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Master of Medicine (Trauma-Informed Psychotherapy)

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Overview

The Master of Medicine (Trauma-Informed Psychotherapy) aims to train clinicians to use an approach to Trauma-Informed Psychotherapy that is applicable across acute, brief and longer term treatment. It aims to treat people with psychological disorders where chronic, complex or cumulative trauma plays a contributing role as well as people with non-specific distress who are seeking improved well-being. It is a suitable initial form of therapy and also may be used with more complex conditions where there has been an inadequate response to other therapies. This course is suitable for psychiatry registrars, CMOs and psychiatrists, general practitioners or other medical practitioners who wish to develop a career in psychotherapy or as psychotherapists.

Contemporary psychotherapy teaches techniques that aim to improve mental health and well-being for those with personality disorders, traumatic and dissociative disorders, anxiety disorders, dysthymia, chronic depression, somatisation and conditions in which chronic complex trauma is a contributing factor. It also offers a broad person-centred and trauma-informed approach in many other acute, brief and ongoing conditions and treatment settings where psychological factors are important and a good therapeutic alliance is crucial.

The therapeutic approach is based on the Conversational Model which incorporates concepts from other psychodynamic approaches such as self-psychology, intersubjectivity and relational schools as well as integrating research from human development, attachment, trauma theory, neuroscience and linguistics.

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. Clinical content includes short and longer term interventions and the integration of psychotherapy with other treatment modalities.

This course will prepare students for a professional career in contemporary psychotherapy. 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.

The program has been extensively restructured to better meet the needs of clinicians for training in both shorter and longer forms of psychotherapy and for trauma-informed care in relation to all mental health services.

From 2019 students will be able to enrol in a Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma or Masters.  Year one of the program will equip clinicians with fundamental knowledge and skills in providing psychodynamic psychotherapy, focussing on ultra-brief psychotherapy, and short-term interventions and Trauma-Informed Care (TIC). Students who have enrolled in the Graduate Certificate will exit at this point.

Students who enrol in the Graduate Diploma will complete another year of coursework that includes an introduction to research methods as well as training and supervision in the longer form of psychotherapy. Students who enrol in the Masters will complete a third and final year of coursework, that includes the capstone units, culminating in a scholarly paper while completing a final year of training and supervision in longer term psychotherapy.

Subject areas

Entry, fees, funding & how to apply

Depends on your qualification, citizenship status
The details on this page based on your selections are a guide only, and are subject to change.

Your fee

Your funding & scholarships

How to apply

What you'll study

The Master of Medicine (Trauma-Informed Psychotherapy) consists of 48 credit points comprising coursework, supervised clinical work and a capstone experience of the scholarly creation of a paper suitable for publication. You will complete this course part-time, usually over three years, and the new course structure allows for a slower progression and longer time completion if necessary. Teaching in this course centres on an active learning approach including grand rounds, previewing and pre-reading, active participation in seminars or online discussions as well as clinical practical work, clinical supervision, and assessment.

Units of Study

Capstone (compulsory project)

A capstone experience comprises two units of study designed to provide students with an opportunity to draw together the learning that has taken place during the award, synthesise this with their prior learning and experience, and draw conclusions that will form the basis for further investigation, and intellectual and/or professional growth. All Master’s students complete the units of PSTY5212 and PSTY5213, culminating in an essay submission of 4,000 words on an aspect of psychotherapy, suitable for publication.

Admission requirement

Admission to the Master of Medicine (Trauma-Informed Psychotherapy) requires a medical degree from the University of Sydney or equivalent qualification; and

  • A minimum 12 months’ experience in a clinical area related to mental health; plus
  • current professional indemnity insurance to practise psychotherapy in NSW; and
  • satisfactory performance at an interview as required.

The academic requirements that are displayed are applicable to currently available courses only, and are updated annually in October and may be changed without notice. The Handbooks online and the University of Sydney Calendar are the official legal source of information relating to study at the University of Sydney, and you are referred to those documents.

Professional accreditation

Upon successful completion of the Master of Medicine (Trauma-Informed Psychotherapy) graduates will have achieved proficiency as psychotherapists to the point of gaining professional recognition with the Australian and New Zealand Association of Psychotherapy (ANZAP).  Please note that concurrent personal psychotherapy during training and further supervision post qualification is necessary for full membership of ANZAP. 

Future study options

Outstanding graduates may be eligible to pursue a supervised research project in the Master of Medicine (Advanced) (Trauma-Informed Psychotherapy) or to pursue a higher degree by research in the courses of Doctor of Philosophy or Master of Philosophy offered by Sydney Medical School. A research degree provides students with the opportunity to prepare a substantial piece of work which represents a significant contribution in a particular field of study; and to gain transferable skills in general research methodology. Sydney Medical School is affiliated with over 40 independent medical research institutes aimed at achieving medical firsts in specialist areas of health and medicine. It provides an outstanding environment for postgraduate research. Sydney Medical School's research activities consistently attract high levels of funding from the Commonwealth and state governments, overseas funding agencies and other public and private sources.

Graduate opportunities

The Master of Medicine (Trauma-Informed Psychotherapy) aims to train clinicians to deal effectively in a Trauma-informed and specific way with people presenting for psychotherapy, including those suffering from psychological disorders not aided by the more traditional psychotherapies. This course is suitable for such as general practitioners, psychiatry registrars, CMOs and psychiatrists or other medical practitioners who wish to develop a career in psychotherapy or as psychotherapists. Our graduates and affiliates have become leaders and Change Champions in this area.

Domestic students

Indicative Postgraduate Student Contribution Amount


The student contribution amount for a Commonwealth Supported Place is an indication only of the amount payable in Year 1 for a standard full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). The exact student contribution that you pay will depend on the calendar year in which you undertake your study, and the specific units of study in which you ultimately enrol. For further information about how to calculate your specific total student contribution, please refer to the University's Tuition Fees website.

Annual review and fee increases


Importantly, student contribution amounts are subject to annual review by the University, and will increase each year of your period of study (subject to a Commonwealth specified cap), effective at the start of each calendar year.

Indicative Postgraduate Domestic Tuition Fee


The tuition fee for a domestic postgraduate student is an indication only of the fees payable in Year 1 for a standard full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). Depending on the calendar year in which you undertake your study, and if your study load is more or less than the 1.0 EFTSL, your tuition fee will differ from the indicative amount.

Annual review and fee increase


Importantly, tuition fees are subject to annual review by the University, and will increase each year of your period of study, effective at the start of each calendar year.

Additional incidental costs


For some courses there are incidental costs additional to the student contribution and/or course fee. Some of these incidental costs are significant, for example, course-specific materials, tools, protected clothing and equipment. Further information about these costs is available from https://sydney.edu.au/students/materials-and-equipment.html.

Visa/MasterCard surcharge


Please note that a surcharge of 1.53% will apply for payments made by Visa or MasterCard. The surcharge is subject to review and may change. Information about payment methods and the surcharge is set out at: http://sydney.edu.au/study/finances-fees-costs/fees-and-loans/paying-your-fees.html.

Potential for inaccuracy


Whilst every reasonable effort has been made to include correct and up to date information here, you are also advised to consult directly with the Student Centre so that they can provide you with specific and up to date information about fees.

International students

Indicative International Tuition Fees for Postgraduate Students


The tuition fee for international postgraduate students is an indication only of the fees payable in Year 1 for a standard full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). Depending on the calendar year in which you undertake your study, and if your study load is more or less than the 1.0 EFTSL, your tuition fee will differ from the indicative amount.

Annual review and fee increases


Importantly, tuition fees are subject to annual review, and will increase each year of your period of study, effective at the start of each calendar year.

Additional incidental costs and health insurance


For some courses there are incidental costs additional to the tuition fees. Some of these incidental costs are significant, for example, course-specific materials, tools, protected clothing, and equipment. Further information about these costs is available from https://sydney.edu.au/students/materials-and-equipment.html. In addition to the fees indicated here for the course of study, International Students studying on an Australian Student Visa must have appropriate health insurance for the duration of their studies on a Student Visa through an approved provider of the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) scheme. This is a requirement of the Australian Government, unless otherwise exempted by the Government.

Visa/MasterCard surcharge


Please note that a surcharge of 1.53% will apply for payments made by Visa or MasterCard. The surcharge is subject to review and may change. Information about payment methods and the surcharge is set out at: http://sydney.edu.au/study/finances-fees-costs/fees-and-loans/paying-your-fees.html.

Potential for inaccuracy


Whilst every reasonable effort has been made to include correct and up to date information here, you are also advised to consult directly with the Student Centre so that they can provide you with specific and up to date information about fees.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.
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