Psychotherapy in Australia: Clinical psychology and its approach to depression Academic Article uri icon


  • In Australia, clinical psychology training is dominated by cognitive and behavioral treatments (CBTs), although there is exposure to other theoretical orientations. Since 2001, over 20% of general medical practitioners (GPs) have received training in CBT, and psychiatry training increasingly incorporates CBT elements. Psychotherapy by medical practitioners is financially supported by universal health care funding with supplementation by patients and their private health insurance. Federally funded health benefits for up to 12 psychology consultations per year are provided on referral from GPs and psychiatrists, and initial takeup has been very strong. Mrs. A would be a typical patient for such a referral. However, she would not fulfill criteria for priority access from state-funded mental health services. Mrs. A would probably consult a GP and receive antidepressants, although she may also access a range of other community support programs. Access to and acceptance of psychotherapy would be greater in urban areas, and if she were of Anglo-Saxon and non-indigenous origin.

publication date

  • August 2007