Services and Staff

  • Depending on a child or young person's needs, experience and situation, Gatehouse Centre clinicians can offer short, medium or longer term involvement.  Children and young people who are offered a short to medium term intervention may or may not go on to require further therapy.

    Short to medium term interventions

    Child & Family Traumatic Stress Intervention (CFTSI)

    The CFTSI is a brief evidence-based early intervention for children/young people and their caregivers, which aims to reduce the effects of exposure to a potentially traumatic event. The model consists of 5-8 sessions with the child and caregiver (together and individually at times), following an initial screening session to assess eligibility for the program. Follow-up after the intervention can occur between 1 and 3 months.

    Single Session Therapy

    Single Session Therapy is a strengths based approach that works to identify the needs and concerns of individuals and family members and the resources within the individual / family that can promote positive change. This approach is respectful of dignity, culture and abilities.

    Single Session Therapy is focused on achieving realistic and achievable goals that are negotiated by participants. A 90 minute single session is offered and feedback is provided within that session.

    A follow up telephone call is made to families 1 week after the Single Session Therapy to gauge their experience of that session and to check on progress in relation to any issues identified and to clarify the next step.

    Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

    EMDR is an evidence based therapy that is effective for resolving emotional difficulties caused by traumatic experiences. It uses the brain’s healing power to process disturbing memories. EMDR follows a standardised protocol whereby the therapist works with you to identify a specific problem as a focus for the treatment session. You will be encouraged to ‘visit’ the memory (such as what was seen, felt, heard and thought at the time) while eye movements or other Bilateral Stimulation (BLS) is used. 


    Assessments for longer term therapy usually take 4-6weeks.

    The clinician allocated to your child will make an appointment with you to get as much background about your child as possible to help them understand your child better. The clinician will make an assessment of the child or young person within the context of their family and community.

    The clinician will always explain how they work and what they will do with your child.  You may be seen with your child, your child may be seen alone, or both.  Sometimes it is helpful for other family members to come for a session.  The clinician will talk to you about what would be best for your child and your circumstances.

    At the end of the assessment your child’s clinician will meet with you to explain their understanding of what might be best for your child.  For some children, assessment is all that is required and some children continue with therapy.  This might also involve therapy with or for other family members.  Some children are referred to another service if sexual abuse or problem sexual behaviour is not the central focus of the therapy required. 

    How can therapy assist?

    If a child, young person and their families continue with therapy, it can help them to better understand their experience and how it has affected them. Therapy can also help with learning new ways to manage complex, difficult or confusing feelings.

    For some families involved in court or major changes such as moving house it may not be the best time to come to Gatehouse Centre. It is possible to make contact with the Gatehouse Centre at a later time. If you are unsure when might be the best time you can call the Gatehouse Centre and discuss this with a Duty Worker.

    How long does my child have to come to therapy?

    Most children and young people come to therapy once a week however, sometimes fortnightly or monthly sessions are more appropriate. Sessions are usually around 50 minutes long and may involve several family members.   Children and young people may come to therapy for a short time and others may attend for a long time. 


    Gatehouse Centre provides information and support for clients . Advocacy includes referral and liaison with medical services, Department of Health and Human Services: child protection, education, police and legal systems including Victims of Crime Compensation.

    Secondary Consultation

    Professionals working with children/young people who have disclosed or are presenting with symptoms that may indicate sexual abuse or sexually abusive behaviours are able to contact Gatehouse Centre for advice, consultation or support. Gatehouse Centre can provide ongoing secondary consultation to professionals who are seeking support to address sexual assault and/or harmful sexual behaviours in their work with a child/ young person.

    Education and Training

    Gatehouse Centre offers education and training to agencies, police, legal, community services, education providers and professionals about a range of topics including:

    • What is sexual abuse?
    • Impact of sexual abuse on children, young people and their families.
    • Working with children who exhibit problem sexual behaviours.
    • Responding to harmful sexual behaviours in school.
    • Responding to sibling sexual abuse.
    • How to support a child/young person who has disclosed sexual abuse.
    • Treatment of sexual abuse.
    • Treatment of problem sexual behaviour and harmful sexual behaviour.

    Gatehouse Centre staff come from a range of professions including

    • Psychology
    • Social Work
    • Family Therapy
    • Child Psychotherapy
    • Art Therapy 
    • Play and Sand Play Therapy
    • Nursing
    • Psychiatry
    • Neuropsychology
    • Occupational Therapy