Associate Professor Sheridan Linnell

Associate Professor Sheridan Linnell

DAP - Arts Therapy and Counselling,
Arts Therapy & Counselling

Associate Professor of Art Therapy,
Arts Therapy & Counselling


Sheridan Linnell is Associate Professor of Art Therapy in the School of Social Sciences at Western Sydney University, Australia, and the University’s first Discipline Lead for Arts Therapy and Counselling. She works with others to question and reshape professional and therapeutic discourse and engages with the creative arts and writing as modes of inquiry that can promote social justice.  A practising poet, she occasionally collaborates on installation and performance art with colleagues and friends.

Sheridan’s research focuses in part on how as a White therapist she can respond to the legacies and current iterations of  trauma, abuse and colonisation - a complex matter requiring an engaged, ethically nuanced and interdisciplinary response. Her doctoral and postdoctoral work explored this problematic through postcolonial theorist and critical psychologist Couze Venn’s metaphor of ‘apprenticeship to the other’,  in the context of working with First Nations colleagues to support Indigenous children ‘in care’; and as a therapist working predominantly with the effects of family violence and sexual assault. This work has come sharply into focus given the current tendency in most forms of therapy to make the (essentialised) body and brain the locus of trauma to the exclusion of the social and cultural.

As Discipline Lead, Sheridan has been taking these developments into action through international and national scholarly collaborations, cross-institutional curriculum development, and high quality international and local publications co-authored with ECRs and HDRs.  As Chief Editor of the open-access Journal of Creative Arts Therapies, she supports emerging and diverse arts therapies researchers and practitioners across the Asia Pacific region to publish about their work. Sheridan has particular expertise in supervising PhD students who are conducting critical, qualitative research into their own professional practice and the normative assumptions and practices of their discipline.

This information has been contributed by Associate Professor Linnell.


  • PhD University of Western Sydney
  • MA University of Western Sydney,Nepean
  • BA University of Sydney

Professional Memberships

  • ANZACATA (previously ANATA; ANZATA) (1995 - 2022)

Organisational Unit (School / Division)

  • Arts Therapy & Counselling
  • Arts Therapy & Counselling


Phone: (02) 9685 9441
Location: EH.G.11

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Previous Teaching Areas

  • 101303 Art Therapy: Histories, Theories, Groups, 2015
  • 101304 Art Therapy: Application to Client Groups, 2015
  • 101784 Clinical Studies (Art Therapy), 2016
  • 102357 Ethics and Diversity in Research and Therapy, 2016
  • 102358 Practising Research and Researching Practice, 2016



  • Linnell, S. (2010), 'Art psychotherapy and narrative therapy: An account of practitioner research', : Bentham Science Publishers 9781608051182.

Chapters in Books

  • Linnell, S. and Zappa, A. (2021), 'Artful trans-itions and the queering of pregnancy, birth and (m)othering', Therapeutic Arts in Pregnancy, Birth and New Parenthood, Routledge 9780367462246.
  • Linnell, S. (2019), 'Inter-mission : an enactment of how art psychotherapy and narrative therapy shaped teamwork and therapeutic practice in a community-based counselling service for young people in Western Sydney', Art Therapy in Australia: Taking a Postcolonial, Aesthetic Turn, Brill 9789004315181.
  • Paton, J. and Linnell, S. (2019), 'Embodied wisdom in the creative arts therapies : learning from contemporary art', Practice Wisdom: Values and Interpretations, Brill 9789004410480.
  • Linnell, S., Perry, S., Pretorius, J. and Westwood, J. (2019), 'Where knowing and not knowing touch : contemporary art as a mode of research, subjective transformation and social engagement', Art Therapy in Australia: Taking a Postcolonial, Aesthetic Turn, Brill 9789004315181.
  • Gilroy, A., Linnell, S., McKenna, T. and Westwood, J. (2019), 'An introduction of sorts or all sorts of introductions', Art Therapy in Australia: Taking a Postcolonial, Aesthetic Turn, Brill 9789004315181.
  • Bansel, P. and Linnell, S. (2018), ''Terre Cherie-Ed U. K. Shone' : a desiring machine for rappin' and extrapolatin' on the monstrosities of academia', Writing with Deleuze in the Academy: Creating Monsters, Springer 9789811320644.
  • Linnell, S. and Ollerton, J. (2016), 'Changing practice discourse from inside practice : borrowing from the arts', Professional Practice Discourse Marginalia, Sense Publishers 9789463005999.
  • Linnell, S. and Horsfall, D. (2016), 'Disturbing professional practice discourse : re: writing practices', Professional Practice Discourse Marginalia, Sense Publishers 9789463005999.
  • Linnell, S. (2016), 'Sheridan Linnell', Arteterapia Tom 3: Projekty = Art Therapy Volume 3: Projects, Difin 9788379305179.
  • Linnell, S. and Westwood, J. (2013), 'W strone modelu narodowego arteterapii w Australii', Arteterapia: od teorii do terapii: Podrecznik przedmiotu = Art Therapy: from Theory to Therapy: Course Guide, Wydawnictwo Akademii Pedagogiki Specjalnej 9788362828555.
  • Linnell, S. (2007), 'Found wanting and becoming undone: a response to Eva Bendix Petersen's 'Passionately attached: academic subjects of desire'', Judith Butler in Conversation: Analyzing the Texts and Talk of Everyday Life, Routledge 9780415956536.

Journal Articles

  • Speedy, J., Davies, B., Gannon, S., Kirkpatrick, D., Laidler, C. and Linnell, S. (2022), 'Arctic terns : writing and art-making our way through the pandemic', Cultural Studies: Critical Methodologies, vol 22, no 2 , pp 107 - 121.
  • Thomson, J. and Linnell, S. (2020), 'Enchanted encounters with the liveliness of matter and art forcing thought', Emotion, Space and Society, vol 35 .
  • Gilroy, A., Linnell, S., McKenna, T. and Westwood, J. (2020), 'A tale of two launches : an arts-based, autoethnographic inquiry into decolonising art therapy in the context of (post)colonial Australia', Art Therapy Online, vol 11, no 1 , pp 1 - 49.
  • Gale, K., Wyatt, J., Smartt Gullion, J., Hou, N., Jeansonnne, C., Linnell, S., Reaves, M., Reilly, R. and Rhodes, P. (2019), 'Deleuze and collaborative writing in the dance of activism', International Review of Qualitative Research, vol 12, no 3 , pp 323 - 338.
  • Thomson, J., Linnell, S., Laws, C. and Davies, B. (2018), 'Entanglements between art-making and storytelling in a collective biography on the death of an intimate other', Departures in Critical Qualitative Research, vol 7, no 3 , pp 4 - 26.
  • Paton, J. and Linnell, S. (2018), ''The art therapist is present' : embedding arts therapy practice and education in the praxis of contemporary art', Australian and New Zealand Journal of Arts Therapy, vol 13, no 1 & 2 , pp 101 - 111.
  • Lever, A., Linnell, S., Morris, L. and Westwood, J. (2017), 'Crossing the field : creating intra-active spaces through a participatory artists' event', Art Therapy Online, vol 8, no 1 .
  • Linnell, S. and Lever, A. (2017), 'The spaces in-between : the emotional geographies of art therapy and place', Art Therapy Online, vol 8, no 1 .
  • Jaaniste, E., Linnell, S., Ollerton, R. and Younan, S. (2015), 'Drama therapy with older people with dementia : does it improve quality of life?', Arts in Psychotherapy, vol 43 , pp 40 - 48.
  • Linnell, S. and Davies, B. (2015), 'Poetry, art and Deleuze', Rhizomes, vol 28 .
  • Horsfall, D., Linnell, S., Latham, R. and Rumbold, J. (2014), 'Palliative care for the planet', Journal of Applied Arts and Health, vol 5, no 2 , pp 281 - 292.
  • Linnell, S. (2012), 'Risk discourse in art therapy : revisiting Neil Springham's Inscape paper on art and risk', International Journal of Art Therapy: Inscape, vol 17, no 1 , pp 34 - 39.
  • Zabrodska, K., Linnell, S., Laws, C. and Davies, B. (2011), 'Bullying as intra-active process in neoliberal universities', Qualitative Inquiry, vol 17, no 8 , pp 709 - 719.
  • Westwood, J. and Linnell, S. (2011), 'The emergence of Australian art therapies : colonial legacies and hybrid practices', ATOL- Art Therapy On Line, vol 1, no 3 .
  • Bansel, P., Davies, B., Laws, C. and Linnell, S. (2009), 'Bullies, bullying and power in the contexts of schooling', British Journal of Sociology of Education, vol 30, no 1 , pp 59 - 69.
  • Linnell, S. (2009), 'Becoming 'Otherwise': A story of a collaborative and narrative approach to art therapy with Indigenous kids 'in care'', Australina and New Zealand Journal of Art Therapy (ANZJAT), vol 4, no 1 , pp 15 - 26.
  • Linnell, S., Bansel, P., Ellwood, C. and Gannon, S. (2008), 'Precarious listening', Qualitative Inquiry, vol 14, no 2 , pp 285 - 306.
  • Bansel, P., Davies, B., Gannon, S. and Linnell, S. (2008), 'Technologies of audit at work on the writing subject : a discursive analysis', Studies in Higher Education, vol 33, no 6 , pp 673 - 683.
  • Williams, C. and Linnell, S. (2006), 'When the doctors consulted the narrative therapist: An experiment in questioning dominant stories of PhD pedagogy', International Journal for Critical Psychology, vol 18 , pp 56 - 80.

Conference Papers

  • Linnell, S. (2014), 'Shaking, and making, the ground upon which art therapy stands', International Art Therapy Conference, Goldsmiths College, University of London.


  • 2018, 'Moonlight Bay'
  • 2016, 'Crossing the Field: Creating Intra-active Spaces through a Participatory Artists' Event'
  • 2015, 'The Island Speaks'
  • 2015, 'Palliative Care for the Planet?'
  • 2007, 'Where Knowing & Not Knowing Touch'

Other Publications

  • 2020, 'Depression, Co-Morbidity and Integrated Care', Report
  • 2018, 'Recovering Creativity: The Art of Mental Health Recovery [Exhibition Catalogue]', Published Work
  • 2018, 'Recovering Creativity: Understanding the Role of Art in Mental Health Recovery, Through the Voices and Images of People with Lived Experience of a Major Mental Health Problem', Report
  • 2007, 'Where Knowing & Not Knowing Touch', Published Work

Art therapy; expressive therapies; narrative therapy, arts-informed research; Risk discourse; subjectivity; feminism; postcolonialism, poststructural theory; writing as enquiry.

This information has been contributed by Associate Professor Linnell.

Previous Projects

Title: Recovering Creativity: understanding the role of art in mental health recovery, through the voices and images of people with lived experience of a major mental illness
  • University of Western Sydney
  • RichmondPRA Limited
Western Researchers: Sheridan Linnell and Debbie Horsfall
Years: 2014-08-08 - 2016-02-29
ID: P00022223
Title: An initial study of how counsellors and art psychotherapists working with young people respond to the discourse of risk
  • University of Western Sydney
Western Researchers: Sheridan Linnell
Years: 2009-09-22 - 2011-02-28
ID: P00017379


Associate Professor Linnell is available to be a principal supervisor for doctoral projects

Current Supervision

Thesis Title: To be advised
Field of Research:
Thesis Title: Dramatherapy and Its Influence on the Socialisation of Emotionally Disturbed Children
Field of Research:
Thesis Title: Dramatherapy and Its Influence on the Socialisation of Emotionally Disturbed Children
Field of Research:
Thesis Title: Pulled Through a Hedge Backwards Improving the Quality of Life of People with Dementia Through Drama Therapy
Field of Research:
Thesis Title: An Exploration of the Relationship Between Art Making and Therapeutic Relationship Within a Semi-Structural Approach Art Therapy with Traumatized Children
Field of Research:
Thesis Title: In What Ways Does the Creation of Fictional Narratives Work as Therapeutic Acts for Both the Author and the Reader
Field of Research:
Thesis Title: What Else Works? Education, Therapeutic Programmes and Creative Work in the NSW Prison System
Field of Research:
Thesis Title: Mindful Making: A Curriculum of Change
Field of Research:

Previous Supervision

Thesis Title: Australian Art Therapy - An Inquiry into our Professional Identity after Two Decades of Practice and an Exploration into Areas of Future Possibility
Field of Research:

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