About Psychiatry

What is a Psychiatrist?

Psychiatrists are medical doctors who have specialised in diagnosing and treating mental health illnesses.

A Psychiatrist will assess all of your mental and physical symptoms. They will make a diagnosis and work with you to develop a strategy for your treatment and recovery. A Psychiatrist will explain your diagnosis to you and help you understand your symptoms. A Psychiatrist will offer treatments that are evidence based and proven to be safe and effective.

Some of these treatments will include:

  • Talking Therapies such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Supportive Psychotherapy, Mindfulness, Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR), Psychodynamic and Motivational Interviewing.
  • Medication
  • Advice on lifestyle changes such as diet and sleep and exercise
  • Facilitating an admission to hospital if required

If you would like further information about treatments, you can access the Royal Australian and New Zealand Psychiatry page for the public here:




Are all Psychiatrists the same?

Some Psychiatrists have special interests in certain conditions, and in some cases will gain additional qualifications to enhance their knowledge and skills. You may want to consider this in selecting a Psychiatrist who can meet your needs.

General Adult Psychiatry

All of our Psychiatrists at City Specialists Clinic are experienced Adult Psychiatrists. They will be able to diagnose and treat a range of mental health illnesses.

  • Mood Disorders (such as Major Depressive Disorder, Bipolar Disorder)
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in Adults
  • Anxiety Disorders (for example Generalised Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Agoraphobia, Specific Phobia, Social Phobia, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)
  • Psychotic Disorders (for example Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective Disorder, Delusional Disorder, Drug-Induced Psychosis)
  • Addiction Disorders (for example Alcohol and Drug Dependence, Problem Gambling)
  • Personality Disorders (for example Borderline Personality Disorder)
  • Eating Disorders (for example Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa)
  • Sexual Assault Trauma


All of our Psychiatrists at City Specialists Clinic are experienced and qualified psychotherapists. Psychotherapy is a talking therapy that focuses on the mental, emotional, relational or spiritual health of a person. It can be useful when psychological, developmental, relationship or wellbeing issues arise in life.

A Psychotherapist works with a person to build understanding and acceptance of how the person makes meaning of their life, to reduce their psychological symptoms and improve their overall functioning.

Dr Peter Devadason, Dr Matthew Hocking and Dr Angela Harty have also done additional training in a particular type of psychotherapy called Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR), which is primarily indicated for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Old Age Psychiatry

Dr Peter Devadason and Dr Kerrin Petersen both have a special interest in Old Age Psychiatry.

Common mental health issues for older persons are:

  • Late onset Depression
  • Grief and Loss
  • Increasing social isolation
  • Financial Stress
  • Dementia (for example Alzheimer’s disease, Vascular dementia, Frontotemporal dementia, Lewy-Body disease)
  • Deteriorating physical health which impacts on a person’s everyday life

Due to the complexities of an older person’s mental health, Dr Devadason and Dr Petersen use a holistic approach for assessment and treatment. This means that they will take the physical, mental and emotional health along with social factors into consideration when making a diagnoses and treatment plan.

Addiction Psychiatry

Dr Matthew Hocking has a special interest in the diagnosis and treatment of addictions.

Common addictions treated are:

  • Alcohol
  • Tobacco
  • Drug Dependence (prescription and illegal drug misuse)
  • Gambling
  • Computer or Gaming addiction

Addictions can be treated with:

  • Detox programs in hospital
  • Rehabilitation programs in hospital
  • Medication
  • Talking Therapies (such as cognitive behaviour therapy)
  • Group Therapy

Addiction treatment can be started in a hospital setting. Dr Hocking has admitting rights to the Damascus Unit at Brisbane Private Hospital.

Dr Hocking will work with you to make a treatment plan that is realistic and you are comfortable with.


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Spring Hill. 

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