Gemma is an extremely professional psychologist and in my experience, she goes above and beyond what I have expected. Her reports are thorough and when making recommendations, these are made based not only on her risk assessments, but also after extensive research that she engages in to ensure that any given recommendation is achievable. An example is that she speaks to prison course treatment managers, hostels, supported accommodation providers and probation officers. She takes grave interest in the individual client and how their specific needs can be met to sustain long term risk management. As a result, her work is not only reliable but also extremely credible when giving evidence at oral hearings. Without fail Ms Clarke is my “go to” psychologist and is always my preferred choice unless she is unavailable. She is a credit to her profession and her work is outstanding.
Amee Patel | Head of Prison & Public Law Bailey Nicholson Grayson Solicitors
I have instructed Gemma and Connect Psychological Services on Parole Board Cases for a number of years. I find her to be very easily approachable and efficient. The reports are very thorough, and if she is not available, she has a pool of highly skilled experts who can prepare just as efficient and professional service. I would highly recommend her and her organisationand if she is not available, she has a pool of highly skilled experts who can prepare just as efficient and professional service. I would
highly recommend her and her organisation
Debobroto Dey | SolicitorLandmark Law Solicitors
‘I have used Connect Psychological Services for a number of years, in particular Gemma Clarke.
There are numerous reasons why she is my first point of call when needing a psychological report.
Her approach to the work she undertakes is faultless. She will go above and beyond with regards to collating pertinent information to write her reports.
As such, they are always very helpful to those tasked with assessing risk.
Gemma is not shackled by an unhelpful risk adverse attitude, yet equally is very careful to accurately portray risk levels with helpful examples of scenarios where it is most likely.
She has clearly gained the respect of the Parole Board who value her well formulated evidence, both orally and in written format.
She has an in depth understanding of the test needed for release and general Parole Board rules.
On top of this, Gemma has been completely and utterly reliable with all aspects of the report procedure, from providing quotes to completing work on time. I cannot recommend enough.’
Robert Welsh | Solicitor Instalaw Solicitors
Over the last few years, I have instructed Gemma Clarke and her team of expert psychologists to undertake independent risk assessments on behalf of my prison law clients; the outcome being elaborate, persuasive and well-written reports in readiness for parole cases.
Their style of working with clients is approachable, flexible and nothing but professional. I have instructed several members of this team in cases of varying complexity; from those cases requiring a more general assessment of a prisoner’s risk of harm, to the more complex cases requiring assessments of personality disorder.
The contents of the risk assessments can only be described as comprehensive, unequivocal, and reliable. They provide you with the direction you require to advise clients on pathways of progression and treatment.
Furthermore, I cannot fail to mention the competence and distinctive ability that the team maintains when attending Parole Board hearings on behalf of our clients. They provide myself and my clients with the confidence and backing expected when pursuing an application for progression. As expert witnesses, they are ready to explore, enhance and expand on their report recommendations, allaying inevitable and difficult challenges from a Parole Board panel.
I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them to any professional looking for independent reports / assessments in any form of proceedings.
Laura Smith | Consultant Prison Law AdvisorInstalaw Solicitors
I have regularly instructed Gemma to prepare psychological reports in prison cases. I have found her to be reliable and accommodating. She is compassionate and goes the extra mile when considering the available options. I have called her as a professional witness on many occasions. She prepares for the hearings thoroughly and provides credible evidence that has resulted in positive results. I have found her to be approachable, professional and I would highly recommend her.
Gemma is a highly efficient and organised psychologist who provides faultless reports in a speedy and timely manner. She ensures a balanced and realistic conclusion is reached having sought information from all parties to ensure that reports are not only fair but well informed. Gemma’s thorough information-gathering instils confidence in all professionals. Gemma’s ability to give comprehensive evidence at hearings means that her opinion is highly valued and often is able to sway opinions of other professionals.
Asil Mehaisi | Trainee Solicitor | Prison & Public Law DepartmentBailey Nicholson Grayson Solicitors
Gemma is my Co-ordinating Supervisor for my diploma in Forensic Psychology. She is an extremely supportive person and has been integral in taking me forward in my training. Gemma has consistently provided me with the help and guidance I have needed to develop in both my forensic training as well as my wider clinical practice. Her vast knowledge of forensic psychology is inspiring and has helped me develop and pursue my own goals in the field. I find supervision with Gemma supportive and reflective, providing me with the right balance of guidance and autonomy which has allowed me to continue developing my skills as a psychologist and to progress with my training.
Gemma demonstrates inspirational work ethic and is a motivating role model that I can aspire to. Overall since Gemma has been my supervisor, she has reinvigorated my desire for Forensic Psychology as I move towards completing my Chartership.
Tom Pell-Hiley | Forensic Psychologist in TrainingThe Priory
Gemma has supported me over the last few years in working towards my Chartership qualification. She is prompt and clear with her feedback. I have always been able to ask her anything and have really benefited from her advice and guidance. Gemma has a real in depth knowledge of the BPS qualification route and this has been invariably helpful in supporting me develop my reflection skills and demonstrate my competencies. Ultimately, Gemma has helped me develop into a better psychologist through our supervision sessions.
Fern Young | Trainee Forensic PsychologistPriory Group
Gemma has been my supervisor since I started my Qualification in Forensic Psychology (Stage 2). In that time she has not only given me the confidence to get through my Stage 2 forensic qualification but with her help and support she made a really complicated process more simple! She has provided constant help and support throughout my training. Even when she is so busy herself, she always seems to make time for me – I don’t think any words of thanks could ever do justice.
Samantha Braha | Forensic Psychologist in TrainingThe Priory
prison law service users
I spent well over a decade in prison and met various professionals during that time, many of whom made me feel extremely nervous and at times uneasy if I am honest. I guess this arose from some disagreeable experiences that I had encountered in the past.
I was often fearful that my thoughts and feelings might be misrepresented or misconstrued.
I met with Gemma Clarke while I was still serving an indeterminate prison sentence and preparing to make my application for release on parole. Gemma was asked by my solicitor to write an independent psychological assessment for my impending hearing.
I can honestly say that my engaging with Gemma Clarke disabused me of the negative notions that I was beginning to form in my mind.
My experience of Gemma Clarke was extremely professional, thorough and efficient.
Gemma talked me through the process and gave me the space I needed to answer in an unhurried and unpressured way. I felt that I was being heard, which was important to me.
Gemma was incredibly honest, forthright, and direct with me. I remember initially spending about 2-3 hours being interviewed.
I was made to feel that I mattered, regardless of the subsequent findings and I really appreciated that, then as now.
It has also meant a great deal to me that Connect Psychological Services have continued to take the time to inquire about my progress post release from prison, because it means that I really am more than just a prison number.
I have no hesitation whatsoever in recommending the services of Gemma Clarke and Connect Psychological Services.
Gemma was instructed by my solicitor to write an independent psychological assessment for a Parole Board hearing whilst I was on a life-sentence recall. As a prisoner these assessments can be trying times. Being questioned about events that happened some years previous can be hard-hitting emotionally. I found that Ms Clarke made me feel comfortable during our interviews. Gemma explained the process fully, and allowed me to answer her questions in my own time, and then sought clarification on what I meant by my responses.
In writing and presenting her assessment I found that Ms Clarke listened to my views, and concerns. She also listened to what the other professionals involved were saying and presented a report that gave a clear assessment of my capabilities, and the support that I would need to progress.
As a client, I would have no issue in endorsing Ms Clarke’s services to those in custody and beyond.
Thanks, so much for your energy and enthusiasm in delivering the course. Your natures and good humour made talking about difficult topics
manageable, and in some cases, even fun. You also created a great group
dynamic for us to connect with colleagues. Thank you.
I found the course helpful and insightful. The instructor really brought
it to life and the exercises made it very interactive. I thoroughly
enjoyed the course.
Brilliant course, very informative and delivered really well.
"Gemma delivered the training really well and efficiently. Gemma was clear in what she was saying and made sure that all of the delegates understood what she was explaining. Gemma also offered time on numerous occasions for people to share if they had any questions or concerns and also touched base on Personality Disorder. This was not included on the online two day course however it is included on self learning and Gemma made a point of making sure everyone was ok with what they had read and making time for people to ask any questions. Would definitely recommend Gemma Clarke as a MHFA Trainer."