Q: Where is Hennessy House/Phillip House?
A: Our centres are located at Quorrobolong in NSW. We are just outside of Cessnock. On a 160 hectare property which is peaceful, quite, remote and away from any other houses.
Q: How much does a program cost?
A: There are different payment options to suit your financial needs.
If you are on CentreLink or don’t have a job you can still afford to come. We will never refuse someone the opportunity to attend because of money issues. Please talk to us.
Q: Can I bring a camera?
A: Yes, however we discuss when and where they can be used when you arrive. Any photos taken cannot be displayed on any internet website, eg. facebook, due to confidentiality issues.
Q: Am I allowed to use my mobile phone?
A: No, we will ask you to hand in your mobile phone when you arrive. We will store it in a locked cupboard until the second weekend when you can have it back for an hour to make any calls you want to.
Q: Can I bring my pet?
A: No, unfortunately you cannot bring any of your pets. We do not have the resources to care for your animals and they may be distracting for you to have them here.
Q: What if I don’t fit in?
A: You are not alone thinking that others are not going to like you. This is such a common concern for our guests. You are all on the same page. You will find you have a lot in common and usually everyone makes friends.
Q: I’m scared to attend a healing program. Is this normal?
A: Everyone usually feels scared, nervous and/or worried about coming to Hennessy House. This is normal. You are taking a big step and it is scary.
Q: What do I bring?
A: Toiletries, towel, sheets, doona cover, pillow case and anything you need to feel comfortable (for example, your own pillow; journal; teddy bear; photos)
Q: Is it group therapy?
A: No, we actually ask you not to share the details of your abuse/trauma with other guests; the carers are here to listen to that sort of stuff if you need to talk about it.
Q: Can my partner/family/friends contact me while I’m on the program?
A: They can call Hennessy House/Phillip House at anytime they wish but they will not be able to speak to you directly until the second weekend.
Q: Can I receive or send mail?
A: You can send mail out but we ask you to bring your own envelopes and stamps to use. If you receive mail we will give it to you on the second weekend of the program.
Q: Do I have to share a bedroom?
A: Each guest shares a room with one other guest. All rooms are furnished with a desk, wardrobe and individual beds.
Q: What happens if I take medication?
A: You will be responsible for your medication for the 3 weeks. Please make sure you bring enough to last you the whole 3 weeks. You will need to bring your own pain relief medication eg, panadol and neurofen with you as we cannot supply you with any kind of medication while you are here.
When you arrive you will be given a locked box to store it in for safety.
It is really important that you do not stop taking any prescribed medication while you are here.
Q: Can I do my laundry while I’m there?
A: Yes. During weekends there are plenty of opportunities to do any washing that needs doing.
Q: Will I need to cook my own food?
A: We use a roster system where all guests will have a chance to cook a meal for the group. No guest will ever have to cook alone. Don’t worry if you don’t know how to cook or have never cooked – someone will help you out.
Q: But I hate cooking.
A: The way our meal system works is that if you really dislike cooking, you may put your name down for clean-up. If you dislike clean-up, you can choose to only put your name down for cooking. Or you can choose a mixture of the two.
Q: Do we get to leave the property during the two weeks?
A: Only on the second weekend where there will usually be an outing (depending on the amount of transport available)
Q: I’ve been in psychiatric hospitals in the past and they always control everything I own and do. Is Hennessy House/Phillip House anything like this?
A: Most definitely not! We encourage guests to take control over their own lives in everything they do. This includes everything from your medications, when you go to bed and even the healing process which involves us giving you the tools and being there to walk beside you on your healing journey, but it is ultimately your responsibility.
Q: Will my bags be checked on arrival?
A: No, but If during the program we suspect that a guest has brought something with them that is against the entry agreements or has been suspected of stealing we do reserve the right to search belongings.
Q: I have never/don’t want to tell my story of abuse. Will I have to?
A: No. you will never have to do anything you don’t want to. It has been proven that it is not so much the telling of your story that heals you as it releasing you feelings around the abuse. You will never be made to say anything you don’t want to say. If you do need to tell your story though a carer will listen.
Q: My abuse wasn’t that bad. Do I still deserve to come?
A: All types of abuse, no matter to what extent or how often it happened, IS ABUSE! Abuse effects people in different ways and to different extents. If it is having an effect on your life then you deserve to give yourself the chance to heal and have the life you deserved to have.
Q: What If people find out I’m there/have been there?
A: We are very strict with confidentiality. While on the program the office will never reveal that you are there unless it is your chosen contact person. This confidentiality continues to exist after the program. It is your choice if and who you tell that you’ve been here.
Q: Why do you think you will be able to help me when no one else has been able to?
A: Everyone who works here is a survivor of child abuse/trauma. We have all been through Heal For Life’s programs. The program has been designed specifically for the needs of survivors. We believe that you have control of your own healing. We can’t promise to “fix” you, your healing is in your own hands. We are here to listen, support and guide you in the right direction.
Q: What does the program involve; what activities?
A: We run three workshops a day which include information on the effects of trauma on the brain and the nervous system and how trauma has affected the relationship we have with ourselves and others; identifying and understanding coping mechanisms and tapping into your own creative abilities. We show you the process of de-triggering and dealing with trauma so you can continue your journey when you go home and we try to have some fun.
A: iPods are allowed in your free time for music only, however if we feel you may be using it to isolate yourself we will restrict the amount of time used. We’re also aware you may have movies and/or TV shows on your iPod and we ask you to not watch these for the sake of your own healing journey. You are free to watch DVD’s over the weekends though. Novels and magazines are only allowed on the weekends and please don’t bring laptops or games.
Q: Food – What if I’m a vegetarian, vegan or gluten intolerant?
A: We quite often have people on the program with specific dietary choices/requirements and we make a list on the fridge so whoever is rostered on can prepare meals to suit everyone. If you still have any concerns please speak to the facilitator after registering for a program.
Q: What happens if I register and then find I cant make it?
- I accept that if I cancel or defer after confirmation has been received, my initial registration fee is not refundable.
- If I cancel/defer within 7 days of the program start date I understand that I am committed to complete the payment option I have chosen as it will have prevented someone else from attending
- If I choose to leave the program or if I am asked to leave prior to its completion I understand that I am committed to complete the payment option I have chosen
Hennessy House/ Phillip House also reserves the right to postpone a healing week, at a weeks notice, when there are less than six girls with confirmed bookings.
Q: What can I expect when I return home?
A: Many people feel euphoric and excited when they leave. It’s normal to feel a little light-headed and ‘on a high’ for a while! You may also find that you feel tired and emotional. That’s because emotional healing is exhausting work and it is very important to be gentle with yourself. 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”. You might need time too! Please don’t be hard on yourself and others. We strongly recommend you take a minimum of a 2-day break from work and social commitments following your program, so that you can achieve the maximum benefit. We also encourage you to wait some time after your program before making any important life-changing decisions unless absolutely necessary.