Seeing a Counsellor

Survivors see all sorts of practitioners for counselling. Some work privately and others work in agencies or organisations. There are lot of different approaches to healing that survivors find helpful. Not everyone chooses to go to counselling. If you do decide that you want to see a counsellor it can be hard to decide who to see. The other section ‘choosing a therapist’ is intended to help you choose.

The quality of the relationship the practitioner establishes with you, and you establish with them is crucial. This is true for anyone who sees a counsellor or therapist. It is particularly important for survivors. As survivors have been harmed in relationships, healing also occurs in relationships. Building a relationship of rapport and trust is critical.

Studies show that the type of therapy or counselling is not the main element that helps us heal. It also doesn’t matter if you see a social worker, mental health nurse, psychologist, psychiatrist, counsellor, psychotherapist or other sort of practitioner. It is of course important that the practitioner is experienced and trained in working with adult survivors of complex trauma, including childhood trauma and abuse. That’s because of the particular needs survivors of complex trauma.

At times any therapeutic or counselling process can be uncomfortable. That’s because of the issues being explored. This is particularly so when they relate to traumatic experiences.

Black man explaining problem to female psychologist
Terrace of modern villa overlooking ocean


Refers to a set of interpersonal healing approaches that support people to understand themselves better and make changes in their lives. Psychotherapy is practiced by different practitioners. A limited number of psychotherapy sessions are funded through Medicare via referral from your GP and through some private health funds, or state-based schemes, depending on where you live.


Is a broader term than “psychotherapy”. It provides guidance in resolving personal conflicts and emotional problems. There are many different counselling approaches. They often draw on psychological theory and techniques. Many counsellors have related qualifications and accreditations.

Counselling and Psychotherapy

Many people find a range of practices helpful. These include mindfulness, yoga, EMDR, EFT, neurofeedback, and art and music therapy. Any of these can be provided as part of a therapeutic process or in support of it.

Blue Knot Foundation has a Referral Database of health practitioners and agencies with experience in supporting adult survivors of childhood trauma and abuse. Our helpline counsellors can provide you with the names and contact details of practitioners from this database in response to your
requests. To find the name and contact details of a practitioner or agency for you to access call Blue Knot Helpline on 1300 657 380 between 9-5 Mon-Sun AEST. (Blue Knot Foundation provides this information as a service only and cannot guarantee the suitability of a particular practitioner or agency for a survivor’s particular needs).

Attending a group

Can also be helpful. This can be alongside one-on-one counselling or stand alone. Some women’s health services, community health services and sexual assault services run groups for survivors. Some of these are therapeutic groups, facilitated by health professionals. Others are peer support groups, involving other survivors. It is important that they offer a safe space, which can support healing.

Some private hospitals also provide outpatient groups in skills development. Groups can help people who are feeling socially isolated feel better connected and more supported.

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Finding Support

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Fact Sheets

Blue Knot Helpline and Redress Support Service

Blue Knot Helpline and Redress Support Service

Understanding Trauma
and Abuse

Understanding Trauma and Abuse

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.