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Bevis McNeil

About Bevis McNeil

Dr Bevis McNeil is a Senior Lecturer in Criminological and Forensic Psychology at Leeds Beckett University, where he has worked since 2008. During this time, Bevis has also been Course Leader for the BA (Hons) Criminology and Psychology degree course, Year Lead for Levels 5 and 6 and an Academic Integrity Coordinator. He has module led ten modules and taught on twenty modules in total, at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Previously he was a Lecturer at Durham University, from where he received his doctorate.

His areas of expertise are:

  • Criminal and Forensic Psychology
  • Mental Health and Crime (especially with regards to the stigmatization and labelling that people with mental health problems often unfairly endure within the criminal justice system).
  • Interdisciplinary Psychology (drawing on the disciplines of criminology, sociology, philosophy, anthropology, politics and ethics).
  • Social Psychology
  • Psychosocial Development
  • The Psychodynamic tradition and its modern legacy (from Freud to Erikson to Deleuze & Guattari).

Bevis also has over twenty years’ experience of working with disability and mental health charities, at local and national levels, including:  Mind, SANE, the Association of Blind Asians Leeds (ABA Leeds), Artlink West Yorkshire and the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB).

Current Teaching


  • Critical and Philosophical Issues in the Social Sciences
  • Hegemony, Power and Society
  • Interdisciplinary Psychology
  • Societal Psychology
  • Being a Criminologist

  • Introduction to Psychology and Crime

  • Introduction to Criminal Justice


  • Central Problems in Psychology
  • Contemporary Psychoanalytic Approaches
  • Critical Methodologies
  • Foundations of Psychoanalysis

Research Interests

Bevis is currently conducting research for his PhD thesis at Durham University.

His research is concerned with perhaps Nietzsche'’s most significant, yet most impenetrable, notion–: that of eternal recurrence. He is primarily concerned with establishing whether or not this doctrine and thought, through its incorporation, succeeds in overcoming what Nietzsche diagnoses as the passive nihilism of modern society (in its various forms), which leads to an indifference to all creative activity and to the artistic and intellectual impoverishment of human beings. His research will analyse the project of overcoming nihilism in relation to the work of the Stoics, Gilles Deleuze and Martin Heidegger.

Bevis is also an active member of the Phenomenology of Depression Durham Project at Durham University, which analyses the concepts of guilt, memory, empathy and hope to ascertain how a phenomenological understanding and application of these concepts can actually inform the protocol and procedure of Mental Health charity workers and volunteers in the UK who help and give advice to service users and their careers. The project is in the process of forming collaborations with recognised Mental Health charities, with a view to refining their practices and services, as well as forming further joint venture research projects focusing on Mental Health issues such as Depression and Schizophrenia. In relation to his work with the Phenomenology of Depression Project, part of Bevis’ PhD research also focuses on a more philosophical understanding of the psychological self, particularly in terms of a holistic understanding of the temporal self, and the relation of the self to time and memory, and how a deeper understanding of this can lead to a more fulfilling and creative life for the individual. His research looks at ways for an individual to come to terms with their past experiences without these dominating, overwhelming and diminishing their present and future life experiences. This links into how one can understand the long-term effects of depression and how one can counter feelings of worthlessness, helplessness and guilt over the past. By employing Nietzsche’s techniques of self-forgetting, sublimation and a creative reimagining of their past, the individual can overcome their guilt about past events or overcome a present sense of hopelessness in their lives, by realising the dynamism of the self through its creative activity and in this way cultivate a more positive outlook towards their future.

Selected Publications

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