This research explored what people with a history of childhood physical/sexual abuse perceived to have helped or hindered the formation of a therapeutic alliance in counselling. Using the methodology of the enhanced critical incident technique, 10 participants were interviewed about what helped or hindered their building a strong working alliance, as well as what factors they wish had been present. From these interviews, 17 categories were generated. The seven helping categories were: (a) Counsellor’s skills or approach was effective, (b) Facilitated communication, (c) Counsellor was personable, (d) Counsellor was a woman, (e) Personal characteristics of the counsellor, (f) Trust/Non-judgement and (g) Accessibility. The seven hindering categories were (a) Not offering solutions or follow-up, (b) Unsuitable or incompatible interpersonal style, (c) Therapeutic approach or skills were not a fit, (d) Did not facilitate communication, (e) Lack of understanding, (f) Disrespect, and (g) Having to change counsellors. The three wish list item categories were (a) Facilitate communication more, (b) Incorporate wellness factors, and (c) More accessible. These categories are discussed in relation to the literature on both the working alliance and childhood abuse. Recommendations for counselling professionals are offered based on the findings and the scholarly literature.