Johanna Motzkau

Johanna Motzkau, PhD, CPsychol., Dipl. Psych.

Senior Lecturer in Psychology, Faculty of Social Sciences (Psychology Department), joined the OU in 2006; wrote chapters on Qualitative Methods for remake of DSE212 Exploring Psychology (ran 2008-2014), Production and Presentation chair for Masters in Forensic Psychology D873 (Forensic Psychology: Witnesses, Experts and Evidence on Trial; presented 2009-2013); wrote chapter on Knowledge Production and Critical Psychology for DD307, Social Psychology and the new DD317; now Qualification Director for production of new Masters in Forensic Psychological Studies (launch 2016).

  • PhD at Loughborough University; German Diplom in Psychology at the Freie Universität Berlin, Germany;
  •   specialised in theoretical psychology, child psychology and forensic psychology; background in philosophy and German Kritische Psychologie (Critical Psychology);
  •   worked extensively with children at risk of sexual exploitation as part of her training at the Institute for Forensic Psychiatry (Freie Universität Berlin, Germany). This included interviewing child witnesses (predominantly alleged victims of sexual abuse), psychometric assessment, and assisting the provision of expert testimony on the credibility of witnesses in criminal court (using Statement Validity Analysis, an approach approved by German criminal courts).
  •  interested in memory and suggestibility, methodological issues in psychology, children's rights, child sexual abuse, gender, and the way in which psychological knowledge is used in legal and policy contexts. Past work has compared child witness practice in England/Wales and Germany and explored the history and theory of suggestibility research in relation to child witness practice (PhD thesis, Loughborough University, 2007: Cross-Examining suggestibility: Memory, Childhood, Expertise); continental philosophy and process theory (Deleuze, Stengers, Whitehead);
  • published widely on suggestibility, memory, childhood, sexual abuse and child protection, process philosophy and theoretical psychology, new approaches to researching practice (researching practice as process), child protection practices in Engalnd and Germany, and developing a transdisciplinary psycosocial approach to psychology.
  • contributed to consultation documents by the BPS on fighting sexual offences in Northern Ireland and has provided consultation for family law and child protection agencies in South Australia.
  • organized Research-Practice Conference ‘Lost in Application’, in collaboration with Barnardos (2009):
  •  Publications include:

See     to access more publications,

For staff profile see: