Mentor’s two Directors, Dr Joe Sullivan and Dr Valerie Sheehan, lead a highly experienced team of specialists.


Dr Joe Sullivan

Dr. Joe O'Sullivan B&W 2Dr Sullivan is a Registered Forensic Psychologist (Health and Care Professions Council, registration number PYL25580: Thomas Joseph Sullivan).  He holds a PhD in Forensic Psychology, a Masters Degree in Criminology, a Post-Graduate Diploma in Psychology, a Bachelor of Arts Degree in applied Social Sciences, and a Certificate of Qualification in Social Work. Dr Sullivan is an honorary lecturer in Forensic Psychology at the University of Birmingham, UK.

For the past 20 years, Dr Sullivan has worked with police officers, social workers, probation officers, faith groups and educationalists to provide insights into the motivations, thoughts and behaviours of child sex offenders. He is regularly commissioned to undertake assessments for the Social Service Departments, Probation Services, Churches and Education departments and has been called as an expert witness to give evidence to criminal, civil and family courts.

Dr Sullivan has worked extensively in law enforcement since 1996, assisting UK and European police forces with investigations into the sexually motivated abduction, murder and assault of children. Since 2006, Dr Sullivan has also been the Forensic Psychologist in the Behaviour Analysis Unit in the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP). He has received a Chief Constables Commendation for his contribution to the investigation into the sexually motivated abduction and murder of a child in 2001.

Dr Sullivan has also undertaken assessment and therapeutic intervention work with women who sexually abuse children and adults accused or suspected of professional sexual misconduct. Part of his work also includes the assessment and treatment of adult survivors of child sexual abuse.

He has published and presented papers to national and international conferences on the techniques he uses for engaging, assessing and interviewing sexual offenders.

Dr Valerie Sheehan

Valerie Sheehan B&WDr Sheehan is both a Director and Senior Child Protection consultant at Mentor.

Dr Sheehan has worked for many years both with adults who have a sexual interest in children and with children who display problematic sexual behaviour. She is trained in the delivery of AIM2, MEGA and the Good Lives Model for intervention and planning with young people. She is co-developer of the New Ways Assessment and Intervention Programmes for children and young people displaying problematic sexualised behaviour and a Clinical Director of Programme Delivery with Compass Children’s Homes and Specialist Foster Care provisions.

Dr Sheehan has also worked extensively with the wives/partners of those who have sexually abused children or who have been suspected of doing so. This work involves undertaking assessments of their ability to protect their children for civil court proceedings as well as educative and intervention work to help them attain and develop skills to enhance child protection.

From 2006 to 2011 Dr Sheehan worked at the UK’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre where, as part of the behaviour analysis unit, she trained a wide range of multi agency professionals and provided consultancy in respect of those who engage in problematic sexual behaviour towards children. Prior to this she was a Senior Therapist for the Lucy Faithfull Foundation, based at the UK’s only specialist residential sex offender assessment and treatment programme. Valerie began her career as a therapist in the Cork Rape Crisis Centre, Ireland, where she worked for six years.

Dr Sheehan holds a Professional Doctorate from the Department of Criminology at the London Metropolitan University on the subject of individuals who produce indecent images of children. She also holds a Masters in Education, a Bachelor of Arts Degree and a Higher Diploma in Education. She has a Post-Graduate Diploma in Counselling for Sexual Abuse, a Post-Graduate Diploma in Integrative Psychotherapy and has completed specialist training in Cognitive Behavioural assessment and treatment techniques for sex offenders.