School of Social Sciences, Humanities & Law
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Dr Nikki Carthy

Senior Lecturer in Psychology

Nikki Carthy

About Nikki Carthy

Nikki is a Chartered Psychologist and Honorary Secretary for the northeast branch of the British Psychological Society. Nikki is a trained Triangle Intermediary; this work includes conducting communication assessments with vulnerable people to ensure they are questioned appropriately within the Criminal Justice System. Nikki was previously a director at EVA Women’s Aid and Rape Crisis Centre. Nikki played a key role in the strategic leadership of the organisation and in her role as Chair of the Board of Directors she supported the development of the 45+ project which was launched in 2014 to provide more awareness and service provision for mid-life and older women who have fallen victim to domestic abuse. In 2015 EVAs 45+ project opened the UKs first safe house for older women.

Before moving to Teesside University in 2014, Nikki conducted her PhD research at the International Research Centre for Investigative Psychology under the supervision of Professor David Canter and Dr Donna Youngs. Nikki’s PhD research focused on deconstructing offenders’ narratives using the LAAF methodological approach. During her time at the research centre she coordinated the ICON (international comparison of offenders’ narratives) project. Nikki was also a research assistant on the ASBO (analysis of spatial behaviours of offenders) project, the SPEL (suspect prioritisation, elicitation and linkage) project, and a project exploring the impact of attrition on the investigation of rape offences.

Research interests and activities

Nikki is currently leading the Ask The Question project, which aims to raise awareness and empower professional curiosity to ask questions about difficult topics such as domestic violence and sexual violence and exploitation.

Nikki is currently involved in several other research projects. They include:

- Survivors stories which explores the narratives of domestic and sexual violence victims

- Psycho-educational approaches to sexual consent among young people

- Examining the role of rapport building in investigative interviews with suspected internet sex offenders

- Deconstructing offenders’ narratives using the LAAF (life as a film) approach

External roles and professional activities

- Chartered Psychologist - British Psychological Society (BPS)
- Honorary Secretary - North East of England Branch of British Psychological Society
- Fellow of Higher Education Academy
- Member of International Academy of Investigative Psychology (AI-IP)
- Member of International Investigative Interviewing Research Group (iIIRG) 

External research collaborations

- International research centre for investigative psychology, University of Huddersfield, UK
- Bishop Grosseteste University, UK
- EVA Women's Aid and Rape Crisis Centre, UK

Learning and teaching interests

Programme Leader for BSc Forensic Psychology

Module leader for The Psychology of Development and Individual Differences

Nikki also teaches Applied Forensic Psychology and Psychology in Clinical Practice


Collins, K., and Carthy, NL. (under review) ‘No rapport, No comment: the role of rapport in police interviews with child internet sex offenders’. Law and Human Behaviour.

Carthy, NL., and Taylor, R. (accepted) ‘Domestic violence in women over 45: A UK Practitioner’s perspective’. European Journal of Criminology.

Carthy, NL., Watson, C. and Best, D. (2017). ‘Domestic abuse and older adults: the practitioner narrative and implications on practice’. Presented at Stories and narrative in mental health services, The British Psychological Society Faculty of Psychology of Older People conference, Durham, UK.

Carthy, NL. and Watson, C. (2017). ‘Helpless helpers: practitioners’ narratives of working with domestic violence and older women’. Presented at Violence and Interpersonal Aggression: integrating research and practice to combat violence and interpersonal aggression conference, Coventry University, UK.

Smethurst, A., Collins, K., Carthy, N., Milne, B., and Gillespie-Smith, K. (2017). ‘Scaffolding children’s communication in investigative interviews’. Presented at Children, Justice, and communication Conference, Portsmouth, UK.

Watson, C., Carthy, NL., and Becker, S. (2017) ‘Helpless helpers: exploring therapist self-efficacy when working with older women and intimate partner violence’. Quality in Aging and Older Adults. 18(4), pp. 222-234. DOI:10.1108/QAOA-05-2017-0013  

Carthy, NL. and Holt, A. (2016) ‘Domestic abuse and older adults’, British Psychological Society North East Branch Bulletin. 5, pp.18-24.

Carthy, NL.(2016). The 45+ project: practitioners’ perspectives on barriers and services. Report for EVA Womens Aid and Rape Crisis Centre, Redcar, UK.

Carthy, NL. and Taylor, R. (2015). Practitioner views on domestic violence in older women: the 45+ project. Presented at BPS North East Branch of England Annual Conference, York, UK.

Carthy, NL.,Youngs, D., and Canter, D. (2014). Criminals’ contaminated script. Presented at IA-IP 15th International Conference, London, UK.

Youngs, D., Canter, DV., and Carthy, NL. (2014).  The offenders’ narrative: Unresolved dissonance in the Life as a Film (LAAF) responses. Presented at IA-IP 15th International Conference, London, UK.

Youngs, D., Canter, D., and Carthy, NL. (2014) ‘The offenders’ narrative: Unresolved dissonance in the Life as a Film (LAAF) responses’. Legal and Criminological Psychology. DOI:10.1111/lcrp.12070