Help grow a trauma-informed community in Western Australia by joining Complex Trauma WA
See below for membership eligibility
Membership fees: $150/year incl. GST

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful,
committed people can change the world.
Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

Three people with lines connecting them
Professional Network

Access to a professional support network of other health and mental-health service providers, who understand the unique rewards and challenges of working with complex trauma

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Professional Development

Bi-annual high-quality, local trauma-specific professional development opportunities offered at a discounted cost for members

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Member Forum

A complex-trauma specific, confidential, moderated electronic communication platform to engage with fellow COTWA members across metropolitan and rural Western Australia (available soon)

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COTWA Directory Listing

Clinical Members are eligible for inclusion in a state-based referral service-directory that recognises trauma-specific clinical expertise, accessible to primary health-care and other service providers and members of the public alike

Person standing in front of workshop material

Facilitation of psycho-educational information seminars and other complex trauma certification opportunities to Primary Health Networks and affiliated organisations and services

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Event Calendar

A regularly updated professional-development calendar of major local, national, and international complex trauma events

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Support Groups

Organisational support for the establishment of trauma-informed peer supervision groups

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Complex Trauma Library

A curated online library of complex-trauma specific resources

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A commitment to advocate for improved public-private-NGO service pathways

COTWA membership is open to all professionally registered:

  • Psychotherapist-clinicians who are knowledgable and experienced in providing complex-trauma-specific treatment services to survivors;
  • Health-care providers who want to learn more about complex trauma and/or develop their expertise in trauma-informed services; and
  • All service-oriented individuals (e.g. lawyers, dentists, physiotherapists, fertility specialists, employment agents, hairdressers, etc) who support trauma-informed care principles in their contact with clients, and are interested in obtaining accreditation as a trauma-informed service.

Applications for membership from non-clinical administrative staff members in organisational settings that offer services to people with a history of complex trauma will be assessed on a case-by case basis. Please contact us using the form at the bottom of the page for advice.

  • Based in Western Australia
  • Hold a current unrestricted practising certificate with full membership from one of the following Australian regulatory bodies
    • Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA)
      • - Medical Board
      • - Psychology Board
      • - Occupational Therapy Board
      • - Nursing and Midwifery Board
      • - Physiotherapy Board
      • - Dental Board
    • Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA)
    • Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW)
    • Australian Counselling Association (ACA)
    • Legal Practice Board of Western Australia (LPBWA)
    • Reproductive Technology Council (RTC)
    • Hairdressers Registration Board of Western Australia (HRBWA)
    • Other (please contact us to discuss)

Required documents (for upload in the application form)
  • Current unrestricted practising certificate with full membership from eligible Australian regulatory body.

After your membership application has been accepted, Trauma-trained psychotherapists are strongly encouraged to consider upgrading to clinical membership status.

Clinical membership offers the additional membership benefit of listing on the COTWA service directory page frequented by survivors, loved ones, and referring professionals alike; and automatic inclusion in Blue Knot Foundation’s national Health Practitioners Referral Database.

Members are able to apply for Clinical Membership from within the members portal, and there are no futher fees associated with the application.

If you are interested in becoming a clinical member, we suggest you have a look at the "Criteria for Clinical Membership" section below.

If you meet the critera, we recommend you start the following so that you will be ready to apply:

  • Update your Curriculum Vitae
  • Request referral letters from two clinical supervisors (NOTE: you may provide one reference from a clinical supervisor and one reference from a professional colleague) (TEMPLATE YOU CAN SEND YOUR REFEREES TO MAKE THEIR LIFE EASIER)
  • Start compiling a list of your trauma-specific Professional Development (PD) undertaken during the past five years (you can jog your memory for PD that you may have attended by checking this LIST OF WORKSHOPS hosted by the Mental Health Professionals Network over the past five years)

For professionally registered mental-health service providers who are experienced in offering trauma-specific therapy in direct clinical service settings to people with a history of complex trauma.

Clinical members must meet the high standard of practice requirements set by Blue Knot Foundation, Australia’s National Centre of Excellence for complex trauma. Your application will be shared with Blue Knot Foundation for assessment and approval.

We suggest you have a look at Blue Knot Foundation's Practice Guidelines for Treatment of Complex Trauma and Trauma Informed Care and Service Delivery (2012) and the Practice Guidelines for Clinical Treatment of Complex Trauma (2019) to see if you meet the recommendations for best-practice trauma-treatment. Blue Knot Foundation has also published a number of other Practice Guidelines that are worth reading.

Please ensure you can meet the following criteria before starting your Clinical Membership application.

  • Have a minimum of 3 years full-time or equivalent professional experience working as a trauma-informed therapist in direct clinical service delivery with people with a history of complex trauma.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and training in trauma-specific treatment practices to facilitate trauma recovery for people who have experienced complex trauma.
  • Can provide two written references from clinical supervisors (NOTE: you may provide one reference from a clinical supervisor and one reference from a professional colleague)

Required documents (for upload in the application form)

Most eligible clinicians will have attended one or more of the complex trauma-specific professional development workshops offered by the Mental Health Professionals Network in recent years. To help jog your memory, here is a list of workshops that have been held over the past 5 years. Feel free to use this list when populating your professional development in the form.


Workshop name Provider Year Duration
Working with dissociative processes in clinical practice: Engaging the fear of feeling real Complex Trauma WA
Dr Richard Chefetz
2019 16 hours
Trauma therapy 101: Where do you start? Integrating character work and trauma work in Phase 1 Perth Complex Trauma MHPN
Sonia Smuts
2019 2 hours
Integrated strategies for the management of complex trauma: Treating the inflammatory aspects of trauma Perth Complex Trauma MHPN
Dr Sanjeev Sharma
2019 2 hours
The Psychology of Shame in the Therapy for Complex Trauma and Dissociative Disorders Perth Complex Trauma MHPN
Prof Martin Dorahy
2018 16 hours
Working with Complex Trauma in Aboriginal Communities: Helping Families Heal Perth Complex Trauma MHPN
Dr Christabel Chamarette
2018 2 hours
Trauma and The Body: Deepening Resources for Stabilisation* Perth Complex Trauma MHPN
Dr Andrew Harkin
2017 8 hours
Trauma and The Body: An Introduction to Working with the Body in Complex Trauma Treatments Perth Complex Trauma MHPN
Dr Andrew Harkin
2017 8 hours
Trauma Sensitive Yoga: An empirical adjunct to treating people with a history of complex trauma Perth Complex Trauma MHPN
Martine McDougall
2017 2 hours
Screening for Trauma: Exploring the prevalence of complex trauma in the presentation of common physical and mental health symptoms Perth Complex Trauma MHPN
Dr Jonathan Laugharne
2017 2 hours
Cultural competence in working with Aboriginal people affected by complex trauma: What do you need to know? Perth Complex Trauma MHPN
Dr Tracey Westerman
2016 2 hours
Treating Complex Trauma: How to use EMDR Perth Complex Trauma MHPN
Dr Chris Lee | Mr Graham Taylor
2015 16 hours

For a quicker application process, please have you practicing certificate in digital format ready to upload into the form before you start

  1. Answer all the questions in the form, enter your credit card details for payment, and press submit. You will receive an email acknowledging your application has been received within 5 minutes of submission
  2. After submission
    • Applications are approved following review by the membership committee. You will receive an email approving your application within 7 days.
  3. After approval
    • After you application has been approved, you will receive a welcome email with a link to activate you member account.
    • Once activated, you will have access to the members area, which includes:
      • Chat forums
      • Ability to register for upcoming workshops and webinars
      • Access to relevant documents for members
      • Ability to update your details
      • Access to the Clinical Assessment application
  4. Fees and Refunds
    • If your membership application is rejected, any fees you have paid will be refunded
    • If you withdraw your application prior to assessment, any fees you have paid will be refunded
    • We do not offer a prorated fee structure in relation to cancellation or termination of membership. If your membership is cancelled or withdrawn in the middle of a membership year, the full annual membership fee applies and fees will not be refunded
    • Please note, COTWA does not issue cash refunds
  5. Membership renewal invitations will be sent by email 12 months after your application was first approved
  6. You are invited to contact Complex Trauma WA via the contact form in the footer of the website should you have any questions.
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