Heartfelt House’s core program is called Taking the First Steps. It is a non-residential, group program for adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse using a range of approaches including psycho- educational, feminist and cognitive behavioural theory. The group meets weekly for 2 hours each session and the duration of the program is 18 weeks. It is structured to encompass two school terms, with a two week holiday break, allowing those who care for children to be available for them.

The team

The program is presented by a team of two facilitators who have degrees in counselling, psychology, and/or social work. All facilitators at Heartfelt House have received additional, specialised training through the Educational Centre Against Violence, Sydney and other training organisations.

The group

Each group consists of six participants of the same gender from all walks of life. Each group of survivors and each team of facilitators bring with them unique requirements and distinctive skills, which will be considered and incorporated in the presentation of the program.


Throughout the program, each group member receives a weekly phone call from one of the trained facilitators to check-in and answer questions regarding the program or the group session. It is mandatory for all “Taking the First Steps” participants to attend individual face to face counselling externally to Heartfelt House as additional support. We offer information that will enable the participant to arrange counselling with professional counsellors and psychologists in the local area. Furthermore participants frequently form close friendships with other members in the group and start reaching out to each other for support.

After the completion of the 18 week program participants are invited to return for 2 meetings over the following 6 months. These act as a group reunion, to re-connect and sometimes as a reminder of all they have learnt and achieved. We also hold an all group reunion during the year to which every past participant is invited to reflect on their journey since leaving Heartfelt House and offering to meet new friends.

For further information, please contact Heartfelt House during office hours on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays between 9am and 3pm on 02 6628 8940.