Dr Joel Cullin


School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work
Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences


Joel is a social worker and individual, couple and family therapist. Joel completed his undergraduate training in Social Work (1998), his Master of Mental Health (Psychotherapy) (2005), and his PHD (2010) at the University of Queensland. Joel's Masters dissertation and PhD thesis both explored systemic thinking about complex problems at multiple levels of abstraction, including the levels of frontline practice in therapy, mental health and other contexts, and policy, and systems reform. Joel has expertise in the theory and practice of therapy, first principles of problem formation and problem resolution, and the trans-disciplinary systems science of cybernetics. Joel has well over twenty years experience as a family therapist and mental health clinician. Joel has worked in an array of public and not for profit contexts and has operated a busy private practice (Brisbane Family Therapy Clinic) since 2004. In addition to university teaching in mental health, Joel has also been a regular provider of private training and professional supervision to other mental health and human service professionals over the past fifteen years. Joel's program of research is concerned with systems thinking and its application to context-sensitive approaches to therapy, mental health and human service work, and to social policy formulation and reform of care systems. Joel welcomes inquiries regarding research higher degree supervision.

Research Interests

  • Context-sensitive approaches to research and practice in mental health
  • Cybernetics and related approaches to understanding systems functioning
  • Theory and practice of family therapy, couples therapy and psychotherapy
  • Mental health practice and reform of mental health systems
  • Theories of problems formation and problem resolution


  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Queensland
  • Master of Mental Health, The University of Queensland
  • Bachelor of Social Work, The University of Queensland


View all Publications


  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

View all Supervision


Journal Article

Other Outputs

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor