Lecturer and Supervisor

PhDClinPsych MScForPsych MACounsPsych MPH MD PGDipPsychNeuro BSc


Dr Sakdalan is a registered psychologist with endorsements in clinical psychology, clinical neuropsychology, and counselling psychology. He has over 25 years clinical experience working within primary care, community and inpatient mental health, and forensic mental health and disability settings in New Zealand and Australia. He has worked extensively within the Criminal Justice System and have served as expert witness at the Magistrate and County Courts in Victoria and overseas.

Dr Sakdalan has extensive experience working with clients with complex presentations such as mental health issues, personality issues, intellectual/cognitive problems (e.g. ABI, dementia), developmental disabilities such as Autistic Spectrum Disorder, personality issues, complex trauma, problem behaviours (e.g. violent and sexual offending, arson, stalking, family violence, etc.), sexual abuse, and substance use issues. He has undergone extensive training in ‘third wave’ therapies such as Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Schema Therapy. In addition, he is also trained in Contemporary Psychodynamic Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, and Solution Focused Therapy. He enjoys working with clients coming from diverse cultural backgrounds and he approaches clients with empathy, compassion, and validation.


Expertise and Research interests

Forensic disability; Community and forensic mental health; Forensic psychology including risk assessment and treatment of offenders; Clinical neuropsychology; Dialectical Behaviour Therapy and other third wave therapies; Assessment and psychological treatment of clients with complex presentations (e.g. personality disorder, mental health issues, etc.) and challenging/offending behaviours; Assessment and treatment of individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders (e.g. ASD, ADHD, FASD); Complex trauma; Program development and evaluation especially offence-specific and offence-related group treatment.


Recent Publications and Presentations

  • Buchwald-Mackintosh, K.V., Williams, M.W. & Sakdalan, J. (2019). Effects of the Presser and legislative criteria on classifying New Zealand’s fitness to stand trial court outcomes. Psychiatry, Psychology and the Law, 468-469; https://doi.org/10.1080/13218719.2018.1506723
  • Sakdalan, J., Kittner, D. & Judd, D. (2017). ASAP-ID: Substance use program for a forensic ID population. Journal of Intellectual Disabilities and Offending Behaviour, 8, 157-165.
  • Easden, M.H., & Sakdalan, J. (2015). Clinical Diagnostic Features and Dynamic Risk Factors in a New Zealand Inpatient Forensic Mental Health Setting. Psychiatry, Psychology and the Law, 22(4), 483-499.
  • Sakdalan, J. & Egan, V. (2014). Fitness to Stand Trial in New Zealand: Different Factors Associated with Fitness to Stand Trial Between Mentally Disordered and Intellectually Disabled Defendants in the New Zealand Criminal Justice System. Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, 21(5), 658-668.
  • One-day Training Workshop and a Paper Presentation on the use of Dialectical Behaviour Therapy with clients with Autistic Spectrum Disorder, World Congress of the International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual Disability and Developmental Disabilities, Glasgow (6-9 August 2019)
  • Presentations on the Development of a Family Violence Program for Offenders with Cognitive Impairment, the use of Dialectical Behaviour Therapy with Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Development of a Substance Use Program for Offenders with Intellectual Disability. 17th International Conference on Offenders with Intellectual Disability, Birmingham, UK (11-12 April 2018)
  • Symposiums on Assessment of Malingering and Cognitive Bias in Forensic Psychological Assessment, Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, Faculty of Forensic Psychiatry, Auckland, New Zealand (31 August – 1 September 2017)