In this article, I explore the historical background and context to the theoretical eclecticism described by the participants interviewed for a research study. The initial aim was to test the relevance of the vicarious traumatisation (vt) or vt literature with a group of sexual abuse therapists. The participants interviewed were all working as sexual abuse therapists in group and individual practices, many of whom worked in the field before there were well articulated theories of trauma assessment and treatment in the 1970s and 1980s. With the available theory, they actively developed their own unique frameworks for practice and became pioneers in the field. The findings of this research suggest that the practitioners' reference to diverse sources of theory is both a resource and protective factor which, when synthesised, is drawn upon to support the day-to-day work of sexual abuse therapy.