Working with Adult Survivors of Child Abuse in a Trauma-Informed Way



The National Association for People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC) is the UK’s leading national charity offering support to adult survivors of all types of childhood abuse—physical, sexual, emotional and neglect.

NAPAC knows that any abuse or neglect of a child can have a deep impact throughout life if left unacknowledged and untreated. It knows that abuse suffered years or decades ago continues to harm the lives of millions of adults today.

NAPAC believes that every individual has the right to leave the impact of childhood abuse behind, grow as a person and enjoy a happy and fulfilled life. It knows that survivors of childhood abuse can be empowered and supported to do just that. There are proven ways to help.

NAPAC runs a free national phone line offering supportive listening for up to 30 minutes and signposting to longer-term assistance and counselling in the voluntary, statutory or private sector. The line is run by trained staff and volunteers. Funding permitting, it also offers psycho-educational support groups in England and Wales, aimed at providing survivors with a foundation for recovering from the effects of childhood abuse.

In addition, NAPAC offers training and consultancy for mental health and social workers, the NHS, counsellors and therapists, police forces, institutions, the media and any other organisations or individual practitioners likely to engage with abuse survivors.  Its website contains information and resources for survivors and professionals, email support and fundraising activities.  Finally, NAPAC advocates on behalf of survivors in the media and represents their interests among those who are in a position to bring about change.


About this Course

The purpose of this course is to equip professionals with baseline knowledge about the impacts of child abuse in adulthood and fundamental skills to engage with abuse survivors in a way that is empowering and guards against retraumatisation.


After this training you will be able to:

  • Recognise and describe the impact of child abuse on emotional, mental and physical health in adulthood
  • Identify and explain common coping mechanisms
  • Recognise and mitigate common triggers and stress reactions
  • Receive disclosures of abuse with greater confidence
  • Empower and support survivors in their recovery


This course has been certified by CPD UK – the CPD Certification Service. You can therefore rest assured that it has been assessed and meets their high standards for learning.


Who is this course suitable for?

This course is suitable for counsellors, students, healthcare professionals.

NB – this course does not qualify you to work with individuals in this specialist area of counselling unless you also hold further experience and/or qualifications to do so. It is important that you work within your capabilities, and have access to a supervisor who is experienced in this field of work.


Do I need to submit any written work?

All of the learning in this course is self-directed, based on the content provided within the course itself. You do not need to submit any work, as your knowledge will be tested through a quiz at the end of the course and exercises throughout.


What will I need to complete this course?

We recommend that you keep a notebook dedicated to this course to hand, as you will be asked to keep frequent notes on your thoughts and reflections. You may also find them useful to refer to in the future. There are also some videos to watch, so you will need a way to listen to the videos.  There is a quiz at the end of the course which must be completed, you will have 3 attempts to pass.  A pass rate of 75% is required for this course when a certificate will be available on your profile.


Can I talk to other students on this course?

Once you have completed the course, you will gain access to a private forum, where you will be able to talk to other students on the course. The link will be provided once you have finished the final quiz, and will only be available on that page so please make sure you save it so you can continue to access the Forum in future.

If you have any problems with any technical aspects of the course, it is best to contact the National Counselling Society directly through the contact form, email address, or telephone number provided so that they can help you as quickly as possible.


I’m worried that this course may bring up certain thoughts and feelings for me; who can I talk to?

Thinking and learning about abuse in childhood is certainly going to be difficult for some people. If you find you are affected by any of the content in this course, please call the NAPAC support line and talk to someone. They will be able to support you and can signpost you towards services that may be available in your area for longer term support. If you need to talk to someone outside of NAPAC’s opening hours, you can call Samaritans 24/7 365 days a year on 116 123.