The aim of this symposium is to directly and for the first time for this Conference, bring the perspectives of three consumers and a carer and their experiences of psychotherapy within the Australian mental health setting. Psychotherapy as it is seen by consumers may vary from the clinical perspective of practitioners. So is there an argument about what psychotherapy really is and whether this is a real option for Australian mental health services? It will be argued that reflection on how experiences of consumers and carers through careful dialogue might enhance the quality of services and may help to bridge the gap between need and practice. Four presentations from three consumers and a carer will provide their view of what psychotherapy is to them, their experiences of being in receipt of this treatment and their outcomes. It will also provide an opportunity to outline current deficiencies, some areas of excellence and what is needed for the improvement of service delivery. This is an opportunity to hear consumer and carer experiences within the Australian context and what they want from the Australian Government and mental health service provision.
This presentation, "Responding to the needs of consumers with complex trauma histories a consumer perspective" focuses on the needs of adult survivors of child abuse, highlighting the frequent