Ethel Tillinger


Ethel was born in Melbourne Australia in 1949. She is currently practicing as a Psychologist at the University of Melbourne Counseling Service and as a Psychotherapist in private practice. She works primarily with adults and young adults using both individual and group approaches. Her work is informed by an interest and research in trauma and psychoanalysis. She was a committee member of the Australasian Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ASTSS an affiliate of ISTSS) Victorian Chapter between 1997 – 2004 in the roles of President and State Representative and helped write draft guidelines for training in trauma work. In 2001 she was a member of a group of mental health professionals who wrote a submission to the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC), National Inquiry into Children in Immigration Detention entitled “Kids In Detention Story” (KIDS) and also contributed to an ASTSS submission on the same issue.

In 2005 Ethel went to Poland with the Adult March of the Living (AMoTL) as a member of a group of mental health facilitators who provided psychological support to over 70 participants. The trauma-tracking instrument developed in her research was used in briefing sessions to prepare for the program.

For the past 6 years she has been a member of an Intergenerational Dialogue group comprised of Holocaust survivors, child survivors and second generation who meet to dialogue across generations about the reverberations of the Holocaust on them .

Ethel is currently completing a Masters Thesis entitled “Testimony: The relationship of silence to knowledge”, which seeks to explore the effects on Holocaust survivors of giving testimony interviews. In the course of this research she has constructed and trialed an instrument designed to track trauma integration and disintegration in interviews with survivors of massive psychic trauma.