2020 Workshop Series

Working ‘therapeutically’ with survivors of complex trauma in a frontline crisis service – progress and pitfalls

Presented by Richard Barber

Operational Director


Leeds Survivor-Led Crisis Service has been trialling a service for women who are seen as ‘too complex’ to successfully access mainstream services or therapy. Here we will examine the potential for therapeutic crisis support that recognises complex dissociation and attachment trauma and works effectively with these issues, thus safely ‘holding’ people in one setting, rather than across multiple settings; and giving people a more secure foundation to seek more traditional therapy or counselling. We'll also focus on the many pitfalls, such as the impact on staff of managing intense relational difficulties that can arise between them and survivors of complex abuse and neglect.

Level: All

Intended Audience: Frontline mental health professionals with an interest in how to embrace ‘therapeutic’ work with survivors of trauma who regularly present in crisis settings.

Max audience size: Any

Learning outcomes


Richard Barber has worked extensively with survivors of complex trauma in the nationally renowned Dial House service for many years, and now develops practice, training and new services in this field. He has a passion for recognising complex trauma and improving outcomes for survivors of complex abuse and neglect.