hence them sometimes being dangerous and difficult to work with. She has a long history of both academic studies, practice in the field in addition to lecturing and training.

Booking information


  • Non-Society Member: £120 (£100 + VAT)
  • Society Member: £90 (75 + VAT)
  • DFP Member: £60 (£50 + VAT)

From 1 January 2013:

  • Non-Society Member: £122.40 (£102 + VAT)
  • Society Member: £91.80 (£76.50 + VAT)
  • DFP Member: £61.20 (£51 + VAT)

How to book:

Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond our control this workshop has been cancelled.


Tue, 17/09/2013 (All day)
Contact Information: 


BPS Learning Centre

Tel: +44 (0)116 252 9925
Fax: +44 (0)116 227 1314

Division of Forensic Psychology & BPS Learning Centre