Lodge an ethical grievance or complaint

Are you a member of the public or a PACFA member seeking ethics advice or wanting to make a complaint? Please use this form for further information on next steps and links to relevant policies and documents.

If you have concerns that your counsellor or psychotherapist may have acted unethically in the provision of counselling or psychotherapy services, you have the right to make a complaint.

You also have the right to make a complaint to PACFA about a PACFA Member Association if you have concerns that the Member Association has not dealt with an ethical matter appropriately.

If you have concerns about the ethical conduct of a counsellor or psychotherapist, we recommend that you download the PACFA Code of Ethics which sets out PACFA’s standards for ethical practice.

Grievances and complaints to PACFA about counsellors and psychotherapists

PACFA can only hear grievances and complaints against counsellors and psychotherapists who are listed on the PACFA National Register or who were listed at the time the service in question was provided.

1. Before lodging a grievance or complaint to PACFA, first check that the practitioner you are complaining about is listed on the PACFA National Register. You can search the PACFA Register at the Find a Therapist page or contact the PACFA office on 03 9486 3077.

2. If the practitioner you want to lodge a grievance or complaint about is listed on the register, then email [email protected] with your name and contact details; the therapist's name, a description of the grievance or complaint and the date on which it occurred (if it was a specific incident).

3. Your complaint should be acknowledged within 48 business hours and a PACFA staff member should contact you about your grievance or complaint within two weeks. 

All grievances and complaints heard by PACFA are heard in accordance with the Professional Conduct Procedures 2020.

Complaints to PACFA about Member Associations

PACFA Member Associations are required to work to the Membership Requirements and Guidelines for PACFA Member Associations

This document guides PACFA Member Associations to ensure that they operate ethically and in accordance with the principles of good governance.

Complaints about member associations can be submitted to PACFA by email to [email protected]

If the therapist you want to complain about is not on the PACFA register

If the therapist you wish to make a complaint about is not listed on the PACFA register or does not belong to a PACFA Member Association, they may belong to another professional association.  If the therapist is not a member of a professional association, you can contact a health complaints body in your state or territory:


Australian Capital Territory Go to the Health Services Commissioner within the ACT Human Rights Commission website
New South Wales Got to the Health Care Complaints Commission website
Northern Territory Go to the Health And Community Services Complaints Commission (HCSCC) website
Queensland Go to the Office of the Health Ombudsman (OHO) website
South Australia Go to the Health And Community Services Complaints Commissioner (HCSCC) website
Tasmania Go to the Health Complaints Commissioner website
Victoria Go to the Health Complaints Commissioner website, or to the Mental Health Complaints Commissioner website
Western Australia Go to the Health and Disability Services Complaints Office (HaDSCO) website