Northside Group
Part of Ramsay Health Care

Day Programs

Our Day Programs are implementing processes to meet of all NSW Health and Ramsay Health Guidelines regarding COVID-19 precautions, to help keep our Northside Group community healthy and safe.

Please contact the Northside Group Day Program Managers with any enquiries.

The objective of day programs is to deliver group therapy that provides patients with the skills and support to help improve the quality and enjoyment of life and break the cycle of relapse, and therefore mitigate the need for hospitalisation. The individual programs are designed to promote the use of effective coping strategies and a return to normal functioning.

Before commencing a day program you will need a referral from your GP or psychiatrist. All patients attending a day program at Northside Group must be under the care of a private psychiatrist. The psychiatrist needs to be accredited with the Northside Group. Many patients also benefit from working with a psychologist or other health professional as part of their treating team to provide ongoing support.

The day programs are provided by an experienced team of health professionals including psychiatrists, psychologists, art therapists, occupational therapists, social workers and specialist nurse therapists. In most cases the costs are covered by private health insurance.

For further information, or if you do not have private health cover, please contact the Northside Group for details on attending our day programs.

Our Programs

Our Anxiety day program is for people who experience symptoms of anxiety such as panic attacks, worry, and avoidance to an extent that interferes with their quality of life. Attendance is usually for 12 weeks depending on individual needs. After this time patients will be assessed on an individual basis and either referred to a different program or discharged in consultation with their treating team.

The program focuses on issues identified by research to be important in triggering and maintaining anxiety. These include:

  • Avoidance
  • Unhelpful thinking
  • Problem solving
  • Facing fears
  • “Fear of fear”
  • Assertiveness

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and education about anxiety, including acceptance and mindfulness, are important elements of the program. The goal is to help people respond positively to their negative thoughts and to be able to live the kind of life they would like, without being held back by fear.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) focuses on helping patients learn strategies to tolerate and accept painful thoughts and emotions. ACT helps patients identify their value systems and develop a set of effective and realistic goals to work towards living a rich, full and meaningful life.

Our Drug and Alcohol program is abstinence based. We support patients as they work towards the goal of living a drug and alcohol free life. The Drug & Alcohol day program focuses on two stages of recovery. Stage one addresses coming to terms with living drug/alcohol free and includes relapse prevention techniques.

Stage two focuses on the underlying issues relevant to the development of emotional wellbeing and ongoing abstinence. The program provides a supportive framework in which people can safely address their particular life issues and the underlying psychological problems; as well as share creative solutions to help achieve the goal of abstinence that leads to a fulfilling and healthy life.

Patients in the drug and alcohol day program need to be under the care of a private psychiatrist if they are not seen one-to-one by the Day Program Psychiatrist. All patients must have a GP in their treating team. Commitment to the day program is the important step and the treating team at Northside assists in selecting the program that will suit the needs of the individual.

The Eating Disorders day program is designed to meet the needs of patients suffering from Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia, EDNOS and Binge Eating Disorder, as they begin to change and challenge eating disordered thoughts and behaviours, removing the restrictions that these place on their lives.

The program offers an evidence-based and experiential approach to therapy. Supported meals are all provided and many therapy groups also have an experiential component which can include food preparation and supported outings as part of treatment. Cognitive behavioural group therapy assists patients to learn how to manage unhelpful thoughts, feelings and behaviours. Goal setting, emotion regulation and problem solving skills are also important components of the treatment package. An individual attendance schedule with be devised for each patient based on their level of need, and in consultation with their psychiatrist.

Groups are open and patients have a choice to attend between 1-5 days depending on their individual needs and current availability. The program has been set up in such a way as to be flexible around work, university or school. Accountability is crucial to recovery therefore the program focuses on encouraging personal empowerment through choice.

All eating disorder patients must be under the care of one of our Eating Disorder Specialist Psychiatrists and a dietitian. Patients must be attending appointments at least monthly or as required by their treating team. Patients who have not had an inpatient admission for their eating disorder require an assessment by one of our Eating Disorder Specialist Psychiatrists to ensure their suitability to the program. This assessment will include medical suitability.

This program is specifically designed for patients with depression and bipolar disorder, and offers support, psycho-education and skills development to effectively manage symptoms and to improve the quality and enjoyment in life. Attendance is usually for 10 weeks depending on individual needs. In this supportive group there is an opportunity to practice implementing these skills. Participants are also given assistance in developing a weekly plan for achieving goals that are related to meaningful areas of life.

The Mood Disorders day program covers issues that have been identified by research as being important in the onset and maintenance of depressed mood. These issues include:

  • Understanding depression & reversing the vicious cycle of depression
  • Grief and loss
  • Understanding Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
  • Challenging negative thoughts
  • Anger and problem solving
  • Effective communication
  • Creating a meaningful and healthy lifestyle
  • Relapse prevention

The program uses evidence-based therapies as the basis for psychological treatment, which most commonly incorporates a combination of CBT and Acceptance & Commitment Therapy. Emphasis is placed on the provision of a warm, supportive and encouraging environment.

The Mental Health day program is designed to give support, education and skills training to improve the quality and enjoyment in life for people experiencing mental health problems, and to help prevent relapse and repeated hospital admissions. This program assists patients who would benefit from a supportive, less structured therapeutic environment.

Rather than focusing directly on mood, anxiety, psychosis or other specific types of disorders or issues, the Supportive day program is inclusive and accepts patients experiencing a myriad of issues and symptoms. A combination of therapies is utilised to deliver a program in a supportive, encouraging and learning environment.

The group provides relief from social isolation and enables patients to discuss their current difficulties in a supportive environment and receive assistance with problem solving and goal setting. The supportive nature of the group allows members to disclose much about their issues and provides the opportunity for constructive feedback from peers. Feedback is a valued component of the group therapy experience.

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) Skills Program is an effective treatment for people experiencing frequent and intense changes in emotional state, often leading to self-damaging behaviours. A substantial body of research has shown that DBT helps people experiencing emotional dysregulation to learn new skills to manage emotions. The DBT Skills program at Northside Group Clinics is focussed on the skills training component of DBT in the form of 7-9 week closed groups for each of the modules. The program is highly structured and includes sessions dedicated to learning mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness. The modules are outlined in more depth below.


Many people with emotional dysregulation react impulsively to emotions and can feel under ‘emotional duress’. Mindfulness skills are a core component of DBT because the skills help people to become more aware of their state of mind and learn how to respond to emotions on the basis of their ‘wise mind’. The skills introduced will demystify mindfulness by breaking the process down into steps that can be practiced. Mindfulness skills can help people to experience the present moment and overcome habitual, negative judgements about themselves.

Distress tolerance

The distress tolerance module is focused on developing practical crisis survival skills. These set of skills help people to reduce their reliance on problematic ways of coping with intense emotions. Distress tolerance skills are essential to overcome behaviours associated with distress intolerance and impulsivity, such as substance use, disordered eating, and self-harm.

Emotion regulation

Emotion regulation is at the heart of the DBT Skills program. This module begins with developing an in-depth understanding of emotions: this is a prerequisite in learning how to regulate emotions. The module also includes cognitive and behavioural skills that can become powerful tools to modulate the intensity of emotions. The skills introduced also help people to reduce their vulnerability to emotional dysregulation by building up positive experiences and attending to health issues.

Interpersonal effectiveness

Interpersonal effectiveness is focused on developing skills to express feelings and needs, set limits, negotiate solutions and validate the feelings of others. This final module of the program is specifically aimed at improving relationships and respecting personal values and beliefs.

The program requires attendance of one day each week for 24 weeks to complete all modules and an ongoing commitment to individual therapy. An integral part of the program is a commitment to regular group attendance and practice of the skills introduced.

PTSD - DVA Program

Northside Group Cremorne Clinic offers a specialised DVA-approved day program for Defence Force personnel experiencing depression symptoms, which often co-occur with PTSD. We offer a supportive, friendly and safe environment allowing you to learn and develop strategies to manage your symptoms, and reduce the restrictions that they place on your life. Our program provides education about depression, and supportive group therapy for managing grief, survivor guilt and relationship issues.


Day Program