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Dr Kate Johnston

Job title Consultant Clinical Psychologis, BSc MSc DClin Psy

Area of expertise

  • Young people with neurodevelopmental differences and complex behavioural/mental health needs
  • At-risk young people where there is risk of harm to self/to others and from others: self-harm, fire setting, interpersonal violence, child criminal/sexual exploitation
  • Harmful sexual behavior
  • Adapting and evaluating psychological assessments and interventions for individuals with neurodevelopmental differences
  • Vulnerable juvenile defendants in the criminal justice system
  • Young people excluded from school
  • Neuropsychological functioning in autism


Dr Kate Johnston is Consultant Clinical Psychologist for the N&S CAMHS Adolescent At-risk & Forensic Service, which assesses and treats young people who are engaged in, or present significant risk of, serious violence, fire-setting and/or sexually inappropriate behavior and/or who are at risk of harm or exploitation from others. A high proportion of children seen by the service have autism, ADHD and/or learning disability and many are care experienced.

Dr Johnston is a practitioner psychologist with the Health Professions Council and a chartered psychologist and Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society. She is a full member of the Division of Clinical Psychology and affiliate member of the British Association for Cognitive and Behavioural Psychotherapies (BABCP). She previously worked with the National & Specialist Adult Autistic Spectrum Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ASD/ADHD) Service at the Trust as a highly specialist clinical psychologist. Her main roles were delivering psychological assessment and intervention on an inpatient unit. She also co-ordinated the delivery of neuropsychological assessments in the outpatient clinics and ran a CBT training programme for nursing staff.

She is involved in supervision, teaching and training of junior psychologists and staff from other disciplines.

She has delivered training workshops and conference presentations to mental health and criminal justice professionals who work with people with autism.

She is a clinical tutor for the Institute of Psychiatry’s doctorate in clinical psychology (DClinPsy) course and also supervises DClinPsy research projects and clinical placements.

Education and training

  • BSc (Hons) psychology (University College, London) 2001
  • MSc cognitive neuropsychology (University College London and Birkbeck) 2002
  • Doctorate in clinical psychology (DClinPsy) (Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London) 2006
  • ADOS and ADI-R (Autism Research Centre, University of Cambridge)
  • Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (British Isles DBT)
  • AIM 2 and 3 Assessment and Intervention for young people with harmful sexual behavior (AIM Project)
  • Attachment-Based Family Therapy (ABFT)


Johnston, K., Murray, K., Spain, D., Walker, I. & Russell, A.J. (2019). Executive function: Cognition and behaviour in adults with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 49, 4181 – 4192.

Johnston, K., Prentice, K., Whitehead, H., Taylor, L., Watts, R., Tranah, T. (2016). Assessing effective participation in vulnerable juvenile defendants, The Journal of Forensic Psychiatry & Psychology, 27, 6, 802-814.

Johnston, K., Dittner, A., Bramham, J., Knight, A. & Russell, A.J. (2013). Symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Autism Research, 6, 225-236.

Johnston, K., Madden, A.K., Bramham, J. & Russell, A.J. (2011). Response Inhibition in Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders,41, 903 – 912

Harrison, N., Johnston, K., Corno, F., Casey, S.J., Friedner, K., Humphreys, K., Jaldow, E.J., Pitkanen, M. & Kopelman, M.D. (2017). Psychogenic amnesia: syndromes, outcome, and patterns of retrograde amnesia. Brain, 140, 2498-2510.

Murray, K.M., Johnston, K., Cunane, H., Kerr, C., Spain, D., Gillan, N., Hammond, N., Murphy, D.G.M. & Happe, F. (2017). A new test of advanced theory of mind: The “Strange Stories Film Task” captures social processing differences in adults with autism spectrum disorders: A new test of advanced theory of mind. Autism Research,10, 1120-1132.

Russell, A.J., Murphy, C., Wilson, C.E., Gillan, N., Brown, C., Robertson, D., Craig, M., Deeley, Q., Zinkstok, J., Johnston, K., McAlonnan, G., Spain, D., & Murphy, D.G.M. (2015). The mental health of individuals referred for assessment of autism spectrum disorder in adulthood: A clinic report. Autism, 20, 623-627.

Russell, A.J., Jassi, A., Fullana, M., Mack, H., Johnston, K., Heyman, I., Murphy, D.G.M., & Mataix-Cols, D. (2013) Cognitive behavior therapy for co-morbid obsessive compulsive disorder in high functioning autism spectrum disorders: A randomized controlled trial Depression and Anxiety,30, 697-708.

Walker, R. & Johnston, K. (2009) The use of relaxation to support the management of challenging behavior in an inpatient setting. Clinical Psychology Forum, 201

Selwood, A., Johnston K., Livingston, G., & Katona., C. (2007) A systematic review of the effects of psychological interventions on family caregivers of people with dementia. Journal of Affective Disorders, 101, 75 – 89.

Livingston G., Johnston, K., Katona, C., Paton, J., & Lyketsos, C. (2005). A systematic review of psychological and psychosocial treatments for the management of neuropsychiatric symptoms of dementia. American Journal of Psychiatry, 162, 1196 – 2202.

Mahoney, R., Johnston, K., Maxmin, K., Katona, C., & Livingston, G. (2005) The TE4D-Cog: A new test for detecting early dementia in English speaking populations. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 20, 1172 – 1179.

Paton, J., Johnston, K., Katona, C., & Livingston G. (2004). What causes problems in Alzheimer’s Disease: Attributions by caregivers. A qualitative study. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 19, 527 – 532.

Johnston, K., & Maidment, R. (2004) What causes problems in Alzheimer’s Disease? The Psychologist, 17, 593.


Books / book chapters

Ailsa Russell, Amita Jassi & Kate Johnston (2018). OCD and Autism: A Clinician’s Guide to Adapting CBT. London: Jessica Kingsley.

Johnston, K. & Tranah, T. (2020) Forensic Issues in Mental Health Needs of Children and Young people with Intellectual Disabilities, 2nd Edition. S. Bernard & J.McCarthy (Eds). London: Pavilion.

Johnston, K. & Neophytou. E.(2018) Anger and Emotion Regulation in Autism Spectrum Disorder in Common mental health conditions in adults with autism spectrum disorders: assessment and interventions. E. Chaplin, D. Spain & J.McCarthy (Eds). London: Jessica Kingsley.

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