The Heal For Life Foundation: Who We Are

As a non-profit organisation, Heal for Life embodies charity through services that range to help people in need of healing and support from past childhood trauma.

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The main centre can be found outside of Cessnock on a beautiful property of 340 acres. The centre is just west of Newcastle, about an hour-long drive away. The Heal for Life Foundation has group programs for both children and adults, or our guests can choose to have a private healing experience.


At the Heal for Life Foundation, our staff knows how to support survivors of childhood trauma and abuse. This is due not only to the extensive training and knowledge they hold but also their own lived experiences.

Helping You Achieve Success

What Makes Heal for Life One of a Kind?

At the Heal for Life Foundation, our staff knows how to support survivors of childhood trauma and abuse. This is due not only to the extensive training and knowledge they hold but also their own lived experiences.

At each healing centre, from the United Kingdom to Australia, the centre is staffed by survivors of childhood abuse and trauma. It is comprised of survivors helping other survivors. This creates a uniquely safe place to embark on the healing journey. Survivors can truly be themselves, surrounded by those who understand and empathise with their pain.

Depression, anxiety

  • They have experienced the development of depression, anxiety, and other long-lasting impacts based on childhood trauma.

face childhood trauma

  • They have the courage to face childhood trauma and abuse issues stemming from such experiences like neglect, abandonment, and emotional/physical/spiritual abuse.

Recovery Model

  • They seek a Recovery Model for mental healing as an alternative to a Management Model, which relies primarily on medication.

discover more

  • They seek to discover more about themselves and understand that despite their feelings about traumatic experiences, they can heal.

Services Provided by the Foundation

Once a person decides to check into a centre, they have access to a range of services from the Foundation. All services are designed for recovery and healing, including:

Residential Recovery

Residential recovery programs designed for adults and youth Access to a Newcastle Trauma Centre staffed with counsellors and psychologists


Access to training specifically in Trauma Informed Practice for schools, careers, teachers, and other health service providers

Services tailored to Indigenous populations providing culturally appropriate programming and support for those from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities


Access to education, including a certificate in Advanced Therapeutic Skills

Our Model of Healing

childhood trauma

As mentioned previously, the Heal for Life Foundation is unique for many reasons. Some of those reasons stem from the model of healing designed to help in recovery and providing support to survivors of childhood trauma.

Programs for survivors, by survivors

Survivors understand survivors. We are brought together in solidarity against the various traumatic incidents they have experienced. This is why the Heal for Life Foundation is run by survivors of childhood trauma.

staff survivors

This provides the best support in helping other understand the confusion, pain, and suffering that accompanies childhood trauma and abuse. These staff survivors are carefully selected and trained in order to accompany guests on their healing journey.

Prioritising safety

The Heal for Life Foundation recognises how important it is for survivors to heal in a safe place. Healing cannot happen if we don’t feel safe. Confidentiality is a top priority and guest safety is always at the forefront of decision-making.

Who We Are

Understanding how trauma affects the brain. Research looks at how psychological and emotional abuse can be similar or sometimes worse for the brain in comparison to physical or sexual abuse. No matter the type of trauma or abuse, any singular or linked event can create a lasting impact on your life and mental health. The goal is to understand everyone is deserving of support, no matter how large or small they may think their trauma is.Community living. Heal for Life Foundation is a healthy, loving, and functioning community. Together, guests, volunteers, and facilitators all engage in spiritual reflection, meal preparation, sharing meals, and community work as part of the healing week. Understanding the role of power and authority. Abuse can create a sensitivity around other people who choose to abuse their power. To counter this, the Heal for Life Foundation treats all guests respectfully and equally. All community members are equal, and the healing journey focuses on support rather than telling, advising, or attempting to fix or control someone.


Creating responsibility within survivors to regain individual power. All guests choose to take part in the provided programs. They attend when they want to rather than when others demand it. Each individual takes responsibility for their actions, behaviour, and emotions. The intent is for guests to feel support while creating their own sense of autonomy shaped by decisions, choices, and the answers within themselves.

John Stewart

Creating a connection for healing. Research shows that as survivors, we recognise and understand that we have to express and unlock those emotions that were shut down as a response to trauma. We did what it took to survive – now we will do what it takes to heal. We look at reconnecting and re-empowering the child within in order to heal. Our focus is the expression and acknowledgement of the emotions that are tied in with the trauma.

Alex Hill

Respecting time. Typically, the Heal for Life program takes place over a week, with guests deciding what parts of the program fit into their healing journey. After, guests are encouraged to continue this journey after leaving the centre with the ability to return when they need to. Ideally, guests should look to take a three-month time gap between different healing weeks for the maximum benefit.

Rose Julia

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Learning from others

Learning from others. It is important to use all opportunities to get to know and learn from one another. Everyone at the centre, from guests to peer support volunteers to facilitators, are survivors of childhood trauma and abuse. This creates a mutual responsibility to learn from one another in order to grow through the course of the healing week.

Environment shaped

Environment shaped by unconditional acceptance. At the Heal for Life Foundation, all survivors will be heard, validated, and believed. We seek to express compassion and love for one another and share feelings every day of the program.

Healing Philosophy

Knowing and believing every person has the right and ability to find healing from childhood abuse and trauma.Developing innovating programs based on neuroscience research that are combined with therapeutic modalities.

• Believing in the power of storytelling and personal anecdotes as well as intuitive knowledge.
• The development of programs by those who are also survivors.
• Creating autonomy and control for individual healing journeys because a person knows what they need to heal.
• Create a holistic healing environment that incorporates mind, body, and spirit.
• Shaping an environment where everyone feels loved, validated, and accepted as essential components to healing.
• Believing those who have also suffered childhood trauma or abuse are the most capable and understanding when it comes to helping others.
• Creating a centre where all people, no matter religion, gender, culture, race, or sexual orientation, have the right and ability to heal.

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