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Psychotherapy, young people and the discourse of risk.

Dr. Sheridan Linnell

This presentation weaves together poetry, artwork, reflection and analysis from a research project the presenter conducted in 2010 with a small group of art psychotherapists and counsellors working with young people who are considered to be 'at risk'. Dominant ideas of 'risk' and practices of 'risk management' produce and reproduce risk as a category of human experience (Beck, 1992, 1994, 1998): thereby constituting some young people as 'risky individuals' (Rose, 1996) in need of management, and distributing their therapists along a continuum of successful or failed managers of the risks posed to (and by) young people. This presentation gives a vivid account of the ways in which the therapists in this project have taken up, resisted and/ or mediated an understanding of themselves as ethically and professionally responsible for managing risk, and also how these therapists have challenged the ways that risk discourse attempts to shape their therapeutic relationships with and understandings of young people. 

WORLD DREAMING: WORLD CONGRESS FOR PSYCHOTHERAPY
24-28 August 2011 Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre
Darling Harbour, Australia.
Visit The World Council for Psychotherapy at http://www.worldpsyche.org

Sheridan Linnell
Sheridan Linnell
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Dr. Sheridan Linnell

Dr Sheridan Linnell is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Social Sciences and Psychology at the University of Western Sydney, Australia, where she leads the Master of Art Therapy and teaches in Therapy Studies. Her PhD thesis (2007) and subsequent book on practitioner research (Linnell, 2010) conceptualised how the subjectivity of art therapists is formed and performed within contemporary regimes that situate moral responsibility primarily with the individual. Sheridan has extensive clinical and community experience working with people ‘at risk’. She is also a published poet and collaborative artist.

Co-authors: Daniel Marjason
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