Dr Johanna Lynch

Clinical Senior Lecturer

General Practice Clinical Unit
Faculty of Medicine


Dr Johanna Lynch is an Australian general practitioner (family doctor) who longs for a world where people feel seen, heard, and cared for by their community. Her research explores wise approaches to people in distress through naming the Whole Person Domains that need to be seen and heard, the Sense of Safety Dynamics that facilitate strength-based, culturally-aware, trauma-informed, and embodied approaches to the person, and the transdisciplinary/generalist knowledge management skills required to offer whole person care. She researches, teaches and advocates for these ways of approaching healing and wellbeing.

After 10 years in urban general practice, Johanna spent the following 15 years working as a psychotherapist with adult survivors of childhood trauma and neglect. She founded a transdisciplinary trauma-informed clinic in Brisbane named Integrate Place which operated from 2009-2013. She has undertaken post-gradiuate training in attachment, trauma, grief, and general practice - including a Fellowship of the Royal Australian College of GPs (FRACGP), Fellowship of the Australian Society for Psychological Medicine (FASPM), Graduate certificate in Grief and Loss, and training in dissociation through the ISSTD (International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation).

In 2012 Dr Lynch wrote a paper urging GPs to look 'beyond symptoms' to the whole person, influencing training of Australian GPs in mental health, mental health policy, and leading to invitations to contribute internationally.

In 2019 she completed a PhD, in whole person approaches to distress, championing the sophisticated craft of generalist approaches to distress – integrating social science and biomedicine. This PhD, entitled Sense of Safety: a whole person approach to distress in primary care sought to integrate trauma-informed care into primary care. This thesis has received international acclaim from primary care researchers and has been seen as a paradigm change in approaches to people in distress. It integrated lived experience and Indigenous wisdom with transdisciplinary scientific insights from trauma, attachment, social determinants of health, neurobiology, psychophysiology and psychoneuroimmunology.

Dr Johanna Lynch works as a Senior Lecturer at The University of Queensland, teaching medical students about trauma-informed whole person care. She is President of the Australian Society for Psychological Medicine (ASPM) that trains, connects and supports clinicians who offer complex whole person care. She is an advisor to BlueKnot foundation, trains rural GPs with ASPM, RACGP, and RVTS (Rural Vocational Training Scheme). She has facilitated multidisciplinary case consultation groups with GPs, mental health nurses, social workers, psychologists, teachers, and physiotherapist since 2009 with the Mental Health Professionals Network, RACGP, and the Brisbane South Primary Health Network. For more information on her online multidisciplinary mentoring see www.drjohannalynch.com

Dr Johanna Lynch came to Australia as a refugee from Idi Amin’s Uganda. She spent her primary years in Uganda, Australia, and Kenya, and her high school years in Indonesia. She completed her undergraduate medical training in Queensland, and undertook further training in India and London. As an adult she has remained fascinated by the ways that humans connect to themselves, their community, and their environment, to create meaning and belonging through kindness.

Research Interests

  • Whole Person Care
    Exploring philosophical and practical generalist approaches to help practitioners in health and education to see the whole person in everyday encounters.
  • Trauma-informed practice
    Integrating trauma informed research into primary care as a coherent approach to the person in distress
  • Transdisciplinary health research
    Theoretical and pragmatic transdisciplinary research methodology and practice that help translate generalist practice into research and policy approaches to community healthcare.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Queensland
  • Postgraduate Diploma, The University of Queensland
  • Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery and Medical Science, The University of Queensland


View all Publications


View all Grants


Featured Publications


Book Chapter

  • Lynch, Johanna (2021). Trauma-informed care in general practice . White book: Abuse and Violence – Working with our patients in general practice. (pp. 90-117) Melbourne, VIC, Australia: RACGP.

  • Lynch, Johanna and Kirkengen, Anna Luise (2019). Biology and experience intertwined – trauma, neglect and physical health. Humanising mental health care in Australia: a guide to trauma-informed approaches. (pp. 195-208) edited by Richard Benjamin, Joan Haliburn and Serena King. Abingdon, Oxon, United Kingdom: Routledge. doi: 10.4324/9780429021923-15

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Other Outputs

Grants (Administered at UQ)