Everyone has the right to heal from childhood trauma
Our residential trauma programs empower you with the knowledge and tools you need to heal and find hope and joy in your everyday life.
We understand what it takes to heal
Our programs are unique because they are run by survivors of childhood trauma for survivors of childhood trauma.
Each of the extensively-trained peer support volunteers and facilitators has experienced childhood trauma and wants to help you on your healing journey.
We truly understand the devastating impact that childhood trauma has on your life, and what it takes to heal.
Adult Healing Week - 5-day residential program
You will be supported to begin to heal, and empowered with the knowledge and tools you need to overcome the pain of childhood trauma and recover joy and hope in your life
Our highly successful residential trauma programs have been developed by combining the latest scientific research on the effects of trauma on the brain with experience and knowledge gained from over two decades of providing support to survivors. We share with you what we know and support you to begin the process of healing.
It is not important to have any prior knowledge about healing from childhood trauma in order to benefit from our program. It’s designed to be one of self-discovery and you’ll be encouraged to trust in your own wisdom and do what is right for you.
The adult healing program is run in groups with a maximum number of 12 people, however, all of our work is done independently and we do not share stories of what happened to us with the wider group.
Who can we help?
The Heal for Life residential trauma healing program is for anyone who is experiencing pain or challenges from something that happened in their childhood, and who is ready to heal.
Heal For Life welcomes you whatever your gender, sexual orientation, race, culture, spiritual beliefs or ability. We will not impose our beliefs on any guest, nor will we judge anyone who attends our programs.
All we ask is that you come with a willingness to heal and an openness of heart towards the other guests.
How our residential trauma programs work
We provide a safe environment to help you get in touch with, and heal, your inner self – the part of you that is carrying the impact of the trauma you survived.
Our main focus is teaching you valuable tools that will help you to heal from traumatic events in childhood. Once you’ve learnt and practiced using the tools during your healing week you can take them home with you to continue helping and empowering yourself.
Our approach to healing goes beyond simply ‘managing’ the symptoms of your trauma, and empowers you to heal the root cause of emotional and behavioural patterns at a neurobiological level.
The Heal For Life Adult Healing Program works because we help you understand why you feel and act the way you do, and we teach you the skills and tools to de-trigger and heal trauma memories yourself, so that you can navigate day-to-day life from an empowered place.
We support you to empower yourself to heal
Many survivors of childhood trauma or abuse experience a sense of freedom and empowerment when they discover that they intuitively know what they need to do in order to heal.
Our approach to healing recognises that you have everything you need in order to heal, and empowers you to lead your own healing process. That may be difficult to accept because our trauma has led to so much dis-empowerment, but we have found it to be absolutely true. We are the experts for our own healing.
You may also come to a deeper understanding, appreciation and love of yourself through the validation, understanding and acknowledgement of the group. This may be a very new experience for you. Participating in a loving community also helps build your self-esteem, self-respect and often provides a renewed feeling of self-worth.
“After decades of knowingly and unknowingly suffering from trauma I have finally found the path to healing.” Shirley. November 2023.
“Absolutely fabulous!! Changed my life!!” Justine. November 2023.
“I was at a point of a nervous “break down” where I was admitted to an mental health ward at my local hospital when my daughter and niece discovered “Heal For Life” online to then use as recommendation to the release review board for my release. I thank God and my Family for my continuing journey support with “Heal for Life” Thank you.” Molly. Self employed, November 2023.
“My personal experience was exactly opposite to what I expected. I am now confident and ready to take my life back and continue a beautiful journey. The educators were not only experienced but understanding and such beautiful people. Take the journey. Life is waiting for you.” Stephen. Guest, November 2023.
“Absolutely life changing. I was very scared contemplating my attendance. I had done plenty of work and study related to child sexual abuse trauma over many years before attending my healing week. The healing week gave me so much more and really helped me to make sense of all of my learning. A truly safe place facilitated by truly informed team made for the most powerful step in my healing journey to date. Bravo and Thanks!” – Sascha C. Professional consulting, October 2023.
“Heal For Life has changed my perspective of myself so that I can truly start my healing journey. I’d been seeking external validation but it needed to come from within. Thank you for helping me see my irrational outbursts are actually unresolved trauma, that really helped me feel like I wasn’t crazy or alone.” – Steph. Nurse, October 2023.
“If you have ever felt your trauma is too big or too small to share, at Heal For Life there is no too big or too small. This team know what they are doing from the start to finish. They hold a safe supportive space for people and the team really get to know you. You don’t share the details of your story + their process works, it really works. If you are reading this, do the retreat. Said with love, hope + wellness.” – Kerry. Counsellor, October 2023.
“I came to Heal For Life not knowing what to expect. I was met by Demi and Dave when I arrived. And what a warm and supportive welcome I received. I instantly felt comfortable and safe. This experience with Demi and Dave gave me an amazing opportunity to feel seen, heard and understood in a way that I have not felt in a long time. I am forever grateful for the support and patience offered, and the immense learnings I will be taking away with me. I have no doubt this precious time and opportunity will kick start a healing journey that I have been longing for all of my life. Thank you Demi and Dave, with all my heart.” – Corinne. Client service manager. October 2023.
“Heal For Life not only facilitated my healing journey, but also saved my life and my family” – Ky, Student, September, 2023
“If you’ve got as far as reading these comments, you should come. These people know their stuff. First healing week was life-changing, and mind-blowing. Second healining week 13 years later helped to solidify what I’d learned in week 1. They will explain the hows and whys and give you the support and tools you need. Do yourself a favour, as the man in the hat says” Sian, Disability Support Worker, September, 2023.
“I arrived at Heal For Life a scared little child, who didn’t know who I was, how to deal with my emotions, and feeling like the world was too much for me. Now that I have gone through the process, I am proud to say I know who I am and am so proud of the healing that has taken place. I have regained myself. Wooohooo” Bec S, Tattooist, August, 2023.
“Awesome program! Thanks for all the help. You are all awesome” Julie M, Artist/Waitress/Author/Mummy, August, 2023.
“Life-changing! Words cannot express my experience. Just beyond grateful” Jamie-Lee T, August, 2023.
“This week has been life-changing, and the team has been amazing, and the bonds that have been made” – Mathew P, Electrician, August, 2023.
“Heal For Life Foundation is the place I’ve been looking for, for most of my life. As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, I had been carrying that around for years. Heal For Life Foundation has helped me to help myself. It has given me the tools to help myself heal and have better relationships with my children. If you have had any sort of childhood trauma, Heal For Life Foundation can give you the tools to heal yourself. Don’t wait, the rest of your life is waiting” – Lynette, Mother, August, 2023.
“Heal For Life is an incredible journey of healing. It has been expertly crafted using powerful and profound psychological concepts. It is run by an expert team who walk with you on your own journey of healing, that at times can be painful. However, for those who embrace the journey, it’s life transforming. This was my experience, and I am forever grateful for the healing and transformation I experienced. I would recommend the program to all who would like to face their own pain so they can experience their own healing and transformation” Blair C, July, 2023.
“I cried for the first time in 30 years. I felt pain, joy, sadness, grief, happiness, and I laughed. I met new people who had similar stories. I made new friends who understood. I celebrated the changes I made, and the challenges I faced. I discovered living was so much better than existing. If you feel the slightest calling to do this, then do it, it will be life changing” TJ M, Director/Founder at a not-for-profit company, July, 2023.
“A peaceful, fulfilling week of self-discovery, and above all, healing. Learning to heal from my trauma was the most astonishing thing, under the kindness and guidance of the carers; all of whom have healed from trauma themselves, and understand us/me. No judgement, just compassion, techniques I can use for myself, at home. Love and happiness blossom here. I want every trauma sufferer to know about Heal For Life” Ghillian S, Retired Opera Singer, July 2023.
“My Heal For Life week was the best experience of my life. It helped me so much with my healing. I recommend it to anyone who is struggling with life problems. The facilliators were so caring, kind, and empathetic. I will definitely be back again to do many workshops” – Karen S, August, 2023.
“My private retreat with Heal For Life feels life changing. I have come away a relationship with myself, full of love and compassion. It’s the first time in over 30 years that I truly feel understood. Forever grateful for the Heal For Life team, and my experience with them.: Adam T, June, 2023.
“Wow, Life changing. Truly awesome. Yes, you have to work on emotions, fears, face things, but it is such a safe environment & the team are amazing kind caring support. The team are also survivors, real people, going through & been through the same. Best thing I have ever done, for me. You don’t get a book and read about it, you actually do it. So good. I just cant say it enough. If your thinking about it – Do it!” – Toni-Lee, May 2023.
” I am so very grateful to Liz & Rodd for their generosity in providing this place and program for trauma survivors like myself. ‘The program heal for life’ totally lives up to its name. I have learnt, experienced and modelled on how to deal with my triggers, to process them in a way that re-empowers my inner child and to reparent him in a nurturing and healthy, protective way. The week is also run in such a trauma-sensitive and trauma-informed way. I came to this place freely in much despair and filled with hopelessness, but I leave this place with much more confidence and hope to face the future.” – Yip, May 2023.
“Heal for Life changed my life. First time in almost 50yrs I felt total support, gentleness care and love. Never forced to participate in anything I felt uncomfortable with, gentle invited and supported and join when ready. I have attended two Adult Healing Weeks and will continue to do more. I feel part off and find so much peace, understanding and progression in my healing. Heal for life is part of me and I will continue my journey in loving supportive hands.” – Susan M, May 2023.
“I was encouraged to come for a long time while I was still living with my parents that caused so much stress. It helped me through emotions that I thought would be too much. I have regained my inner warmth that I loss due to trauma and life moving to fast. I feel so much better to go back to UNI to finish my degree and become a teacher. Thank you all for your help it has made such a difference.” – Drew, May 2023.
” Apart from feeling very, very welcome on arrival. (I mean genuinely welcome), within twenty-four hours I felt I had known these people for a much longer time. I was sceptical of the existence of an inner child. Now I am connected to him. I feel complete and very grateful. My positivity has grown enormously. Thank you.” – Stone, May 2023.
“This week has been an overall life changing experience. The instant change in myself that I felt from just entering the property was beautiful. Heal For Life is the first place that has felt like I belong in this world. I thank this beautiful land for letting me feel a sense of belonging”. – Shanae, April 2023.
“After doing a lot of different types of healing, therapy and counselling over the last 25 years I can definitely tell you that the heal for life model of healing and resolving trauma is one of the, if not the best, I’ve found until now. I highly recommend you find the time to give yourself the gift of healing and working with your inner child”. – Mike W, April 2023.
“Heal For Life provided me with a safe place to release and understand my trauma in a way I hadn’t been able to in the past. I was able to find lost parts of myself, and connect with people in a way I previously hadn’t found possible”. – Sandra, April 2023.
“For a long time I was lost within the world and deeply lost inside. To be nurtured by the sacredness of this land and people during my healing week was powerful and allowed me to unlock and understand a lot of pain but also so much joy. I was supported in every sense through my week to find myself again – truly, authentically and unapologetically. I have never felt a healing power in the way I did here and I am now forever changed – Journeying through survival, self-discovery and healing”. – Lana, April 2023.
“I didn’t want to go through with it once I registered because my anxiety was getting the best of me. I honestly was sceptical about this when I signed up and didn’t know if it was going to work. When I arrived, the team were so welcoming from the get-go. The retreat itself was amazing. It absolutely has done wonders for me. The tools we learnt for when we go back outside are unreal and I am so thankful for them to help me through” – Olivia, March 2023.
“*Life changing***. After years of alternative therapies only helping in a slight way, I found 5 days with Heal For Life the only healing modality that offered me hope for healing. I feel empowered now to claim back my life and future”. Louie Kiss. March 2023.
“It helped immensely. The loving safe environment was everything. The team are so supportive and help everyone in whatever way possible. I highly recommend to anyone struggling with trauma”. Jack, March 2023
“Being a cynical person I doubted what benefit I would get. Anxiety nearly stopped me from attending but in my heart I could not put it off any longer to address what I was holding me back. So grateful I attended”. – Mark, March 2023
“What a difference it made for me to be validated and understood as a survivor by survivors. I’ve learnt monumental life changing knowledge in understanding how traumas have impacted my life. I’ve also learnt that the way I respond to triggers is something I cannot control. I’ve loved every minute of the week and equally cannot wait to highly recommend HFL, Bernie and Shell.” Melanie, March 2023
“The healing week has been one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I will never tire of talking about how much this week has had such a positive impact on me. I am, not someone who usually does something like this, but I am so grateful for it. It really has been a life changing experience for the better.” Nick March 2023
“I can’t thank Liz Mullinar and the team at Heal For Life enough. The week spent here has been incredible, I have learnt so much about trauma and how to cope in my adult life. I recommend it to anyone who has suffered from childhood trauma.” Brenda, March 2023
“Everyone’s journey is different and Heal For Life understands this, and uses it as a strength. The diversity of experience and the individual sharing of survivors creates a powerful space for healing, in which I felt held, acknowledged, and accepted. I felt a gradual, but profound shift in how I saw myself, owned my story, and my capacity to create new possibilities or a future of my own design.” Tom, Feb 2023
“Awesome Healing Week. A place where it’s safe to be vulnerable. Awesome support, and a safe space to really go deep within. Healing lake swimming. Feels like Family at the end of the week, the Family I dreamed of. Such a gift and precious souls who all blessed me with their presence and vulnerability and their authentic self. Loved.” Kerrie, Feb 2023
“This healing week was extraordinary. We were taken through a number of safe and contained processes, which allowed deep healing to occur for all participants. The land, wildlife, and surroundings are also deeply healing. I highly recommend this experience to anyone who is ready to take this important step on his or her healing journey” Andrea, Feb 2023
“I just had one of the most transformative experiences of my life. With the support of the group and the team here, I was allowed to be safe enough to get right in and find the right balance of nurturing my inner child, as well as self-parenting and adulting in a healthy way. I am confident that I will be able to move forward with my life in an authentic way, in peace and balance” Adam A, Feb 2023
“I absolutely loved this experience. I am so grateful for Heal For Life. I just healed so many deep wounds that I never thought I would overcome. Thank you to the amazing facilitators for their love, strength, and patience. This place is special. This place is magic. This place is the definition of Healing. Thank you Awakbakal , Darkinjung and Wonnaruah Nations for the healing this land gave me” Bianca M, Feb 2023
“The program was very well structured. The information was highly relevant and delivered in a way which made it easy to digest. The atmosphere was incredibly welcoming and I could not speak highly enough about the wonderful support staff. They did everything in their power to make all of us feel loved and safe” Survivor, Dec 2022
“I have participated in numerous healing-type workshops and programs previously, all of which I had benefitted from, to some degree. Some of these programs were relatively expensive, painful and complicated. What I found during the Healing Week at HFL was a safe environment. A simple program that addressed core issues, and solutions, and a transformational process that was accessible to me and simple to apply. I have been surprisingly and profoundly effected by my week here” Russ, Dec 2022
“I worked so hard in every way I knew how to relieve myself of the pain my trauma was causing me, until I came to Heal For Life, and realised I didn’t need to work more, or be more, I actually needed to feel more. This program taught me the difference between thinking & feeling, and then allowed me to truly feel in a supported environment. I will never see myself or my trauma the same. I am changed for the better. Thank you!” Sierra, Dec 2022
“Fantastic, amazing week at Heal For Life, truly life-changing. I felt so held and supported throughout the week. I would highly recommend this to anyone who suffers from Trauma” Sheila, Dec 2022
“I would highly recommend the Adult Healing Week to anyone considering participating in a Program such as this. The Program has certainly been very beneficial to me and has been a wonderful experience in my healing journey. I feel very confident in the new tools and skills I have learned during the Healing Week. The environment and team members are very comforting and safe. Thank you Heal For Life for giving me such hope.” Michelle C, Nov 2022
“The Facilitator and support people have an extremely challenging job as well as a very important one. I felt that they did it with such ease, intelligence, calm, kindness and compassion. It meant the world to me, I was actually blown away by their unconditional support, something lacking in my life. The highlight for me was the way each person placed their focus on me, only me, when I needed it to move through various stages. I felt enormous amounts of love.” Fiona Z, Nov 2022
“Before coming to Heal For Life I was flat, deflated and struggling to help myself or even find the motivation to help myself. After 5 days at HFL I am hopeful, excited and eager to step back into the real world and put my new found skills and confidence to the test with the pressures of day to day life.” Amber P, Nov 2022
“Heal For Life will open your heart to see the possibilities and truths about yourself so that you can find healing for your adult self and your inner child. Take the time and investment in YOU! You deserve it!” Jo S. Nov 2022
“Heal For Life is a one of a kind healing and education week that once committed to will leave you changed for the better. The environment, volunteer team and generosity of your fellow participants and those who have come before, create a loving community atmosphere, in it’s best and most community minded way. Whilst a week’s commitment is a big investment in time and energy, it is my experience that you will not leave disappointed you had been.” Guy B teacher, Oct 2022
” I found this week to be the first time I have hope to improve my life and grow from past experiences. There were so many things I verbally couldn’t say that was of my subconscious that when spoken surprised me. The method works and I feel lighter and thankful, as well as strong and proud to be able to do this week.” Karra S, Oct 2022
“My healing week has empowered me with tools that have proven to be the missing pieces of the puzzle on my long journey towards becoming a healing survivor rather than a survivor alone. I have tried so many different ways to get healing and whilst the have helped me in some ways, the Heal For Life way has been the missing step that allowed all the others to fall into place.” Lisa S, Teacher, Oct 2022
“Coming on the Healing Week was a massive eye opener and I wasn’t aware I could of had so many keys to my healing journey to give me resources it was longing for, for so long. It was an amazing experience with the magical group to have been blessed to have been with me on my short week stay. They have the most amazing team members and healing grounds that the healing and training is held on.” Tahisha D, Oct 22
“Come! Coming to Heal For Life has changed my life. I have learnt so much about myself and I have changed so much. I am going home feeling so proud and successful with my head held high like a giraffe. I can’t thank the team enough for the support and amazing hugs. My heart is now full again” Joanne W July 2021
“Amazing experience where I healed childhood trauma, connected with others and was my authentic self. Highly recommend if you are seeking deep healing in a beautiful supportive environment” Kalia July 2021
“The Adult Healing week changed my life. I am so grateful for all the love and support and the invaluable tools to move forward in life. For the first time in my life I feel full of hope, vitality, joy and love. Thank you thank you thank you.” Mckenzie S May 2021
“This week has been an amazing experience building a family of support & friendship, trust, honesty and love. The feelings of fitting in and realising that you are amazing person just to be you. The team are so warm and comforting, just when you need that friendly ear and welcoming smile, you always appear, so adoring and beautiful with lots of love in your hearts.” Nicole H May 2021
“My Heal For Life week was one of the best therapies I have ever had. I did not truly understand how my stuff affected me. The deep understanding I got from the fact and research based workshops was the best. The team truly knew how to present trauma informed therapy, being survivors themselves, I’ve never felt so comfortable with a group of people. This has changed my outlook on life and I know I can and am allowed to love myself.” Alexandra M May 2021
“The Healing Week has been a life changing experience. It has allowed me to connect with the hurt child inside of me and commence my healing journey. It has provided me with the tips and tools to undertake my healing journey and has helped me to see that my pain and trauma are real and I do not need to feel ashamed anymore. I have also met and connected with an amazing group of people who will be life long friends.” Nat I April 2021
“This week has been what I’ve needed for years. It has enabled me to voice my trauma and release years of self destroying guilt and anger. I knew I was angry for what had been taken from me as a child but I didn’t know how to release this. It’s been as close to a miracle week as I could find. I am now going to let myself nurture my inner child and value my own body, things I just didn’t know how to do. The property is perfect, the sense of healing energy and safety is exactly what I needed.” Rachel April 2021
“Heal For Life has changed my life. To be able to come to a place to be around other people that are going through similar things to me and learn workshops as to why my brain is dealing with it’s trauma like it is and ways I can cope and change my life is totally amazing. Thank you so much Heal For Life.” Danielle F April 2021
“Firstly I would like to say thank you so much Jenny, Ali, Demi and Graham, for taking great care with us all this week, the program was fantastic. This week has helped me learn so much about myself and finally connecting with my inner child. This journey at this beautiful property has been so healing for me this week, and will always hold a special place in my heart along with the wonderful new friends I have made. Thank you so much, xxoo.” Troy G March 2021
“This was truly a life changing experience for me. I now feel equipped with the tools I need to move forward on the next part of my healing journey. Thank you to Liz and all of the amazing support staff at Heal for Life. Your kindness, compassion, understanding and knowledge will forever be held close to my heart.” Jules G Feb 2021
“I found the HFL Healing Week to be very helpful for my situation. Very informative and supportive. There is follow up if want it. The Facilitator and team are very professional and I would recommend HFL to anyone. Thank you HFL for all your caring help.” Tony M Feb 2021
“Heal For Life has helped me to change many things about myself so I can be a better partner and parent. Thank you to HFL for helping me to find myself again” Anna S Feb 2021
” I would highly recommend HFL. I feel so much more confident and stronger. I’m so thankful to the team that had the strength to help me continue my path” Brooke A 2020
” The HFL Program is an extraordinary next level of healing process. Now I am really empowered to look after me, soothe myself and am learning better coping strategies for boundary setting and true self care.” R Smith Feb 2021
Healing takes everything you've got, but you've got everything it takes to heal
Upcoming residential trauma program dates
The Adult Healing Program is run monthly in the Hunter Valley, NSW.
Each healing week will begin on a Sunday afternoon at 4pm and end on Friday at 3pm 2023 Dates
29th October- 3rd November
Where is the program located?
Healing can only take place in an environment that is both physically and emotionally safe.
Our residential healing programs are located on a private property in the Hunter Valley, NSW, Australia.
Being residential means you will have the time and space to allow yourself to be vulnerable to process your emotions and trauma.
Blessed by aboriginal elders and gifted in perpetuity, our property Mayumarri was chosen to ensure a safe space for survivors.
Adult Healing Centre
Info and logistics
All participants are responsible for the costs of travel to and from Heal for Life and need to bring food for meals during the week. This is an important aspect of the program as it is about communing, contributing and compromising with the group.
When you register for one of our residential trauma programs we will provide you with a confirmation email providing more information on what to bring, and a map with directions to the venue.
The food will be prepared and cooked by those in the group who volunteer to do that. If you do not want to cook you may volunteer for other activities like washing up after meals.
The following fee covers the program and 5 nights of shared accommodation in the Hunter Valley, NSW.
We wish to keep our program as affordable as possible for all guests, we trust you will opt to pay the fee that best meets your financial situation.
The cost of the program is $1500 including accommodation. When we receive your application, we will confirm your registration by calling you to process your payment via credit card over the phone.
We are committed to making this program accessible for all those who need healing, when they need it.
A range of options can be discussed to help those we cannot afford the program or who are undergoing financial hardship. Payment plans and concession rates are available. Paid subsidies may apply to you.
Please continue to apply for the program and we will discuss your circumstances privately over the phone.
FAQs about the Adult Healing Program
Our facilitators have tertiary level qualifications in counselling or psychology and are also survivors of childhood trauma. They have completed additional 2 years of training with HFL to be a Facilitator on Healing Weeks.
We are a non-profit organisation, and registered charity. Our mission is to ensure our programs are accessible so everyone who needs healing can afford the program.
Our entire organisation is independently audited and accredited by the Quality Improvement Council.
Heal For Life Foundation offers you the opportunity to find community, and to build friendships with other survivors. Living in community means you will be sharing a room with a maximum of 2 others and bathroom facilities with up to 5 other people in your cabin; preparing, eating and clearing away main meals together. You will work together around the property each day for 1.5 hours , and support each other to create a safe place for all members of the group. How much you choose to share with other guests is up to you, however, please know the focus of the week is not to ‘swap stories’ but to spend time focusing within, feeling your feelings and healing in your own way. Your private journey will be totally unique. There is free time in the afternoons and evenings.
Please know it is very normal to feel frightened, excited, unsure, or indecisive before your visit. We suggest you be loving and gentle with yourself in the days leading up to your visit. Acknowledge that you are immensely brave and courageous in deciding to come and it is natural to feel anxious. The fact that you have made the decision to come means you are ready to undertake this part of your healing journey.
We advise checking the weather for the time you are here to help plan the clothing you will need to bring. It can get cold during autumn so bringing warmer clothes are recommended (jumper, jacket or cardigan and long pants). Unfortunately we do not having washing facilities so please bring enough clothes for your time away. If driving you may also like to bring a favourite blanket or doona for the cooler months. There are blankets supplied but guests who feel the cold often prefer to bring their own.
On the registration form we suggest you note down what your intentions are for the week and set some simple goals for yourself. Also, please think ahead about support for yourself AFTER the Healing Week. It is very helpful to plan some time-off for a few days following your healing week. It is nurturing if you can spend some quiet time absorbing the events of the week. Arranging a baby-sitter for an extra day or two, or making sure you don’t have to go back to work straight away can be very therapeutic!
Everyone is different but you may find you feel happier and lighter than usual. You may also feel tired and emotional after a healing week. That’s because emotional healing can be exhausting work. It is very important to be gentle with yourself. We strongly recommend you take a minimum of a 2 day break from work and social commitments following your Healing Week, so that you can receive the maximum benefit from the program. We also encourage you to wait some time after your Healing Week before making any important life-changing decisions unless absolutely necessary. It may feel a little strange to go back to family and friends. You may have changed and it’s important to appreciate that they may need time to get used to the “new you”.
Our residential trauma programs each begin on a Sunday afternoon at 4pm and end on Friday at 3pm.
Everyone who facilitates or volunteers on a Heal For Life program has lived through and healed from trauma themselves, so we understand what it takes to heal – and we’re living proof that it’s possible. Survivors empowering survivors is called “peer support” and it’s universally recognised as an essential part of trauma recovery.
Yes. Our Peer support Volunteers are extensively trained and professionally supervised. Our Peer Support Volunteers undergo an adult healing program, a week long residential training program, and 45 hours of observational learning in order to provide support to our guests. They also complete an internal 12 month certification during their first year as a Peer Support Volunteer. All of our programs are supervised by our Registered Psychologists. Our programs and processes are audited regularly to ensure we meet governing standards in our sector.
We are NOT a medical or mental health facility and cannot be responsible for administering medication or other medical care. In the case of an emergency, our team are trained in first aid and if necessary an ambulance can be called. If you have had recent trauma, an injury, have just been in hospital, have an unstable medical condition or have medical/dental surgery due, please postpone your Healing Week until you have fully recovered.
If you are taking medication please do not bring all of it. Just bring enough for your travel to and from Heal for Life and what you need during the week (eg. Epipen, paracetamol, antibiotics, prescription medications, asthma puffers, cough/cold tablets or allergy tablets). PLEASE DO NOT come off prescription medication without medical supervision before coming here or during your stay. If you are suffering severe side-effects from medication and/or you are finding it difficult to ‘feel’ anything, it may be better to postpone your visit until your dosage is at a level where you can feel your emotions. Any questions about your medication should be discussed with your doctor.
It’s helpful to let family and friends know they will not be able to phone you during the week unless there is an emergency. If someone calls to ask if you are here we will not confirm your attendance to anyone other than your nominated emergency contact person. In the case of an emergency people can call our office on 02 4998 6003 and leave a message which we will pass on to you.
If you would like it, the facilitator will phone you two weeks after your healing week. Follow up support is offered by your own counsellor or we can suggest counsellors who have been to Heal For Life or have been recommended by other guests. We can also recommend a psychologist who uses Zoom to call her clients. We strongly recommend you organise support for the week after your healing week. Make an advance booking to see a counsellor/psychologist/mental health worker, attend a support group or catch up with a supportive friend If you already have a counsellor or psychologist we recommend you let them know you are attending a healing week. We are happy to provide your counsellor and/or GP with information about our Heal For Life model.
If you don’t have a counsellor, and would like one, the facilitator will help you to identify professional support in your area before you leave us.
We have a Trauma Centre in Broadmeadow Newcastle with psychologists and counsellors, who are trained in our model and have worked on our Healing Weeks. Available for sessions face to face, Zoom or phone, please visit www.newcastletraumacentre.com.au for more info.
As a Heal For Life Community member you will receive a monthly email update, we also have a very active Facebook page for peer support and encouragement. Part of joining the community is giving back to help others in whatever way you are able to.
You may return to repeat the program as many times as you need to. However, we ask that you give yourself about 3 months between visits to allow yourself time to adjust to the changesZoom
Heal for Life has empowered over 8,500 people to heal
Over 96% of Heal for Life program attendees have rated the experience as either “life-changing” or “very positive” and independent evaluation has found that the program is responsible for long-term improvements in mental health, emotional functioning and improved pain and vitality scores.