Dr Suzanne Blackwell is a clinical and forensic psychologist. She has a PhD in Psychology and a Post Graduate Diploma in Clinical Psychology. She is registered with the New Zealand Psychologists Board with a Clinical Scope of Practice. She is a Fellow of the New Zealand Psychological Society, and a Full Member of The Institute of Clinical Psychology, The Institute of Criminal Justice and Forensic Psychology, and The Australian and New Zealand Forensic Science Society.
In addition to private practice consultation she has in the past worked within mental health, forensic and university settings. She was previously Senior Psychologist, then Consultant Psychologist to the Ministry of Justice until 1995, and was involved in assessment and treatment of sexual and violent offenders. She has for many years assessed and treated children and adults with child sexual abuse histories. She provides risk assessments and psychological reports on sexual and other offenders for defence counsel. She is a specialist assessor for the Medical Council of New Zealand, and heads the council’s Sexual Misconduct Assessment Team.
She has published on a variety of subjects mostly related to Family Court and forensic settings. She is regularly asked to speak at conferences, seminars and workshops. She has been involved in judicial education since 1998 and also provides training for lawyers and psychologists.
In 2004-2007 she conducted research into juries, and child sexual assault trial processes. In 2011, she was an editor and contributing author (with Professor Fred Seymour and John Thorburn) of the book, Psychology and the Law in Aotearoa New Zealand. In 2011, she was awarded the Ballin Award by the New Zealand Psychological Society for significant contribution to the development and enhancement of clinical psychology in New Zealand. In 2016, she was elected a Fellow of the New Zealand Psychological Society. In 2018 she was an editor and contributing author of the second edition of Psychology and the Law in Aotearoa New Zealand (with Emeritus Professor Fred Seymour and Dr Armon Tamatea).
Currently her work includes private practice clinical consultation, clinical supervision and mentoring of health and legal professionals, expert opinions for use in courts and tribunals (in New Zealand and Australia), and research. She provides expert opinions for both the prosecution and defence, advises on pre-trial and trial matters, and provides psychological reports for sentencing. She is a reviewer for academic journals and other bodies of work. She is an Honorary Research Fellow at the School of Psychology, University of Auckland, where she is involved in ongoing research projects.
Dr Blackwell is not available for new clients for ongoing therapy. She does however continue to see clients with whom she has worked in the past. She is available to undertake assessments and consultation for legal proceedings, but requires direct referrals from legal counsel.
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