PROF David Forbes

PROF David Forbes


  • Anxiety and Depression
  • Posttraumatic Stress



  • Professor David Forbes is the Director of Phoenix Australia Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health, and Deputy Head, Department of Psychiatry, the University of Melbourne. Professor Forbes completed his clinical training (MA Clinical Psychology) and PhD at the University of Melbourne. He is a clinical psychologist with extensive experience in the assessment and treatment of mental health problems following trauma, and has worked in both acute crisis and continuing care settings across the community mental health system and in specialist traumatic stress services. Professor Forbes is an international expert in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and military mental health, with strong national and international links with other researchers and experts in the field. He was Chair of the Working Party for the inaugural the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) approved Australian Guidelines for the Treatment of Acute Stress Disorder and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in 2007 and co-chair of the steering group the revised Guidelines in 2013. Professor Forbes has published more than 110 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, and sits on the editorial boards of leading international journals. He has been awarded in excess of $8 million in competitive research grants, and more than $6 million in research translation grants. Professor Forbes is a member of many advisory committees for governments and other organisations, including the Departments of Veterans’ Affairs and Defence, and the Australian Psychological Society. He has a strong track record in leading initiatives to improve outcomes for people affected by trauma through the translation of research into effective policy and practice. He is a passionate advocate for the use of evidence-based responses following trauma in order to reduce the mental health effects on survivors, their families and communities.    


Member of

  • Australian Society for Traumatic Stress Studies. Member 2012 -
  • International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies. Member 1999 -
  • Australian Psychological Society, College of Clinical Psychologists. Member 1995 -
  • Australian Psychological Society. Fellow 1991 -


Selected publications


Investigator on

Additional Grant Information

  • Forbes, D ., Creamer, M., Perry, D. & Bryant. The effectiveness of Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) for VVCS clients with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Applied Research Program, Department of Veterans Affairs (2007): $352,000

    Forbes, D ., Barton, D., Wolfgang, B. & Creamer (2007) Development, testing and dissemination of a clinical algorithm for PTSD. Applied Research Program, Department of Veterans Affairs (2007): $186,000

    O’Donnell, M.L., Forbes, D., Creamer, M., Holmes, A., Ellen, S., Bryant, R. Telephone-administered early psychological intervention for depression and anxiety following serious injury. beyondblue (2009): $300,000

    Forbes, D., Lloyd, D., Creamer, M., Couineau, A-L., Nixon, R. & O’Donnell, M. Examining the effectiveness of the implementation of cognitive processing therapy across the VVCS service system: The next steps in implementation research. $262,550 Applied Research Program, Department of Veterans Affairs

    Wade, D., Forbes, D ., Hetrick, S. & Varker, T. Meta-analysis of gender differences in posttraumatic stress disorder treatment outcomes $97, 200 Applied Research Program, Department of Veterans Affairs

    Wade, D., Forbes, D . & Varker, T. Gender differences in mental health among military personnel and veterans: A Review of the Literature $54,912 Applied Research Program, Department of Veterans Affairs

    Creamer, M., Forbes, D ., McFarlane, A. C., Bryant, R., Devilly, G., & Mathews, L. The development of clinical practice guidelines for Acute Stress Disorder (ASD) and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Emergency Management Australia Research Award (2005): $99,500.

    Forbes, D . A longitudinal analysis of posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms and their relationship with fear a   


Education and training

  • BA, University of Melbourne
  • PhD, University of Melbourne
  • MA, University of Melbourne


Available for supervision

  • Y

Supervision Statement

  • - Posttraumatic Stress
    - Personality and Mental Health
    - Veteran and Military Mental Health