Heal For Life prides itself on its professionalism and wants to connect with like minded health professionals who understand the value of healing from childhood trauma. We are happy to
- answer questions and provide you with the information you need to feel confident your clients are in safe hands
- work closely with you so your client can gain maximum benefit from a healing week
- provide you with full details of your clients experiences during the week (subject to your clients consent)
Health Advisory Panel
Our health Advisory Panel supports us and ensures our program meets the highest standards. The members are Christabel Chamarette and Dr Andrew Walker.
Christabel Chamarette M.Psych is a registered Clinical Psychologist with 40 years’ experience in the treatment of violence and sexual problems and adult victims of child sexual abuse. She was Clinical Director of SafeCare from 1997 – 2008, an expert consultant to the Ministry of Justice and member of the WA Parole Board from 2002 – 2006. She is currently in private practice which involves individual and group therapy, supervision and teaching. Christabel is also a single expert witness appointed by the Family Court of Western Australia, Supervisor/Consultant to Acacia Prison, Consultant to Department of Corrective Services, Department of Child Protection and a member of the WA Board of Professional Standards of the Anglican Church.
Dr. Andrew Walker BDS (Bristol) BMedSc MB,BS (U.Tas) M. Psychotherapy (UNSW) M. Criminology (HONS.11,U.Syd) LDSRCS (Eng) FRACDS FACLM MRCPsych FRANZCP FAChAM.
All of our Heal for Life support staff receive professional supervision.
About Heal for Life
The Heal For Life Foundation was established to assist survivors of childhood trauma. The Heal For Life program is based on the latest neuro-scientific research as well as ongoing feedback and information from our highly valued guests. It is further enhanced by what we learn ourselves as we continue on our own individual healing journeys. At Heal For Life Foundation we believe every survivor has the innate ability to find healing.
Heal For Life Program
We provide a thoroughly researched and innovative program which is held as a 5 or 12 day residential program (16-25 year olds only). The residential program provides a supportive environment to help clients feel safe. It is open to all members of the public regardless of gender, race, sexual preference, religion or ability.
Our Healing programs are led by a Facilitator – a highly trained professional who has completed our student modules and participated in Healing Weeks both as a participant and a peer support volunteer. Peer support volunteers assist the Facilitator and are also thoroughly trained. The Heal For Life Foundation Team works within the non-hierarchical, peer support framework of our Trauma Informed Principles.
The Heal For Life Foundation is run by survivors, for survivors. All of our team are survivors of childhood trauma. This is highly effective for two reasons. Firstly, it adds a peer support element which not only enables guests to see healing is possible but also allows our staff and volunteers to make some good out of their own childhood pain – assisting other people to heal.
Our Healing Weeks are steeped in the history of trauma therapy from international research. It is recognised healing can only take place in an environment which is both physically and emotionally safe. We find offering a residential program in a secluded environment is an important element which provides a feeling of safety for our guests. Being residential means the guest has the time and space to allow themselves to be vulnerable as they process complex trauma memories.
We emphasise the many ways in which trauma can impact development, behaviour and life patterns. Workshops include basic principles of attachment theory, trauma based presentation of the transactional analysis model and connecting with the inner child using guided meditations and/or art. We identify coping strategies that have been used by guests in the past and teach how to de trigger, ground and process more complex traumas to reduce the impact of flash backs, depression and self harm.
The spirit is catered for as we welcome people from all religions. Heal For Life Foundation itself is founded upon the loving teachings of Jesus Christ. However, we have no interest in imposing our beliefs on our guests and respect everyone’s personal preferences. We begin and end each day with reflections, to focus on our spiritual needs and in recognition that spiritual growth is an essential part of our healing
Each day guests participate in Labour of Love. This entails working on the property for a set period each day, performing tasks such as gardening, cleaning, cooking, office work and so on. This is vital because it teaches guests that regardless of how they feel they can still contribute to the community and perform an important role in a team environment.
On our Healing Weeks, we also introduce guests to the concept of the Inner Child. We believe the Inner Child – the guest’s ‘gut instinct’ or the part inside them that was damaged at the point of trauma – holds the key to recovery from childhood trauma. The rationale behind this is: when a child is abused or experiences trauma, the right brain holds the memory and pain of that trauma. This is the part that requires assistance. We help guests to heal their Inner Child by expressing the emotions they suppressed at the time of the abuse or trauma through art, be it painting, drawing, colouring in, modelling with clay or any other activity they prefer.
The Heal For Life program works because it gives guests what they need in a peer support environment. By helping to get to the root of their trauma, we assist them to recognise what they feel and why. By providing knowledge about trauma, we help them to understand why they feel and act the way they do. In teaching the skills, we enable them to de-trigger themselves and feel more in control of their day-to-day living. They are given honour and respect and are shown they are capable and in control of healing themselves from the devastating effects of childhood trauma.
We do not develop a therapeutic relationship with them nor do we offer ongoing support, that is for you the health professional to provide; we work with you to help your client. We assist them to feel safe to release trauma (which can be hard to do in a traditional one hour session) so you can assist them to change their behaviors.