What is required of me? We ask that all our guests agree to some key safety principles so we can keep ourselves and one another safe. Apart from that, the only requirement is that you want to come, want to heal and that you agree to take part in all the activities and workshops.

Do I have to share a room? Usually yes. You will be spending the week at Hennessy House. There is a main lounge/kitchen/dining room in the middle and down one end of the house the team will sleep and at the other end of the house the guests will be sleeping. Depending on the number of guests on your week, you may share a room with one other guest or have the room to yourself. 2 Peer Support Volunteers will sleep in a room at the guests end to be there if you need anything throughout the night.

Will there be people around all the time?
Yes, however if you want time on your own , that is Ok too. Our program recognises that we need safety and community to heal, we cannot heal in isolation. There will be times when the guests and team will participate in workshops and free time as well.

What if I get scared?
We recognise that it is completely normal to feel scared when coming to a new place away from home, it can be scary to address the feelings or bad stuff that happened too. Our support team felt the same when they first came as guests, they are there to support you and remember there are probably 5-6 other young people there feeling the same.

Where will I be going? Our healing centre is situated on 340 acres of bushland, 50 acres is exclusively for the youth programs. We are 20 minutes out of Cessnock in the Hunter Valley, at the foot of the Watagans Mountain Range.

What is there? You will be staying at Hennessy House with other young people and the team. We have swings, a trampoline, sandpit, anger pit, boxing bag, The “Barn” (a space for workshops and creativity) paddocks with horses and access to a dam with kayaks.

What am I here for? If you choose to come to our program it is because you are ready to look at your emotions, heal, to find better ways of coping and learn new strategies.

What are the workshops about? Depending on the individuals on the week, there are workshops on Safety, Safe Places and Feelings, Boundaries, Visualisations (to help you connect to yourself), Processing Emotions, Information on how trauma effects the brain, Attachment theory, Transactional Analysis, Coping Mechanisms, Strengths and Affirmations.

What is involved in a day in the program?

Reflections – Is a time where we allow space to connect to ourselves through a team member sharing music and reading.
Labor of Love – Is a time to give back to the property and the house you will be staying in.
Workshop 1 – Emotion/Connection
Recreation time – time to play/have fun
Workshop 2 – Information
Recreation time
Workshop 3 – Creative
Journalling/Recreation time – we recognise writing can be very cathartic and healing so we have half an hour set aside for the day where you can write or draw about your day!
Sharing – A time everyone comes together to share their feelings
One on One – Half an hour for you to have a chat and touch base with one of the team about your day
Evening activity – light, fun, relaxing, to help you wind down for bed.

How long do workshops go for? Around an hour.

What do I need to bring? Bring five days worth of play or comfy clothes, any food that you particularly love, anything that makes you feel safe, a teddy or journal, swimmers and towel and your own bed linen.

Are there animals there? There are 8 horses in the next paddock and 2 at a nearby paddock, we have lots of natural wildlife such as kangaroos, different types of birds, the odd wombat and some deer.

Can I bring my phone, ipad or laptop? While we recognise how devices can help us to feel safe, they can also be a big distraction, we encourage you to take this time just for you and leave devices at home.

What are the activities in Recreation time? It really depends on what you want to do! We have swings, a sandpit, trampoline, there are lovely walking paths, a dam for swimming, we have ball games and cricket gear, a ping-pong table, cards and inside playing games, and a barn full of stuff you can use to create paintings/drawings etc.

If you have any other questions you can contact our office during business hours on 02 4998 6003.