Dr Susan Sadek

Senior Lecturer

Faculty:Faculty of Science and Engineering

School:Psychology and Sport Science

Location: Cambridge

Areas of Expertise: Psychology

Research Supervision:Yes

Susan is a chartered clinical psychologist and senior lecturer in psychology. Her main clinical and research interests are improving the emotional health and wellbeing and life outcomes of vulnerable populations, and children and adults with additional needs.


Susan’s clinical practice has focused upon children who have experiences of being in care, and children and adults who have a learning disability and/or neurodevelopmental disorders.

She is particularly interested in how families, carers and paid professionals work together to achieve the best possible outcomes for people receiving services. She is interested in how clinical concepts and theories can be used within healthcare systems, and how professionals navigate complex ethical and relational dilemmas.

Research interests

  • Reducing health inequalities
  • (Ethical) Decision making in mental health settings
  • Emotional health and wellbeing of children who have been in care
  • Individual and system level interventions for people who have a learning disability
  • Child and vulnerable adult safeguarding

Areas of research supervision

Susan supervises research projects relating to child and adolescent mental health, neurodevelopmental disorders, and psychological interventions.


Module lead: Clinical Psychology


  • Masters in Mental Health in People with Learning Disabilities (Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London)
  • Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (University of East Anglia)
  • Diploma in the Philosophy of Medicine (Worshipful Society of the Apothecaries)
  • PG Cert in Family Therapy and Systemic Practice (Anglia Ruskin University)

Memberships, editorial boards

  • Chartered Clinical Psychologist, British Psychological Society
  • Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society
  • Registered Practitioner Psychologist, Health Professions Council UK
  • Fellow of the Faculty of the Philosophy of Medicine, Worshipful Society of the Apothecaries

Selected recent publications

Sadek, S., Daniel,. M. and Langdon, P. (2020). Attentional bias toward negative and positive pictorial stimuli and its relationship with distorted cognitions, empathy, and moral reasoning among men with intellectual disabilities who have committed crimes. Aggressive Behaviour. 1–11. https://doi.org/10.1002/ab.21908

Lambie, J.A., Lambie, H.J., and Sadek, S. (2020). “My child will actually say ‘I am upset’ … Before all they would do was scream”: Teaching parents emotion validation in a social care setting. Child: Care, Health and Development, 46 (5), 627-636. doi.org/10.1111/cch.12770

The reliability and validity of a revised version of the How I Think Questionnaire for men who have intellectual disabilities. Psychology, Crime and Law, 24 (4), 379-390.

Charlesworth, G., Sadek, S., Schepers, A., and Spector, A. (2015). Cognitive behavior therapy for anxiety in people with dementia: a clinician guideline for a person-centered approach. Behaviour Modification, 39 (3), 390-412.

Spector, A., Charlesworth, G., King, M., Sadek, S., Marston, L., Rehill, A., Hoe, .J, Qazi, A., Knapp, M. and Orrell, M. (2015). Cognitive Behavioural therapy (CBT) for anxiety in dementia: a pilot randomised controlled trial. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 206 (6), 509-516.

Lai, M.C. Lombardo, M., Chakrabarti, B., Ecker, C., Sadek, S., Wheelwright, S., Murphy, D.C., Suckling, J., Bullmore, E.T., the MRC AIMS Consortium, and Baron-Cohen, S. (2012). Individual differences in brain structure underpin empathizing-systemizing cognitive styles in male adults. Neuroimage, 61(4), 1347-1354.

Lai, M.C., Lombardo, M.V., Pasco, G., Ruigrok, A.N., Wheelwright, S.J., Sadek, S., Chakrabarti, B. the MRC AIMS Consortium, and Baron-Cohen, S. (2011) A behavioral comparison of male and female adults with high functioning autism spectrum conditions. PLoS One, 6(6), e20835.

Lombardo, M., Chakrabarti, B., Bullmore, E., Wheelwright, S., Sadek, S., Suckling, J., Baron-Cohen, S., and the MRC AIMS Consortium (2010). Shared Neural Circuits for Mentalizing about the Self and Others. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 22 (7), 1623-1635.