Shelagh Cornish

Position: Senior Lecturer

College: College of Health and Social Care

Department: Therapeutic Practice

Show All


Senior Lecturer MA Art Therapy

Teaching responsibilities

Shelagh has been a part time Senior Lecturer on the Masters of Arts in Art Therapy training at the University of Derby since its inception in 2002, having particular responsibility for the Reflective Practice Groups that complement and supplement trainees’ learning while on practice placement. She is stage one module leader for Arts Therapies Theories and Research in Relation to Practice, teaches on Arts Therapies Theories and Research in Relation to Practice two, supervisor of students undertaking the Masters of Arts Independent Scholarship module and a personal and group tutor.

Research interests

Shelagh is research active in the process of synthesising a series of Community Art Psychotherapy workshops with women suffering Birth Trauma.

Membership of professional bodies

Shelagh Cornish is a British Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) registered Art Psychotherapist qualifying in 1990. She is a member of the British Association of Art Therapists (BAAT), a BAAT Approved Clinical Supervisor and Private Practitioner, a member of two BAAT Special Interest Groups: Art Therapy with Children and Families Group (ATCAF) and Private Practice Group (PP SIG), a member of the Art Therapists Practice and Research Network (ATPRN) and a member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (MBACP).

In addition to Art Psychotherapy she is a trained Systemic practitioner and a Life Span Integration practitioner.

Recent publications

Published research:

  • Cornish, S. (2103) Is There a Need to Define the Role of Art Therapy in Specialist CAMHS in England? Waving not Drowning: A Systematic Literature Review. ATOL: Art Therapy Online, 4 (1): 1-49
  • Hogan, S. & Cornish, S. (2014) Unpacking gender in art therapy: the elephant at the art therapy easel: International Journal of Art Therapy: INSCAPE 19(3): 122-134
  • Hogan, S., Baker, C., Cornish, S. & McCloskey, P. (2014) Birth Shock: Exploring Pregnancy, Birth and the Transition to Motherhood Using Participatory Arts in Burton, N. (ed.) Your Birth & its Meaning: Representations of Pregnancy, Childbirth and Parenting

Unpublished papers:

  • Author of ‘Treatment Protocol for Art Psychotherapy’ for the Trust 2011 (unpublished)
  • Author of ‘Commissioning Art Psychotherapy within specialist CAMHS’ 2011 (unpublished)

Book reviews:

  • 2010 Edwards, D. (2011) Art Therapy. 2nd edition. London: Sage for the publisher
  • November 2016: Review: Multicultural Family Art Therapy (2015) Carr, C. (ed) reviewer Shelagh Cornish. Journal of Applied Arts and Health 2016.

Additional interests and activities

Shelagh is an active artist, photographer, writer, musician and composer committed to using the arts to promote personal development and to inform practice.

Experience in industry

From qualifying she has worked with vulnerable young people and families from qualifying, including Managing Art Psychotherapy provision and a team, plus their supervision, in an adolescent therapeutic community, first therapist on a National Health Service (NHS) Adolescent Acute Psychiatric inpatient unit (Tier 4 CAMHS) including supervision of mental health nurses, and spent six months on an Adult Acute Psychiatric Inpatient Unit that specialised in Mother and Baby care.

Art Psychotherapist in Specialist CAMHS Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire from 1995. As the Lead Art Psychotherapist in Specialist Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS - NHS) in Derbyshire until the beginning of 2012, she had responsibility for the strategic development of Art Psychotherapy services within the local mental health services trust, offering consultation, clinical supervision and training across statutory and voluntary child mental health, health, social care, post adoption service, and education services, and to trainee arts therapists and other disciplines, as well as direct Art Psychotherapy provision to families, parents, sibling groups, individual children and young people.

In private practice since 1997, Shelagh continues to offer Clinical Supervision and Consultation to various disciplines, and Art Psychotherapy primarily with adults via health service referrals, commissions and self-referrals.

Sessional Lecturer at Nottingham Trent University, BA (Hons) Human Services “Working with children, adolescents, and young adults with mental health difficulties” lectures and seminars

Earlier career as Deputy Identity Manager and Art Director in the Corporate Management Team at Nottingham Trent University, and Studio Manager of a team of graphic designers at The Nottingham Group.

Find out how to update your staff profile

Edit your staff profile