Our History

Founded by Professor Emeritus, Dr Francis Macnab in 1961, the Cairnmillar Institute pioneered counselling and psychotherapy in Australia. Today, we are one of Australia’s leading centres for psychological trauma counselling. We are also an industry leader in psychology education and training.

The Cairnmillar Institute is governed by a council of distinguished and experienced people from the community and allied mental health professions. We’re proud of our unique, pioneering history and we value the input of many key people who have worked tirelessly over the past 60 years to make us an outstanding example of what evidence-based psychology and psychotherapy services can do for people in our community. 


As a registered higher education provider, our courses are university-equivalent and informed by evidence-based research and clinical practice. At a glance, we offer:

  • Psychology courses accredited by the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC).
  • Counselling and psychotherapy programs accredited by the Psychotherapists and Counsellors Federation of Australia (PACFA).
  • High quality personalised training and industry experience opportunities.
  • A range of education programs from short courses through to Doctor of Psychology (Clinical Psychology).

Find out more here.

Clinical Practice

Cairnmillar has been at the forefront of clinical psychology and psychotherapy services for over sixty years. During that time, we’ve developed a strong reputation for clinical excellence and community engagement. At a glance we offer:

  • Specialist services for the treatment of:
    • Relationships and families
    • Childhood mental health and behavioural issues
    • Troubled adolescents
    • Trauma and aftermath reactions
    • Problem gambling
  • Employee assistance programs and workshops
  • Stress management programs

Click here to find out more about our clinic services.


Our vision is to advance the delivery of innovative and accessible psychological services and professional mental health education throughout Australia.


We are dedicated to providing high quality and accessible psychological services and innovative professional education. This means that we:

  • Provide mental health innovation through research.
  • Implement that research into evidence-based clinical practice.
  • Educate and train competent, work-ready psychology graduates.
  • Enhance policy development.
  • Strengthen our advocacy with our best-practice knowledge.
  • Guide partnerships with shared community and mental health problem solving.


The things we do, the way we do them and the decision we make are guided by:

  • Respect
  • Integrity
  • Compassion
  • Professionalism
  • Collaboration.