The Melbourne Psychiatry Centre is now offering repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) as an effective treatment option for Major Depression and possibly other psychiatric disorders at our Brighton location.

What is Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)?

TMS is a medication free and comfortable option for those with Depression and other psychiatry disorders. TMS is a procedure during which magnetic fields are used to stimulate the area of the brain which is under functioning in depression. Magnetic energy generated by a coil placed on the head is used to stimulate a small area on the surface of the brain. The coil is connected to a machine that generates magnetic pulses while patient lies comfortably and awake in a recliner chair.

A session of TMS typically takes 20-30 minutes and is given on consecutive weekdays on an outpatient basis at our clinic. No anaesthetic or sedation is required and there are no adverse effects on memory and thinking ability.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation for Depression?

TMS is used to treat depression and can be offered when patients have not responded to antidepressant medication, prefer to try an alternative to medication, or cannot tolerate antidepressant medications due to side effects. It is important that a thorough psychiatric evaluation is undertaken for each patient to determine if TMS is a suitable treatment.

Using Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation to treat depression

This drug-free method of treating depression is effective, scientifically proven, safe and TGA approved.A large body of research conducted worldwide and Australia indicates that TMS has antidepressant effects. It is understood that TMS works by modifying and rebalancing activity across brain networks, which has become altered in depression. TMS is now an approved treatment for depression in countries including Australia, the United States, Canada, Israel and the United Kingdom.

What are the benefits of TMS therapy?

  • Research and clinical trials worldwide have reported it to be an effective treatment for depression and OCD
  • TMS is a non-invasive treatment, which requires no sedation
  • It is an outpatient treatment, and well tolerated by majority of people
  • Daily activities can be resumed immediately after each session (e.g driving)

What are the side effects?

Generally, TMS has few side effects that might be experienced during the procedure only. These include headache, scalp discomfort and facial muscle twitching. These side effects are mild and generally resolve soon after a treatment session. Most patients find side effects reduce in intensity and frequency as the course of TMS progresses. Also, the TMS machine at our centre allows stimulation at lower intensity in the initial phases to help patients acclimatise to any side effects.

What are the risks?

The main risk associated with TMS is its potential to cause seizure. In clinical practice, very few seizures have occurred. TMS delivered within published guidelines to individuals without risk factors appears to cause fewer than 1 seizure per 60,000 sessions.

The initial appointment with the psychiatrist identifies risk factors like an underlying epilepsy or concurrent brain condition that could increase the risk of seizure.

What happens during a session?

You will be awake through the whole session. A staff member will be with you to guide you through the treatment process. If you have any concerns during the treatment, the treatment can be stopped immediately.

A session involves lying in a comfortable recliner chair and wearing either ear muffs or plugs for hearing protection. A small magnetic coil is then precisely placed on your forehead, touching your scalp. When the treatment starts you may hear a soft clicking noise and feel a tapping sensation on your scalp. The treatment will take 20-30 minutes and then you should be able to resume your normal activities including driving home after the session.

How long does Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation take to work?

A course of 20 to 30 sessions given over consecutive weekdays is recommended for therapeutic results. Some patients may notice changes after several days.

Will it work for me?

A thorough psychiatric assessment and physical examination need to be done before treatment is commenced. After assessment our psychiatrist can discuss the individual factors that may affect the likelihood of benefit for you. If you do respond to TMS it may take days to weeks to have a good response to treatment.

What is involved?

Treatment is provided on a fee for service basis. Before the first session an additional test is done to establish the right magnetic field dose for effective treatment. This takes about 30 minutes. Medicare rebates are now available for TMS for Depression Treatment. To find out more about out of pocket costs please contact us at

Do I need a referral for the Melbourne Psychiatry Centre?

A valid Referral from a psychiatrist or your GP is required to make an initial appointment with our TMS psychiatrist.

Should your GP wish to discuss the treatment with our psychiatrist please call on 03 91938502

TMS treatment for Depression are now bulk billed*

Email us at
to find more about your eligibility.