Specialist Expert Witness
Melanie is a highly specialised child, adolescent and adult Psychologist and Forensic Assessor, specialising in developmental trauma, attachment science, schema theory, family dynamics, mental health and child and adult forensic assessments. Melanie has worked within the family & criminal court system as expert witness in England, Wales & Ireland since 2006, following on from her work in mental health and her role as a social policy advisor. Prior to her career in psychology Melanie worked within the media & music industry.
Melanie has conducted research and has published widely on family breakdown, neuroscience in the early years, mental health & personality disorders, and making use of attachment science within family law. She is currently setting up an independent commission on the etiology of child sexual abuse, both of victims and perpetrators with a number of charities and child agencies. Melanie also founded the Mindful Policy Group whose members include some world leading authorities in child and family issues. Melanie also lectures on an MSc in Attachment Studies on the correlation between individuals 'schemas' and their attachment strategies.
Raphael Lopez de Soto
Specialist Expert Witness
Raphael is a qualified and experienced Forensic Psychotherapist, Risk Assessor, Child, Adolescent, Adult & Family Psychotherapist, Clinical Supervisor and Trainer. Raphael is a United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) Registered Psychotherapist and certified member of the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (MBACP). He specialises in working with children, young people and adults who have experienced chronic trauma, loss and abuse and have subsequently been placed within the adoptive looked after system or criminal justice system.
Raphael brings his experience of working in the NHS, large children's charity, education, children's services and inpatient treatment setting (therapeutic community) with children, young people and families who have abusive dynamics resulting in the demonstration of sexually harmful behaviours. As well as private practice Raphael provides also specialist consultancy for UK local authorities undertaking complex family assessments, risk assessments and specialist therapy for children and families. His real life experience ensures recommendations are realistic and achievable within current UK provision. Raphael is a clinical supervisor for psychological therapy professionals and social workers, and lectures on the post graduate diploma and MSc in Attachment Studies. Raphael is currently researching the effects of childhood trauma and the development of dissociative disorders.