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Emeritus Professor in Psychiatry, The University of Melbourne

Sidney Bloch is Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Melbourne and Honorary Senior Psychiatrist at St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne.

He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP). He spent three years at Stanford University on a Harkness Fellowship after being awarded a PhD at the University of Melbourne.

He was awarded a Citation by the RANZCP for his academic contribution to psychiatry and an award for medical research by the Bethlehem Griffiths Research Foundation, both in 2004.

He was chief editor of the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry for 13 years, the longest tenure in the history of the Journal; and prior to that, Associate Editor of the British Journal of Psychiatry for 10 years.

He has had Visiting Professorships in the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the University of Hong Kong, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and Columbia University and lectured or taught in many countries including India, US, UK, Canada, Poland, Cambodia, Japan, South Africa, New Zealand, Hong Kong Israel, Greece and Italy.

He has published 14 books several of which have been brought out in new editions and/or have been translated (Japanese (5 titles), Spanish, Hindi, Russian, Ukrainian Italian, Hebrew, Vietnamese, Turkish, German, Dutch, Portuguese and Hebrew): Russia’s Political Hospitals (1977) won the prestigious Guttmacher Award of the American Psychiatric Association in 1978; Soviet Psychiatric Abuse (1984); An Introduction to the Psychotherapies – 4th edition (2006); What is Psychotherapy? (1982); Psychiatric Ethics – 4th edition (2009); Therapeutic Factors in Group Psychotherapy (1985); Foundations of Clinical Psychiatry – 3rd edition (2007) (4 th edition in preparation); The Family in Clinical Psychiatry (1994); Codes of Ethics and the Professions (1994); Understanding Troubled Minds – updated 2nd edition (2014) won the SANE award for the best book on mental health in 2012; Family Caregivers: Disability, Illness and Ageing (1988); Family-focused Grief Therapy (2002); and An Anthology of Psychiatric Ethics (2006) which won a “commendation prize” from the British Medical Association (BMA) in 2007. His latest publication is an edited volume of essays entitled Psychiatry: Past, Present and Prospect (2014) which is on the BMA’s short list for the best book published in psychiatry in 2014.

He has published over 200 articles and chapters, chiefly in the areas of psychotherapy, psycho-oncology and psychiatric ethics.

His main research interests are in psycho-oncology, namely family grief in the wake of a death from cancer, application of psychological therapies for women with early, and late stage breast cancer, families facing the loss of a parent from cancer and couples in which the man has localized prostate cancer ( that is, four large scale randomized controlled trials), and the experience of having prostate cancer in patients and their partners); and ethics (ethical theory, codes of ethics, psychiatric ethics, history of psychiatric ethics). He chaired the Ethics Committee of the Dax Centre from 2007 until 2014.

He has taught medical students and psychiatric trainees throughout his career, paying special attention to bridging the sciences and the humanities in medicine generally and psychiatry in particular, including visual art, literature, theatre, film and music. He co-founded a new innovative course, Empathic and Ethical Practice, in the University of Melbourne medical school, which incorporates many of the arts, especially poetry, short stories and film.


  • 2009–present
    Emeritus Professor in Psychiatry, University of Melbourne


Citation from the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatry