I trained as a clinical psychologist at Queen’s University Belfast before completing my doctorate at Surrey University. During this time I was employed in a variety of clinical positions in adult mental health in the UK and Ireland before joining University College Cork in 1995. In Cork I was responsible for post-graduate training in CBT (MA and HDip) as well as director of the COPINE Project. As a practitioner I had worked with both sex offenders and their victims and for the last fourteen years have been working in the area of Internet abuse images, collaborating internationally with government and non-government agencies. The COPINE project took as its focus children made vulnerable through the new technologies.
My primary research interest relates to Internet sex offending, and in particular to the role of abuse images in the offending process. This is collaborative work, largely funded by the EU STOP, DAPHNE and SAFER INTERNET programmes. Projects have included the development of a therapeutic programme for Internet sex offenders, a web-based self help (currently managed by Lucy Faithful Foundation), an analysis of adolescents displaying problematic sexual behaviour related to the Internet, a victim identification and the study of p2p networks. Our most recent study relates to the experiences of children exposed to online grooming. This next year we have funding for a project of user-generated content and mobile technology. I am also interested in qualitative research, in particular how people make sense of their experiences as it relates to diverse areas such as online behaviour, hepatitis C and hearing voices.