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Shelagh Cornish

Senior Lecturer

Nottingham Business School

Staff Group(s)
Department of Marketing


Shelagh is a Senior Lecturer providing academic, and pastoral, individual and group mentoring to enhance the personal and professional development, and employability of undergraduate students studying BA (Hons) Business Management and Marketing within Nottingham Business School since 2017, employed part time at 0.3fte. Shelagh is a very experienced teacher, primarily at Masters level, and is particularly interested in unconscious processes that affect motivation and learning capacity and ability as well as curriculum development that enhances learning. She was awarded the status of Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2018.

Career overview

Shelagh’s main career continues to be running her own business as a consultant, clinical supervisor and private practitioner in the Arts Psychotherapies since 1997. She is registered with the Health and Care Professions Council and British Association of Art Therapists. She is a very senior member of her profession having practices since qualifying in 1991, contributing to the development of the British Association of Art Therapists policies and protocols, towards ensuring best ethical and efficacious contemporary practice. She is especially interested in early human development and its impact on any given individual, as well as impact of diversity and difference, developing research into the field of trauma experienced during birthing, and impact of neoliberalism across sectors.

Having been involved in the inception and development of the MA in Art Therapy at the University of Derby in 2002, she was a senior lecturer on the training and on MA in Dramatherapy from then till 2018 with particular roles in curriculum development, clinical supervision, placement co-ordination, teaching and learning, and research. Also strategic lead for her profession within the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire NHS specialist child and adolescent mental health services – inpatient and outpatient. In addition to providing a direct clinical service to children, adolescents and their families, she proved consultancy, training, clinical supervision to other agencies including general practitioners, social workers, paediatricians, mental health nurses, schools and clinical placement for trainees for sixteen years until 2012.

As a practicing artist and music composer, Shelagh began her career through her artistic, marketing and business interests working in industry, charitable and higher education sectors as a graphic designer, studio manager and art director. As deputy visual identity manager for Trent Polytechnic she assisted in its visual transformation via the creation and implementation of a new corporate identity, that of Nottingham Trent University. She is interested in how the arts can assist the teaching and learning processes.

  • 2002 to date Senior Lecturer MA Art Therapy and MA Dramatherapy: University of Derby
  • 1997 to date Nottingham Art Therapy at Heartening: Private Practitioner, Clinical Supervisor, Consultant in Art Psychotherapy, Research.
  • 1995 – 2012 Lead Art Psychotherapist in Specialist CAMHS: Derbyshire NHS Foundation Trust/Nottinghamshire Mental Healthcare Services Trust (outpatient and inpatient Adolescent Unit). Strategic lead, clinical practice, clinical supervisor, trainer/educator within voluntary and statutory services, consultation to schools and social services, placement manager/supervisor, inter-agency liaison/consultation, business co-ordinator, case allocation co-ordinator.
  • 2011 Sessional Lecturer. Nottingham Trent University BA (Hons) Human Services
  • 1989 – 1990 Deputy Visual Identity Manager. Corporate department, Nottingham Trent University. Management, planning, development implementation of new corporate identity for Nottingham Trent University, photography director, marketing, graphic design of marketing material, promotional exhibitions, contracting printers, advising/liaising with senior team.
  • 1988 – 1989 Graphic Design Studio Manager. The Nottingham Group. Management of team and production, planning/strategy with higher management, contracting printers, mentoring and appraisal.
  • 1985 – 1988 Graphic Designer. Trent Polytechnic. Department of Marketing and Information. Design and production of university promotional material.
  • 1981 Midland Bank plc. Customer advisor.

Research areas

  • Art Therapy
  • Art Psychotherapy
  • Neo-liberalism
  • Birth Trauma
  • Gender
  • Trauma
  • Self-care
  • Arts-Based research methodologies

External activity

  • Senior Lecturer MA Art Therapy and MA Dramatherapy University of Derby
  • Private Practitioner
  • Clinical Supervisor
  • Consultant
  • Research
  • Core member of BAAT Special Interest Group in Private, Independent and Sessional Practice SIPP-SIG
  • Core member of BAAT Special Interest Group in Art Therapy with Children, Adolescents and Families ATCAF
  • HCPC Registered Art Psychotherapist
  • BAAT Registered Private Practitioner
  • BAAT Registered Supervisor
  • MBACP Registered Member (British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy)
  • Practicing Artist and Exhibitor
  • Music Composer


Cornish, S. (2016) Article Review: Multicultural Family Art Therapy, Christine Kerr (ed) (2015). Journal of Applied Arts and Health 7(3): 413-415

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

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