Professor Nigel Beail

Department of Psychology

+44 114 222 6575

Full contact details

Professor Nigel Beail
Department of Psychology
WB C10
Cathedral Court
1 Vicar Lane
S1 2LT
  • BA (Hons) (Middlesex)
  • PhD (London)
  • MSc Clinical Psychology (Leeds)
  • Certificate in Managing Health Services (Institute of Health Service Management)
  • Chartered Clinical Psychologist
  • Health and Care Professions Council Registered Clinical Psychologist.
Research interests

Research in Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities

Research on people who have intellectual and developmental disabilities focuses on four key areas; psychological therapies, assessment, offending behaviour and restrictive physical interventions.

Psychological therapies

There is an ongoing programme of evaluation of psychological therapies. One programme focuses on outcomes and satisfaction with psychodynamic psychotherapy. The second is in collaboration with Professors Bill Lindsay, Richard Hastings, John Taylor and Chris Hatton which is evaluating manualised cognitive behavioural therapy.


We have conducted a series of projects examining the psychometric properties of psychological assessment tools used with people who have intellectual disabilities. Currently we are developing a new measure for evaluating outcomes of psychological therapies.

Offending Behaviour

In collaboration with our colleagues in specialist forensic services we have carried out a series of studies examining the role of cognitive factors in offending behaviour such as theory of mind and empathy. Our most recent study has examined differences in anger and aggression in offender and general populations of men who have intellectual disabilities.

Restrictive physical interventions

The use of restrictive physical interventions is highly controversial and has been a subject of considerable concern in several investigations. We have contributed to the understanding of these practices through several studies. Currently we are focusing on the views of people who have intellectual disabilities about the types of restraint used in services.

Research group

Nigel Beail is based with the Clinical Psychology Unit (CPU) Group

Current postgraduate students

  • Caroline Shepherd (DClin Psy): Assessing the process of assimilation of problematic experiences in clients with an intellectual disability: Adaptation of a measure for therapists
  • Sarah Hammond (DClin Psy)
  • Aisha Benomir (PhD)
Professional activities
  • Professional Head of Psychology Services, Barnsley Business Delivery Unit,
    South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust & Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council
  • Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Head of Psychology Services, Barnsley Adult Learning Disabilities Specialist Health Service
  • Professor of Psychology, Clinical Psychology Unit, Department of Psychology,
    University of Sheffield, Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TP
Distinctions and current national and international appointments
  • Fellow of the British Psychological Society
  • Fellow of the Institute for Psychotherapy and Disability
  • Vice President, European Association on Mental Health in Intellectual Disability
  • Trustee of the British Institute of Learning Disabilities
  • Director and Secretary of the Institute for Psychotherapy and Disability
  • Editor in Chief of the Joint Guidelines on Psychological Therapies for People who have Intellectual Disabilities – Royal College of Psychiatrists and British Psychological Society.
  • Continuing Professional Development Officer Faculty of Learning Disabilities, British Psychological Society, 2009 – date.
  • Member of the International Scientific Advisory Committee: Congress of the European Association for Mental Health in Intellectual Disability, 2013, Portugal
  • National Assessor for Consultant Appointments (British Psychological Society)
  • Member of the Health Research Authority – National Research Ethics Service; serving on the South Yorkshire Research Ethics Committee
  • External Examiner Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, Universities of Nottingham and Lincoln.
  • External Examiner PhD in Clinical Psychology, University of Limerick, Eire.
  • Examiner Masters Degree in Disability Psychotherapy. Institute for Psychotherapy and Disability.
  • Visiting Lecturer at the universities of Leeds, Manchester, Lancaster, Liverpool, University College London, Canterbury Christchurch, Nottingham, Lincoln, Southampton and Plymouth.
  • Member of the Editorial Boards of Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, International Journal of Positive Behavioral Support, Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities, Pakistani Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology.
Previous appointments
  • President and President Elect, European Association for Mental Health in Intellectual Disability. 2007-2009.
  • Chair elect, Chair and Vice Chair Faculty of Learning Disabilities, British Psychological Society, 2005-2009.
  • Member of the International Advisory Panel of the13th World Congresses of the International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual Disabilities. South Africa, 2008
  • Member of the International Scientific Committee of the 7th Congress of the European Association for Mental Health in Intellectual Disability; The Netherlands, 2009
  • Chair of the organizing Committee, Scientific Committee and President of the Joint Congress of the European Association for Mental Health in Intellectual Disability and IASSID SIRG in Mental Health and Challenging Behaviour, Manchester, UK, 2011