Faculty for People with Intellectual Disabilities Advancing Practice Conference 2024

13 May 2024 - 14 May 2024
  • Intellectual Disabilities
From £120
Heal psychologically
Division of Clinical Psychology
DCP Faculty for People With Intellectual Disabilities


The DCP Faculty for People with Intellectual Disabilities Conference 2024 is taking place on 13th and 14th May 2024 at the BPS London Office.

The event will focus on developments in trauma informed care, forensic issues, and adaptation of therapeutic approaches, while also celebrating the creativity of other recent work in the area of Learning Disabilities Clinical Psychology.


  • BPS London Office
    30 Tabernacle St
    EC2A 4UE

Download the full conference programme

How to attend

Registration must be made online.

The deadline for registration is 12pm on Monday 6 May 2024.

Register now

Contact us

If you have any questions please contact us at [email protected].


Registration must be made online.

Register now

Please note: The deadline for registration is 12pm on Monday 6 May 2024.


Please note: all rates listed are inclusive of VAT at 20%.

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Delegate categoryRegistration fee
One day rate (FPID Members only)£120
FPID Member/Concession member Early Bird (Closes Friday 29th December)  £156
Concession Member£216
FPID Member £240
BPS Member£300
Non-BPS Member£336
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If you are an FPID member and would like to access the one-day rate, please email [email protected] for further information.

How to register

Returning customers (members and non-members)

In order to register for the event you will need to sign in using your BPS website login details.

We have implemented a new Membership Database and if you haven’t received your pre-registration email you will need to request your unique registration link.

Once you have the link, you can complete your registration on our portal.

Once you have registered on the portal please use your username and password to log in and register for the event.

If you have forgotten your login details, you can reset your username or password.

New customers (members and non-members)

If you are not a returning customer, you will need to create your BPS account on the portal. The process is straightforward and takes just a few minutes.

Once you have registered on the portal please use your username and password to log in and register for the event.


Key submission dates

  • 7 December 2023: Online submission system opens
  • 16 February 2024: Deadline for submissions
  • 13 March 2024: Notification of submission outcomes

Authors are strongly advised to register on the on-line submission system and begin preparing their submissions well in advance of the following deadlines

If you wish to submit more than one abstract, please complete individual submissions for each.

How to submit

Please ensure you read the submission guidelines below before submitting, including the reviewer guidelines. These allow you to see how your submissions will be reviewed.

Submissions must be made via  the online application portal.

If this is your first time submitting you will need to create an account.

If you any queries please contact us at [email protected].

Keynote Speakers

Peter Baker

Viv Cooper

Pat Frankish


Cassy Crabtree

Jason Crabtree

Dr Jason Crabtree is an Associate Professor at UCL and Clinical Director for Practitioner Psychology Training. He has over 20 years experience of working in services for adults with learning disabilities. Most recently as the Lead Psychologist for Learning Disabilities across the East London NHS Foundation Trust. Jason is also currently the Chair of the British Psychological Society, Faculty for People with Intellectual Disabilities, contributing to a number of different initiatives relating to best practice within the profession of psychology for people with intellectual disabilities.  He is also an active researcher, having co-authored a number of research papers and book chapters exploring the impact of stigma on people with learning disabilities and the broader experiences of this client group and the impact of autism diagnoses on autistic people. Jason is passionate about ensuring the best outcomes for people with learning disabilities, not only in terms of their psychological well-being, but also more broadly in regards to their access to all aspects of life that promote a positive sense of well-being.

Tom Crossland

Sophie Doswell

Kate Dredge

Kate Dredge is a Clinical and Forensic Psychologist with the Community Learning Disability Team at Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust

Cathy Harding

Consultant Clinical Psychologist

Liberty Care Ltd, Blackwood, South Wales. 

Cathy Harding, has worked for the past 20 years as a clinical psychologist within learning disability community, inpatient and supported living services primarily within South Wales.  She actively seeks to ensure peoples histories are integrated into their care and that individuals feel empowered within their lives.  She enjoys thinking creatively and making connections with people who communicate in ways other than language.  She has worked extensively with individuals and their staff teams ensuring that understandings of individuals based upon attachment, trauma and the importance of relationships are central to care. Integrating these ideas within PBS plans is so important if we are to ensure that individuals own experiences, skills, goals and need for meaningful relationships is to be in-cooperated.  She has been trying to integrate theories and ways of supporting people with trauma histories and/or dysregulated attachment styles into the PBS framework to help support increased emotional regulation and safety.   Alongside this she is committed to ensuring restrictive practices are reduced in all areas of people’s worlds.  She also strives to provide compassionate leadership, teaching and containing debriefing and ongoing support to the staff teams and individuals she works with. She has written about and presented trauma and attachment focused ideas nationally; she also enjoys baking and eating cakes!

Julia Kelly

Julia Kelly is a Forensic Psychologist at Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust.  Julia started her career in forensic learning disability services, gaining post qualification training in cognitive behavioural therapy for severe mental health problems and publishing research on the risk factors for pathological arson, the development and delivery of an adapted thinking skills programme, and the development and implementation of an in-reach service to identify young offenders with learning disability.

Following this, Julia worked in personality disorder services, helping to set up the Offender Personality Disorder (OPD) Pathway service across Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire, providing support to the Probation Service and Approved Premises.

Since 2019, Julia has returned to working in forensic learning disability services, first helping to set up the Forensic Intellectual and Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Service (FINDS) for the Thames Valley and Wessex Provider Collaborative, and more recently, as the lead psychologist for the medium secure ward. In her current post, Julia is leading the Trust’s neurodiversity strategy for forensic inpatient services, as well as being committed to improving the pathways for individuals with a learning disability through inter-service collaboration and development.

Hannah Kiddle

Hannah Kiddle is a Clinical Psychologist. Hannah worked within the special parenting service before moving to work within the Dorset learning disabilities service for fifteen years, where she led the adapted dialectical behaviour therapy service for individuals with learning disability and personality disorder. Since 2022, Hannah has worked with the Forensic Intellectual and Neurodevelopmental Disability Service (FINDS) in the Thames Valley and Wessex Provider Collaborative and more recently, has been involved in setting up the Forensic Community Learning Disability Team for Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire.

Dr. Tamryn Renwick

Allan Skelly

Consultant Clinical Psychologist , CNTW NHS Foundation Trust

Allan Skelly is a consultant clinical psychologist working in the North East of England.   Unlike most clinical psychologists in learning disability services, Allan trained in psychodynamic approaches to this client group following the inspiration of writers like Bicknell, Hollins, Frankish, Sinason and Beail.  However, Allan is also committed to the rigorous science of psychology, has added to the evidence base for a psychodynamic and attachment-based approach to the psychological and behavioural distress of people with intellectual disabilities.  Publications include a controlled trial for psychodynamic psychotherapy in people with mild to moderate intellectual disabilities (2018); a chapter on approaching challenging behaviour with a more relational approach in Attachment in Intellectual and Developmental Disability (2016), co-editing Trauma and Intellectual Disability: Acknowledgement, Identification and Intervention (2021).  Allan also edited a Special Edition of Clinical Psychology Forum on trauma-informed care, published February 2022.  More recently, Allan has co-authored Love, Attachment and Intellectual Disability: Meeting Emotional Needs and Developmental Trauma (2023).

Dr. Sara Willott


Jason Crabtree

Updates from the Faculty for People with Intellectual Disabilities (FPID)

The BPS, FPID continues to be one of the most active Faculties within the DCP. Beyond organising the annual Advancing Practice Conference, the Faculty Committee is taking forward a wide range of projects to support both the profession and people with Learning Disabilities. In this session, Jason as Chair of the Faculty, will outline some of this on-going work and the different opportunities there are as Faculty members to get involved in shaping the future direction of travel of the Faculty, and more directly in joining the Faculty Committee and associated project working groups.

Hannah Kiddle, Julia Kelly & Kate Dredge

The development of a clinical information tool to support pathways across secure and community services for service users with learning disability and forensic risk: integrating PBS and the Good Lives Model under a quality-of-life model of care.

Transforming Care has had a significant impact on the care and treatment of people with learning disability and/or autism, with greater emphasis placed on reducing the need for and duration of secure care and on the importance of delivering care as close to home as possible. This has resulted in changes to the delivery of services and to the pathways of service users.

In light of these changes, it has been clinically observed that to provide the best support to individuals with learning disability and forensic risk, there is an increasing need for forensic and non-forensic services to work together to provide continuity and consistency of care across secure and community pathways. 

Challenges encountered in achieving this are likely to be numerous but include differences in the dominant approaches, models and language used which represent a potential barrier to the effective communication and shared understanding of the needs of service users across services. This, in turn, may present a barrier to the delivery of appropriate treatment and support.

Both Positive Behaviour Support and The Good Lives Model, developed to understand and meet the needs of people with a learning disability and offenders, respectively, argue that to promote and maintain safety, services need to focus on enabling universal and subjectively important quality of life needs.

Drawing on the above two approaches, the aim of this project has been to collaboratively develop and evaluate a standardised clinical information tool that is understood and used across the forensic learning disability inpatient service, the new forensic community learning disability service, and the community learning disability service. 

Allan Skelly

Emotional Development and Attachment-based Intervention 

An Alternative to Positive Behavioural Support 

This talk presents the use of Anton Došen’s stage model of emotional development to develop a pathway for people referred to community teams about what is often called “challenging behaviour”.   Discontents with the established model of care, Positive Behaviour Support, include concerns about long term outcomes, the othering of clients who have “behaviours” while we have “relationships”, lack of account of the emotional factors within carers, and a lack of consideration of significant attachments or attachment concepts in narratives generated by PBS processes.  Without developmental perspective, people with intellectual disabilities can sometimes be judged as ‘deliberately’ being challenging, leading to moral judgement of their actions, and even shame, blame and rejection.  

A simple four-point care pathway is presented which utilises the empirically sound Scale of Emotional Development-Short (SED-S) to ground the client’s emotional maturity, which provides explanation and context for their actions.  By way of a simple exercise, the audience is invited to rate one of the eight SED-S domains.  Then, by applying an Attachment-based model adjusted for the level of Emotional Development identified, many actions, while challenging, are shown as not only appropriate to the developmental stage, but even desirable.   An attachment-based model offers a model of care that identifies what is needed to provide a Secure Base – Safe Haven so that the person’s relational needs are met, and they are not emotionally neglected or morally impugned, due to over-estimation.   

There is no need for psychologists using the model to diagnose or identify attachment disorders or formally classify attachment patterns in the person or others.  Carers do not have to learn a new technology (as with PBS) and can reference their own life experience of care of family members to guide their responses to the client.

Psychologists using this model are more likely to seek enhanced care arrangements and focus on the sustainability and pleasure within the bonds between the clients and their carer, and be less concerned with reductions in ‘target behaviours’.   They are less likely to focus purely on written guidelines for carers, as carer behaviour varies according to the emotional bond that is present with the client.  Psychologists using this model are also more likely to question the way services are organised and commissioned, since services seek to maximise independence and adaptive behaviours with the minimum of carer presence, which is rarely anyone’s relational goal.

Preliminary outcomes are presented from quantitative and qualitative research studies.   If there is time, we can also discuss organisational implications of attachment-based working and how inaccessibility, intermittent support, and impersonable practices can affect the client and those who love them.  


Please note: programme details and timings are subject to change.

Download the full conference programme


Pre-qualified Bursary scheme: The Faculty are funding five free of charge places for psychology graduates with an interested in (or pursuing) a career in Clinical Psychology (including Assistant Psychologists and Trainee Clinical Psychologists). To apply, please use the link below. Please note that the deadline is 12 noon on Friday 5th April 2024.

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