Recognising, Screening and Assessing Complex Trauma

Date produced 20 May 2014

Aiming to build capacity of clinicians to recognise and respond to complex trauma presentations, this webinar is the second in a three-part professional development series focused on complex trauma. Watch this webinar to benefit from an interdisciplinary panel's insights as they discuss a case study.

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Watch this facilitated panel discussion of Tanya's story to be better equipped to:

  • understand the prevalence, epidemiology, characteristics and impact of complex trauma
  • be better equipped to recognise, screen and assess the physical, mental and psychosocial presentations which might indicate unresolved trauma.
  • take home tips and strategies for interdisciplinary collaboration to screen, recognise and assess people who have been exposed to or experienced complex trauma.


Review the interdisciplinary panel of experts' bios:

  • Dr Johanna Lynch (QLD based GP)
  • Ms Michelle Everett (NSW based clinical psychologist)
  • Mr Dragan Wright (NSW based consumer advocate)
  • Adjunct Prof Warwick Middleton (QLD based psychiatrist)


  • Dr Mary Emeleus (QLD based GP and psychotherapist)

  • Professor Warwick Middleton
    Qualifications: MB BS, FRANZCP, MD
    Profession: Psychiatrist
    Based in:  Brisbane, QLD
    Professor Middleton holds appointments as Adjunct Professor, School of Public Health, La Trobe University, and Associate Professor in Psychiatry at the University of Queensland. He has made substantial and ongoing contributions to bereavement and trauma literatures and he chairs the Cannan Institute.
    In 1996 he was a principal architect in establishing Australia’s first dedicated unit treating dissociative disorders (the Trauma and Dissociation Unit, Belmont Hospital). He has had substantive ongoing involvement with:
    • research
    • writing
    • reviewing
    • editorial board membership
    • teaching (including workshops and seminar presentations)
    • conference convening
    • supervision of health and research professionals.

  • Dr Joanna Lynch
    Qualifications: MBBS, FRACGP, Grad Cert (Grief and Loss)
    Profession: General Practitioner
    Based in: Manly, QLD
    Dr Johanna Lynch (MBBS FRACGP Grad Cert (Grief and Loss) is a General Practitioner with post graduate training in grief and loss and ongoing professional education in dissociation, trauma and attachment. Her unique skill set facilitate the promotion of mental health in a primary care setting. She has s special interest in survivors of childhood trauma and facilitating each person’s growth within their community.

    Dr Lynch has a passion for primary mental health care, and is founding director of Integrate Place, a multidisciplinary mental wellness centre located in suburban Brisbane. She was awarded a Primary Health Care Research Fellowship at University of Queensland in 2009 and 2010 researching best practice in primary mental health care assessment culminating in a paper published in Jan 2012 in Social Science and Medicine entitled ‘Beyond symptoms: Defining primary care clinical mental health assessment priorities, process and content.’

    Dr Lynch is a Fellow of the RACGP and Member of the Australian Society of Psychological Medicine and the Cannan Institute. She actively supports Blue Knot day in Brisbane, an annual event initiated by ASCA, asking all Australians to unite in support of the more than 2 million Australian adults who are survivors of childhood trauma and neglect in our community.

  • Ms Michelle Everett
    Profession: Clinical Psychologist
    Michelle Everett has trained as a clinical psychologist and has worked in mental health services for more than two decades, including two influential years in Canada. Michelle has worked in mental health education for five years, and is currently writing and teaching courses for mental health workers, consumers and families for the community sector and at a postgraduate level at the NSW Institute of Psychiatry. 

    Michelle works in private practice in western Sydney, as an Official Visitor under the NSW Mental Health Act and is a member of TheMHS Conference Management Committee.

  • Mr Dragan Wright
    Profession: Consumer Advocate
    Dragan was born in Sydney and raised in New Zealand,  and completed his Counselling & Psychotherapy training with the Human Development and Training Institute in Auckland. He attended a comprehensive four year course of study where the emphasis was on a solid understanding of therapeutic theory and skills, as well as one’s own self-development and healing and experiential learning in the group. 

    Over the last five years, Dragan has been training and working in the field of Trauma Informed Care as it relates to adults from a background of childhood trauma and abuse. He has completed his Cert. IV in Training and Assessment and since 2011 has run numerous workshops and seminars in Trauma Informed Care, Trauma and the Developing Brain, and Psycho-education for health professionals and survivors of childhood abuse.

Read Tanya's Story, the case upon which the discussion was based

Download a copy of the presentation slides

Download the external supporting resources document

Learning needs

65% of survey respondents indicated their learning needs were 'entirely met'. 33% indicated their learning needs were 'partially met' and  2% indicated their learning needs were 'not met'.

Relevance to practice

When asked to rate how relevant the webinar was to the clinicians own practice, 85% stated it was ‘entirely relevant’. 14% marked it as ‘partially relevant’ and 1% indicated it was 'not relevant'.

Practice change

95% of respondents intend to make changes to their clinical work practice as a result of attending the webinar.

This webinar was produced in May 2014. The Mental Health Professionals’ Network’s webinars are produced for mental health professionals. The information is intended for suitably-experienced mental health professionals and does not replace clinical judgement and decision making. It is intended for use as a guide of a general nature only and may or may not be relevant to particular patients or circumstances. The subject matter is not exhaustive of any mental health conditions presented. Health professionals implementing any recommendations contained in the webinar must exercise their own independent skill or judgement or seek appropriate professional advice relevant to their own particular circumstances when so doing. Any information presented in the webinar recording was deemed relevant at the time of the live event and after this date has not been reviewed. No guarantee can be given that the information is free from error or omission.

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