Eligibility and Assessment

To qualify for our services for women you must: 

• be over 16-years old 

• be residents of Scotland 

• be in a safe place (HSTAR is not an intervention or emergency service, we can only support survivors.)

We prioritise inclusion and diversity across all our services, and we welcome women who are: 

• survivors with the historical experience of domestic or sexual abuse, childhood sexual abuse or harmful practices 

• from minoritised communities who have experienced racism, discrimination, or social exclusion 

• from refugee backgrounds with experience of trafficking or other human rights abuses 

• from migrant backgrounds where English is not your first language 

• coping with bereavement

Whilst we assess on a case-by-case basis, it may be that HSTAR Scotland is not the right place for you at this time. Considerations to Keep in Mind HSTAR Scotland takes into account various elements when evaluating your suitability for trauma therapy, encompassing:

Commitment: In order to successfully navigate the healing journey, it's important to be wholly committed to completing the therapy. A sudden discontinuation can exacerbate symptoms and further embed trauma-related perspectives and evasive behaviours. 

Risk of Suicide/Self-Harm: Prior to initiating the trauma therapy, we need to ensure there haven't been any instances of suicide attempts or self-harm within the last four months. For individuals marked as high risk, they should establish a safe environment with their local GP or mental health nurse. Client safety being a HSTAR top priority, we need assurance that the inductions of self-destruction or self-damage are non-existent. 

Stress Management Skills: An individual is required to have robust coping skills to safely and effectively go through exposure therapy. These skills play a vital role in handling overpowering emotions without the need for emotional repression, substance abuse, or excessive rest. Our mental health well-being support services can be a beneficial choice before commencing therapy.

HSTAR as additional therapy support: While under our referral, clients should not be involved in any other counselling activities. It is mandatory to keep us informed of any ongoing medical procedures related to your physical and emotional welfare. It's important to ascertain that our female clients aren't simultaneously obtaining therapy or healthcare from another mental health professional as it can lead to substandard or damaging treatment.  

Therapists in Training: In the third-sector organisation scenario, it's routine to enlist student therapists' help. It doesn't pose threats as their practice suitability is evaluated since the start of their study term. They are supervised by their respective instructors who bear full responsibility for the client's welfare. Supervisors are qualified therapists with abundant experience.

We may decide to turn down or postpone a referral if a woman: 

• has a current complex mental health diagnosis, severe substance abuse issue, or severe eating disorder,

• is seeking counselling in order to support a court case or is court-mandated for therapy.

• is currently living with a perpetrator of domestic or sexual abuse.

Our therapists, volunteers, and trainee students work with our clients in over 20 languages (i.e. English, Urdu, Punjabi, Hindi, Spanish, Gujarati, Russian, Ukrainian, French, Farsi, Polish, Arabic, Mandarin or Chinese). 

We pride ourselves in being able to keep the waiting list for care support for women who experienced abuse and or trauma to less than 8-12 weeks.


Address: Alexanders House,

36-40 Cowane Street,

Stirling, FK8 1JR

Phone: 01786 447 667

Email: traumarecovery@hstar-scotland.org


Opening hours:

  • Monday to Friday - 9:30am - 4pm

  • Saturday by appointment only

Charity Registered in Scotland: SC051334

© 2024 HSTAR Scotland. All rights reserved.