If you have experienced childhood trauma, you can speak with a Blue Knot Helpline trauma counsellor including for support and applications around national redress

1300 657 380
Monday - Sunday
between 9am - 5pm AEST
or via email helpline@blueknot.org.au


Do you live with disability?  Have you experienced abuse, neglect, violence or exploitation?

For support for Disability Royal Commission or general support contact our National Counselling & Referral Service

1800 421 468
9am - 6pm AEST Mon- Fri
9am - 5pm AEST Sat, Sun & public holidays


Practice Guidelines

Practice Guidelines for Clinical Treatment of Complex Trauma (2019)

Evolving research and clinical insights, as well as the continuing challenges of treating the multifaceted syndrome described as 'complex' trauma, have necessitated a publication to build on the original 2012 Blue Knot guidelines, the information within which still stands.

The 2019 Practice Guidelines include substantial additions to the original underpinning research base in the following areas:

  • the nature of complex trauma
  • dissociation and the related clinical challenges
  • phased therapy in the context of current debates
  • `new’ and emerging treatment approaches
  • issues with respect to `evidence-based’ treatment

Now more than ever it is important for clinicians to be aware of ways to enhance complex trauma treatment.

A wealth of relevant and potentially valuable material is now available. But the diversity of this material, and the range of forums and formats in which it appears, can make it hard for clinicians to navigate.

The updated Practice Guidelines help do this.

As happened in 2012, again in 2019, and prior to publication, Blue Knot’s updated Practice Guidelines have been extensively nationally and internationally endorsed.

The following are samples:

These updated Practice Guidelines for Treatment of Complex Trauma represent a description of state-of-the-art trauma treatment as it has developed over the past thirty years. No therapist or client can fare badly if these guidelines are followed. They are compassionate, reflect expert knowledge, and yet are eminently practical. They should be recommended reading for all therapists who treat complex trauma—i.e., most of us.

Janina Fisher, Ph.D. Assistant Educational Director, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute Author, Healing the Fragmented Selves of Trauma Survivors: Overcoming Internal Self-Alienation (Routledge)

As evidenced by these revised and updated guidelines, Australia has taken an international leadership role in developing clinical guidance for the treatment of complex trauma. The authors have consolidated a vast amount of research and clinical literature to arrive at an updated and state-of-the-art treatment formulation….. I repeat what I wrote in my endorsement of the earlier guideline: `This document is a singular and pioneering achievement in its depth and scope…Bravo to all involved in its development!

Christine A. Courtois, PhD, ABPP Chair, American Psychological Association Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Treatment of PTSD in Adults Co-Chair, International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies Complex Trauma Task Force Chair, Joint Complex Trauma Treatment Guidelines Committee, Division 56 (Psychological Trauma), American Psychological Association and the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation

Practice Guidelines for Clinical Treatment of Complex Trauma Receives Award

The Pierre Janet Award is given to an individual/s for the best clinical, theoretical or research paper in the field of dissociative and/or trauma within the past year. 

This was granted to Dr Cathy Kezelman and Dr Pam Stavropoulos for the “Practice Guidelines for Clinical Treatment of Complex Trauma” by ISSTD (International Society for Study of Trauma and Dissociation).

“I am delighted that Pam and I and especially the Practice Guidelines for Clinical Treatment of Complex Trauma have been recognised by the peak international body in the field, the ISSTD. Hopefully it will mean better support for more people living with the legacy of repeated trauma over time.” - Dr Cathy Kezelman

Practice Guidelines Download links

You can purchase a hard copy of the guidelines or register to download a copy.



Disclaimer - Blue Knot Foundation makes every effort to provide readers of its website and newsletters with information which is accurate and helpful. It is not however a substitute for counselling or professional advice. While all attempts have been made to verify all information provided, Blue Knot Foundation cannot guarantee and does not assume any responsibility for currency, errors, omissions or contrary interpretation of the information provided.


Health Direct


Head to Health


“Blue Knot Foundation has a key role to play in the building of community capacity in care provision to those who have experienced childhood abuse and trauma in any environment.”

NIALL MULLIGAN Manager, Lifeline Northern Rivers

“I think Blue Knot Foundation is a fantastic support organisation for people who have experienced childhood trauma/abuse, for their families/close friends and for professionals who would like to learn how to more effectively work with these people.”

Psychologist Melbourne

“It's such a beautiful thing that you are doing. Helping people to get through this.”


“It was only last September when I discovered the Blue Knot Foundation website and I will never forget the feeling of support and empathy that I received when I finally made the first phone call to Blue Knot Helpline, which was also the first time I had ever spoken about my abuse.”


"At last there is some sound education and empathetic support for individuals and partners impacted by such gross boundary violations.”


Contact Us

Phone: 02 8920 3611
PO Box 597 Milsons Point NSW 1565
Hours: Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm AEST

Blue Knot Helpline
Phone: 1300 657 380
Email: helpline@blueknot.org.au 
Hours: Mon-Sun, 9am-5pm AEST

For media comment, please contact:
Dr Cathy Kezelman
+61 425 812 197
+61 2 8920 3611
or ckezelman@blueknot.org.au

For media enquiries, please contact: 
Jo Scard
+61 457 725 953 
or jo@fiftyacres.com