The training crisis in health psychology in Australia

Paul R. Martin, Rochelle Cairns, Helen Lindner, Jeannette Milgrom, Shirley Morrissey, Lina A. Ricciardelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


This article begins with a brief history of the emergence of health psychology, discussing the nature of heath psychology, and the crisis in health that drives the need for more health psychologists. It then proceeds to discuss training in health psychology in Australia at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. To provide a context for considering ways forward, the history of training in health psychology in Australia is reviewed, followed by an examination of equivalent training overseas. Reviewing these literatures revealed that in Australia only five universities offer a compulsory stand-alone course in health psychology in the first 3 years of the undergraduate degree. As many as 11 Australian universities have offered postgraduate training in health psychology, but this number has fallen to only three universities currently. Recommended goals and strategies for increasing postgraduate training in health psychology are offered related to (a) increasing demand from applicants for postgraduate programmes in health psychology; (b) increasing employment opportunities for health psychologists in the public and private sectors; (c) increasing government funding for postgraduate professional programmes; (d) development of alternative training options; and (e) increasing attractiveness of existing training options.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-95
Number of pages10
JournalAustralian Psychologist
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Australia
  • Biopsychosocial model
  • Health psychology
  • Historical perspective
  • International perspective
  • Training

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