Post Graduate Courses

Developmental Psychiatry Course

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Contact Information

Course Coordinator

Dr Catharine McNab

Course Administration

Laura Burns

Mindful – Centre for Training and
Research in Developmental Health

Building C, 50 Flemington St,
Travancore  Vic 3031

Course Coordinator
03 9371 0220
Email: [email protected]

Developmental Psychiatry Course (DPC)

The Developmental Psychiatry Course is a one year part-time course for professionals who aim to develop their knowledge and skills in assessing children, adolescents and families presenting with a variety of social, emotional, behavioural, and developmental difficulties. The course builds a foundational knowledge in normal and abnormal development across the developmental stages, and builds competency in assessment, diagnosis, formulation, and treatment planning. Conducted for approximately 30 years and now emulated in New South Wales and Western Australia, the course is accepted as the benchmark for vocational training in fundamental skills for the child and adolescent mental health field.

Aims of the Course/Objectives

On completion of this course participants will have:

  • Established a knowledge of the theory and practice of developmental psychiatry;
  • Established an understanding of the developmental phases of early human psychological development;
  • Established an understanding of the different manifestations of normal and abnormal psychological development;
  • Developed effective and efficient skills in the observation and recording of significant aspects of human development;
  • Developed skills in the areas of assessment, formulation, and diagnosis of children and adolescents who present for treatment.

Course Structure

The Developmental Psychiatry Course comprises a clinical component, with placements at Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services, and a seminar component, held at Mindful.

The course is held on Wednesdays and follows the Victorian school term timetable. [The exception is the first class, held on a  Friday afternoon immediately following the 2.5 day CYMH Introduction to Assessment short course.]

Clinical Component

Small groups of trainees are placed at a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service. A Consultant gives an initial demonstration of the assessment process, and trainees observe through a one-way screen. In turn, each trainee undertakes a new case assessment supervised by a Consultant and conferenced with other members of the group. For each session, the Consultant discusses the content, technique and process with the group. By the end of the year each participant will have conducted at least one assessment and observed seven further assessments. When participants conduct assessments, they are required to fulfil liaison, record keeping, and other relevant tasks concerned with the appropriate professional management of the case.

Seminar Component

The seminar presentations focus on normal development through the life cycle, systematically focusing on infancy, the toddler, the pre-school child, the school-age child, adolescence, and parenting. The series of presentations includes attention to disturbances of development and clinical problems relevant to each phase being studied.

Prerequisites & Selection Criteria


Satisfactory completion of the Child & Youth Mental Health - Introduction to Assessment (CYMH Intro) short course, conducted by Mindful - Centre for Training and Research in Developmental Health. For details of the CYMH Intro course in 2020 click here.

Selection Criteria

A relevant undergraduate qualification and employment within a service that provides the applicant with access to infants and/or children and/or adolescents and/or families.  Consideration will be given to applicants who do not meet these criteria/

Assessment & Accreditation

Clinical Component

  • Undertake a Case Assessment and complete a Case Report
  • Complete formulations of all assessments viewed
  • Attend at least 80% of sessions

Seminar Component

  • Complete six Developmental Observation Reports
  • Attend at least 80% of sessions

A certificate of successful completion is awarded to participants who have completed all of the above.

The DPC is a pre-requisite for further students in the Developmental Psychiatry Course (Advanced), also offered at Mindful.

Teaching Faculty

The clinical component of the course is run by experienced clinical consultants.

The seminar component comprises 38 topics delivered by experts in their respective fields.

Cost, Application Form and Closing Date

Update 26 November 2020:

There will be some significant changes to the DPC format in 2021. 
More information and the application form will be available on this page soon.
If you would like to receive an email once applications open, please contact [email protected]