JOANJOAN HALIBURN, MBBS, FRANZCP, M. Med. (University of Sydney) is a Consultant Child, Adolescent and Family Psychiatrist and Psychotherapist, and Senior Clinical Lecturer, University of Sydney.

I am a child, adolescent, family and adult psychiatrist, Fellow of the Royal Australia & New Zealand College of Psychiatrists and trained in the Conversational Model of Psychodynamic psychotherapy, Masters in Medicine – Psychotherapy, University of Sydney; and a member of the American Psychiatry Association. I am a senior faculty supervisor and lecturer with the Complex Trauma Psychotherapy Unit, located at the Mental Health Sciences Centre, Western Sydney Health District at Cumberland & Westmead Hospitals, where I am also involved in psychotherapy research. I am a senior clinical lecturer, Division of Psychological Medicine, University of Sydney, and on the faculty of the Australia & New Zealand Association of Psychotherapy, of which I was Director of Training for over 10 years.

Psychiatric Assessment:

 I work with people with mental health problems of some severity, using as indicated – short term structured dynamic and long term dynamic psychotherapy – and in certain instances suggest the use of psychotropic medications such as antidepressants and/or antipsychotics in addition to psychotherapy; the choice of duration of therapy and the use of medication depends on the patient and the issues presented, alongside my own professional opinion which I will share with and offer advice in the interests of the patient, in order to set up a collaborative working therapeutic relationship, which is so important to the success of the interventions used, including medication.


I also offer one to two assessment sessions for patients of colleagues who may request an opinion as to diagnosis or treatment with a view to prescribing medication, in which case I will assess and advise treatment, which I will then transfer to the care of the patient’s general practitioner and the clinician who made the referral. In such cases we may share the management briefly, being mindful of issues of confidentiality which will be discussed with all concerned.

With a background of 30 years in active practice as a psychiatrist, first in hospital and then in private practice, I provide psychotherapy with/without prescribing medication for adolescents and young people with difficulties caused by complex trauma, eating disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, separation anxiety and school refusal, major depression and suicidal ideation/attempts, self-harming behaviour and early psychosis (exclude established schizophrenia and chronic psychotic disorder) I work with parent/infant/child dyads when their relationships are problematic on account of attachment issues, and are found to partly play a role in the causation, prolongation or chronicity of the child’s presenting difficulties.

Supervision & Mentoring


For the past 20 years I have been actively involved in delivering seminars and workshops, lecturing, training and supervising psychiatrists and other health professionals who are actively practising psychotherapists. Supervision is done on skype for those clinicians who cannot, due to distance, be present in face-to-face supervision. I am also involved in publishing papers, book chapters and more recently contributed two chapters in a book by Emeritus professor, Russell Meares on ‘The Conversational Model in the Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder’, published in 2012 by Norton Books, U.S.A.


My availability fluctuates from time to time – however I will respond promptly to your message and if I am not in a position to give you an appointment will give you timely and relevant advice; or I will give you an appointment for an assessment and refer to someone who will be able to help you, or will be able to offer you treatment; and also communicate with your general practitioner who will have provided you a referral, and with which you can claim your rebates from Medicare.