If you are supporting a person who has experienced complex trauma, we hope the information and resources for supporters will help you too.

Many survivors were harmed in relationships with adults or other children. This can make it hard for them to trust people, to feel and be safe and to seek help. If a survivor has reached out to you, you can play an important role in their healing. 

Because complex trauma happens within relationships, healing also happens within relationships. It is important work. It can be confronting, confusing and exhausting. Yet it can also be inspiring and life changing, as we witness healing. And the strength and resilience survivors have. The good news is that people can and do recover from trauma. It doesn’t mean that their trauma goes away. Just that it no longer overwhelms them, as often.

Woman in Black Framed Eyeglasses Sitting Beside Man in White Dress Shirt

It can help to take a `trauma-informed’ approach. The core principles of safety, trustworthiness, choice, collaboration and empowerment are simple. Yet they provide a framework for healthy relationships. Applying the principles can help reduce upsetting and destabilising interactions. Being trauma-informed means understanding that many problems are trauma-related. It helps survivors and their supporters to see the links between `past’ experiences and life challenges in the present.

If you’re a family member, friend, partner, neighbour or work colleague, Blue Knot Foundation can support you as you support the survivor you care about. Firstly it’s important to find out as much as you can about complex trauma. How it can affect people. And how people cope. It’s also important to find support and information for yourself. Just as survivors often feel isolated and alone, those who support them can feel the same way.

The following information can help you support the person you care about while also looking after your own needs. Click on the box you’re interested in and remember there is support and help. As a supporter you can also call one of our trauma phone counselling services.

How can you support a Survivor?


Providing Support

Supporting through Triggers

Supporting through Triggers

Responding to Disclosure

Responding to Disclosure

How can you look after yourself while supporting a survivor?

What is Secondary Trauma?

Learn More about Secondary Trauma

Self-Care for Supporters

Find out about Self-Care for Supporters

Workshops for Supporters

Find out about Workshops for Supporters

Blue Knot Helpline and Redress Support Service is a specialist service.

Our counsellors provide empathetic, informative and empowering support for adult survivors of childhood trauma and abuse.