Dr David Ward

Dr David Ward trauma therapist

Dr David Ward,
BSocWk, BA., Grad Dip (Couple Thpy),
M.Couns., MPhil., PhD.

Hello, and thanks for taking the time to read about me!

I’ve been a therapist for over 20 years now and am an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker, having worked in government and non-government settings. I enjoy working with adults, adolescents, children, couples, and families and have both a breadth and depth of experience in helping many people with difficulties such as:

  • Domestic violence
  • Sexual abuse
  • PTSD and other forms of trauma
  • Depression
  • Generalised anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Eating disorders
  • Family conflict
  • Suicide and self-harm
  • Anger
  • Spiritual Abuse
  • Ritual Abuse
  • Dissociative disorders

I also have a keen interest in the following:

EMDR and trauma work

I was originally trained in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing) in 2001 and have been using this therapy ever since. It remains my key therapy to resolve many difficulties such as violence, abuse, PTSD, depression, anxiety, or anger. I have successfully and quickly helped people who have been traumatised from war, violence, car accidents or deep grief. I am also an Accredited EMDR Practitioner with the EMDR Association of Australia.

Family Therapy

I have had extensive experience with families struggling with many different areas, such as mental health, violence or blended family difficulties. To do so, I usually work in a combination of sessions with the parents or caregivers, sessions with any young people, and of course, the whole family. I am also a qualified Clinical member of the Australian Association of Family Therapy.

Couple Therapy

I have a Graduate Diploma specifically in Couple Therapy, nicely complementing my experience in family work. I have helped many couples with a range of difficulties including separation, infidelity and mental health.

Family Reports

Sometimes family or couple therapy is not possible, and decisions need to be made for the welfare of the children or other family members. As a qualified Family Therapist, as well as working many years in child and adolescent mental health, I can offer family reports if required. Please note that all sessions and the report itself, are billed at the full fee rate.

Helping Teenagers

I have worked with adolescents throughout my entire career, in community mental health as well as hospital settings. My PhD was in the area of adolescent mental health, exploring the experience of teenagers receiving long-term mental health treatment.

Helping children

I have spent many years helping children of all ages. Generally speaking, the younger the child, the more input I have with the parents or carers. If your child is 12 or under, I recommend that I see the carers alone for the first session to gather as much information as possible. After that, I will have a better picture of how to help your child.

Clinical Supervision

I am an AASW-listed supervisor and have supervised practitioners for many years from both government and non-government organisations, particularly in the areas of family work, trauma, and child and adolescent mental health. I have also guided social workers in gaining their AMHSW status.

Spiritual Abuse

Over many years, I have helped people who have exited a range of toxic groups, as well as journeyed with those who have been burnt out by spiritually abusive leadership. My MPhil thesis explored the experience of spiritual abuse and was the first in Australia to explore the topic in depth.

Ritual Abuse

I have met a number of people over the years who have experienced this most evil of crimes. I realise that this type of abuse is a very broad and complex area, as well as being controversial. I am also very familiar with the issues of programming and extreme dissociation.

Other therapies I use

As well as EMDR and Family Therapy, I have also been trained in:

  • CBT
  • DBT
  • Solution-focused therapy
  • Play therapy
  • Schema Therapy

And of course, the most important aspect will be our therapeutic relationship. I look forward to hearing from you!

To make an appointment with Brisbane therapist Dr David Ward, try Online Booking – Loganholme or Online Booking – Mt Gravatt. Alternatively, you can call M1 Psychology (Loganholme) on (07) 3067 9129, or Vision Psychology (Mt Gravatt) on (07) 3088 5422.


  • Ward, D. (2014) “Recovery”: does it fit for adolescent mental health?
    Journal of Child and Adolescent Mental Health, 26(1): 83–90.
  • Ward, D., (2011) The lived experience of spiritual abuse
    Journal of Mental Health, Religion & Culture, 14 (9) 899-915.
  • Ward, D., (2009) Five Messages Every Adolescent Needs to Hear
    Psychotherapy in Australia, 15 (3) 48-54. 
  • Ward, D., (Winter 2009) Exiting the Faith: the dynamics of spiritual abuse,
    Counselling Australia.
  • Ward, D., (Spring 2003) Counselling Children Part 1: Assessment,
    Counselling Australia.
  • Ward, D., (Summer 2003) Counselling Children Part 2: Intervention,
    Counselling Australia.
  • Ward, D., (2002) Cults and the Family
    Australian & New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy, (23) (2) 61-68.
  • Ward, D., (2000) Where do I start? Assessment and Intervention with ex-cult members,
    Australian Social Work, (53) (2) 37-42.
  • Ward, D., (2000) Domestic Violence as a Cultic System,
    Cultic Studies Journal, (17) (1), 42-55.

Conference Presentations:

  • “Recovery in Adolescence; views from the camera lens”
    23nd Annual Mental Health Services Conference Inc (TheMHS) of Australia and New Zealand. Melbourne, 20th – 23rd August 2013.
  •  “The camera never lies: the use of photography to aid research and recovery for traumatised adolescents”
    Australasian Conference of Child Trauma: Research, Response, Recovery. Gold Coast, Queensland 4th – 6th July 2012.
  • “Spiritual Abuse and the Family”
    29th Australian & New Zealand Family Therapy Conference, Brisbane, October 2008.
  • “Counselling ex-members of cults and other controlling groups”
    National Conference of the Australian Counselling Association. Brisbane, October 2004.