Trauma-Informed Psychotherapy

Study Psychotherapy at the University of Sydney


Contemporary psychodynamic psychotherapy covers a range of techniques that can be used to improve an individual’s mental health.

These can be used for conditions including personality disorders, generalised anxiety disorder, dysthymia, chronic depression, somatization and conditions where chronic complex trauma is a contributing factor.

Why study trauma-informed psychotherapy with us?

Trauma-informed pychotherapy covers a range of techniques employed to improve an individual’s mental health. Mental illness is more common than many people think – an estimated 800,000 Australians are affected by depression each year. Often mental illnesses are unrecognised and remain untreated or undertreated. In an environment where trauma is being recognised as an important contribution to health challenges, psychotherapeutic approaches that are trauma-informed are crucial.

  • The aim of this program is to train clinicians to deal effectively with people with psychological disorders that are not helped by more traditional psychotherapies, where chronic complex trauma plays a contributing role.
  • The therapeutic approach taught by this program is based on the Conversational Model (Hobson, 1985; Meares, 2000, 2005), but also incorporates concepts from other schools, including Self Psychology, Intersubjectivity Theory, Development, Attachment, Trauma Theory and Memory Systems Theory and Neuroscience. These ideas are centred around concepts of the self, notions of boundary formation, the empathic mode of listening, a focus on subjective experience, and unconscious traumatic memory systems, informed by practice and emerging neuroscience, and
  • Our program has a long history of research and training in the field of personality disorder, chronic complex trauma, trauma-informed care and psychotherapy and the interface with psychophysiology. The program is delivered in close liaison with the Western Sydney Local Health District and practising clinicians to ensure that the skills taught are practical and relevant to real-world psychotherapy practice settings.

Who should study this course?

Degree candidates need to have training and experience in a clinical area related to mental health, be registered to practice in NSW and have the relevant professional indemnity.

Graduate opportunities

Our courses in psychotherapy aim to train clinicians to deal effectively with people suffering from psychological disorders not aided by the more traditional psychotherapies. The course will prepare you to develop a career in psychotherapy or as a psychotherapist.

Course options

*Requires a medical degree

Professional accreditation/recognition

 Australian and New Zealand Association of Psychotherapy (ANZAP)

Students who complete this program may be eligible to gain professional recognition with the Australian and New Zealand Association of Psychotherapy (ANZAP), subject to other requirements.

Short courses/professional development

The University of Sydney offers short courses in psychotherapy. Visit our Short Courses section to learn more about topics and dates.

Non-award study (single unit enrolment)

It is possible to take almost any unit of study as a non-award student. For more information, please visit Single Unit Enrolment.