Professor of Clinical Psychology, Western Sydney University

I received my training in Clinical Psychology from the University of Sydney and a PhD in Psychology (both from the Department of Psychology). Previously, I have been employed as a Senior Clinical Psychologist (Royal Prince Alfred Hospital); Director of Clinical Programs Development (WSAHS); and as an A/Professor in the Department of Psychological Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Sydney.

I have visited the following centres of excellence to advance my academic and professional training, clinical, and research expertise:

■Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, USA);
■Harvard University (Boston, USA);
■The Addiction Research Foundation (ARF), University of Toronto, Canada;
■The Clark Institute of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, Canada;
■The Research Institute on Addictions (RIA), State University of New York Buffalo.

My preferred contact details are:
ph: (61+2) 0411286109
Areas of Research / Clinical / Teaching Expertise
e-Health (i.e.delivering treatment for psychological problems via Web, internet, mail, SMS, booklets, etc)
Addictions (Alcohol / substance misuse problems and their prevention and management)
Mood / Emotional Disorders and their Management
Suicide risk reduction / Personality Issues
Designing brief / opportunistic / low cost treatments
Investigating how people change with minimal guidance (promoting self-change), or wihout receiving any treatment
Designing clinical programs for co-occurring disorders (i.e. treatment for substance misuse and co-occurring psychiatric problems)
Designing Clinical Services in the Health Sector (for Mental Health and Addictions Services) and Evaluating its Impact
Measuring cost outcomes for mental health and addictions treatments
Training clinicians and promoting transfer of clinical skills in comorbidity management (Dual Diagnosis)

Recently held grants:

"What difference does treatment make? Psychometric properties of a measure of young people's progress in residential rehabilitation" (ARC Linkage Project, 2010-2012, $169,000).
Research Team: Prof Sherry Saggers, Prof Helen R Wildy, Prof Thiagarajan Sitharthan, Dr Amanda G Wilson, A/Prof Katherine M Conigrave, Dr Tim Marchant, Ms Anne C Hampshire, A/Prof Jagdish K Dua, Ms Carmen Acosta, Mr Allan Colthart

“State-wide programs to reduce excessive drinking in the community” (NSW Dept of Health, 2006-2009, $970,000).
Sole Investigator: T.Sitharthan

“Randomised controlled trial of a new intervention for alcohol craving” (NHMRC funded from 2007-2009, $666,250).
Research Team: T.Sitharthan, D.Kavanagh, R.Young

“Integrated treatment for alcohol use problems and comorbid PTSD” (NHMRC funded from 2007-2009, $633,725).
Research Team: T.Sitharthan, C.Sannibale, M.Teeson

“National Comorbidity Management Program: Depression / Anxiety / Alcohol Problems” (Funded by AERF, 2007-2009, $193,888).
Research Team: T.Sitharthan and R.Mattick

“An evaluation of web-assisted and correspondence treatment programs for cannabis problems” (Funded by NSW Department of Health Research Grants, 2008-2009, $50,000).
Research Team: T.Sitharthan, R.Mattick, J.Copeland

“An evaluation of the effectiveness of parenting programs” (Funded by NSW Department of Health Research Grants, 2008-2009, $15,000).
Research Team: T.Sitharthan and C.Rao

“Manage Your Addiction and Mental Illness” - Development, dissemination, and evaluation of an “Integrated Drug and Alcohol Intervention” training program for Mental Health Staff. (SWAHS funded, 2006-2007, $60,000).
Sole Investigator: T.Sitharthan

“PIT Program: Psychologists in Training Professional Development Grant, (NSW Department of Health, 2007, $350,560).
Sole Applicant: T.Sitharthan

“Reducing depression and suicide risk reduction” (Funded by NHMRC, 2003-2006, $340,000).
Research Team: T.Sitharthan, G.Sitharthan and P.Tucker

Selected Publications

Sitharthan, G., Sitharthan, T., & Hough, M. (2009). Alcohol versus placebo drinks in reducing feelings of sadness: Pilot study. Australian Psychologist, Volume 44, Issue 4, Pages 248 – 252.

Kemp, R., Harris, A., Vurel, E., & Sitharthan, T. (2007). Stop Using Stuff: Trial of a drug and alcohol intervention for young people with comorbid mental illness and drug and alcohol problems. Australasian Psychiatry, 15, 490 - 493.

Kavanagh, D., Sitharthan, G., Young, R., Sitharthan, T., Saunders, J., Shockley, N., & Giannopoulos, V. (2006). Addition of cue exposure to cognitive behaviour therapy for alcohol misuse: A randomised trial with dysphoric drinkers. Addiction. 101, 1106 – 1116.

Sitharthan, T. (2006) Alcohol, Social Cues, and Intoxication. Australasian Science, Vol 27, 3, 30 - 32.

Kypri, K., Sitharthan, T., Cunningham, Kavanagh, D., & Dean, J. (2005). Innovative approaches to interventions for alcohol problems. Current Opinion in Psychiatry. 18, 229-234.

Pead, J., Sitharthan, T., Saunders, J., Allsop, S., & Condon, J. (Eds).(2005). Alcohol Practice Guidleines. Clinical Practice Guideline for Managing PTSD and Alcohol Problems prepared for the Department of Veterans Affairs, Government of Australia. (ISBN: 1 9270720 448).

Sitharthan, T., Job, S., Kavanagh, D., & Sitharthan, G. (2003), Development of a controlled drinking self-efficacy scale and appraising its relation to alcohol dependence. Journal of Clinical Psychology. 59,351-362.

Dawe, S., Rees., Mattick, R., Sitharthan, T., & Heather, N. (2002). Efficacy of moderation-oriented cue exposure for problem drinkers: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 70, 1045-1050.

Sitharthan, T., Sitharthan, G., & Kavanagh, D. (2001). Emotional cue-exposure for alcohol abuse: Development of a new treatment procedure to train moderation drinking in the context of dysphoria. Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, 8, 73 -78.

Sitharthan, G., Sitharthan, T., Kavanagh, D., & Saunders, J.B. (2001). Brief opportunistic intervention: The role of psychologists in initiating self-change amongst problem drinkers. Australian Psychologist, 36, 219 -226.

Sitharthan, G., Hough, M., Sitharthan, T., & Kavanagh, D. (2001). Alcohol Helplessness Index: Predicting depression amongst problem drinkers. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 57, 1445 -1457.

Saunders J.B., Sitharthan, T., & Krabman, P. (2000). Substance Use Disorders and their Management. In H.Helmchen, F.Henn, H.Lauter and N. Sartorius (Eds.) Current Perspectives in Psychiatry, Vol 3, pp 251-272, Springer Verlag, New York.

Sitharthan, T., Singh, S., Kranitis, P., Freeman, P., Currie, J., Murugesan, G., & Ludowici, L. (1999). Integrated Drug and Alcohol Intervention (IDAI): Development of an opportunistic intervention program to reduce alcohol and other substance use among psychiatric patients. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 33, 676 - 683.

Kavanagah, D., Sitharthan, T., Spilsbury, G., & Vignaendra, S. (1999). An evaluation of brief correspondence programs for problem drinkers. Behavior Therapy, 30, 641 - 656.

Sitharthan, T., Sitharthan, G., Hough, M., & Kavanagh, D. (1997).Cue exposure in moderation drinking: A comparison with cognitive-behaviour therapy. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 65, 5, 878 - 882.

Sitharthan,T., Kavanagh, D., & Sayer, G.(1996). Moderating drinking by correspondence: An evaluation of a new method of intervention. Addiction, 91, 3, 345 - 355.

Kavanagh, D., Sitharthan,T., & Sayer,G. (1996). Prediction of results from correspondence treatment for controlled drinking. Addiction, 91, 10, 1539 -1545.

Stockwell, T., Sitharthan. T., McGrath, D., & Lang, E.(1994). Measurement of alcohol dependence and impaired control in community samples. Addiction, 89, 167-174.

Sitharthan, T., McGrath, D., Sitharthan, G., & Saunders, J.B. (1992). The meaning of craving in research on addictions. Psychological Reports, 71, 823-826.

Sitharthan, T., & Kavanagh, D.J. (1991) Role of self-efficacy in predicting outcomes from a program for controlled drinking. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 27, 87-94.

Establishment of a Research Centre:

In 2003, I established the Australian Centre for Addiction Research (ACAR). This research centre aims to “promote the science and practice of preventing and treating addictive behaviours and associated mental health comorbidities”. To visit ACAR go to: ACAR.NET.AU


  • 2009–present
    Professor of Clinical Psychology, University of Western Sydney


  • 2002 
    University of Sydney, PhD Psychology
  • 1985 
    University of Sydney, Master of Psychology (Clinical)