Joseph Sakdalan

BScPsych, MACounsPsych, MPH, MD, PhD(CPsych)

  • Lecturer
  • Unit Coordinator
  • Placement Supervisor
Dr Joseph Sakdalan

Research Expertise

  • Dialectical Behaviour Therapy with special populations
  • Sexual Offender Assessment and Treatment
  • Assessment and Treatment of Individuals with Neurodevelopmental Disorders
  • Fitness to Stand trial
  • Assessment and Treatment of Clients with Complex Trauma

Research Supervision

  • Masters


Advanced Assessment for Clinical Psychologists (CLP602).

Clinical Expertise

Joseph has more than 25 years of clinical experience working within primary care, community and inpatient mental health, and forensic mental health settings in New Zealand and Australia. Joseph has extensive experience working with clients with complex presentations such as mental health issues, intellectual/cognitive problems, developmental disabilities, personality issues, complex trauma, problematic behaviours (e.g. violent offending, sexual offending, etc.), sexual abuse, and substance use issues.

Joseph works with clients who have issues with depression, anxiety and serious mental health issues (e.g. schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, etc.), adjustment problems/life stresses, self-esteem/self-confidence issues, interpersonal and relationship issues, grief, offending behaviours, anger and mood/emotional regulation issues.


Dr Joseph Sakdalan is an AHPRA Registered Psychologist with endorsements in clinical psychology, counselling psychology and clinical neuropsychology. He is a member of the Australian Psychological Society and the APS College of Clinical Psychologists and Clinical Neuropsychologists. Dr Sakdalan has extensive experience carrying out cognitive and neuropsychological, specialist assessments (e.g., ABI, ADHD, ASD, etc.) and forensic psychological assessments. He has more than 25 years of clinical experience working with clients with complex presentations such as mental health issues, intellectual/cognitive problems, neurodevelopmental disorders, personality issues, complex trauma, offending behaviours (e.g., violent offending, sexual offending, stalking, etc.), sexual abuse, and substance use issues.

Dr Sakdalan has pioneered the development of offence-specific and offence-related programs for offenders with a cognitive impairment or intellectual disability, which have been implemented locally and internationally. He has published peer-reviewed articles and book chapters in forensic disability and forensic mental health. He has been an expert witness and has provided expert testimony at the Australian and NZ Courts.

Dr Sakdalan is a Senior Clinical Psychologist at the Problem Behaviour Program, Victorian Institute of Forensic Mental Health (Forensicare).

Key Publications

  • Sakdalan,. J. & Mitchell, B. (2023) Development of a Violence Rehabilitation Program for Offenders with Intellectual Disability. Journal of Offending Therapy and Comparative Criminology (in press).
  • Sakdalan, J.& Maxwell, Y. (2022). The application of adapted dialectical behaviour therapy concepts and skills in the treatment of adults with autistic spectrum disorder who display challenging or offending behaviours, Advances in Autism, 9(2), 132-149.
  • 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;
  • 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.