Watch our Mental Health Retreat video review
"If I was struggling with my mental health, Living Valley would be the first place I'd book in to. I saw first hand the life changing work they do. Set on rolling green hills, I love that it has a down to earth feel and the staff all genuinely care." Angie Hilton
We take a fresh approach to therapy
The current culture of addressing mental health through hourly sessions with a treating practitioner on a weekly or fortnightly basis is not based on any scientific research demonstrating its effectiveness for the client. Instead, this model is utilized for logistical purposes such as client scheduling and workplace organisation for the therapists.
In fact, research is now demonstrating that intensive psychological therapy sessions conducted over a short period time period can have the same or greater effectiveness as multiple sessions spaced over many months where the individual then returns home to the same environment and triggers that may be maintaining their current challenges.
We champion a holistic approach
Enormous amounts of published research demonstrate that mental health is affected by a variety of factors, many of which cannot be fully addressed in conventional talk therapy. Exercise, nutrition, sleep, inflammation, hormones, hydration, digestion and toxicity have all been scientifically linked to directly affect one’s mental health. A proper mental health protocol must consider all of these. The Living Valley Mental Wellness program delivers a superior level of wholistic care including physical therapies, lifestyle education, mental and emotional support, naturopathy and personal attentions.
Our mental wellness program aims to provide you with the tools (both physically and mentally) to navigate a new path towards fulfilment, purpose and meaning, and the journey towards this continues when you leave. We offer support through the next 8-weeks after you journey home through our Mental Wellness Follow up program.
Meet our psychology team
Our Mental Health Practitioners have years of experience looking beyond labels of mental illness to focus on lifting each person out of the psychological barriers that may be keeping them stuck. We will work towards rediscovering what brings meaning and fulfilment to your life.
You may be eligible to receive a Medicare Rebate if you visit your GP prior to arriving at the retreat to obtain a Mental Health Care Plan (contact us for more information). A rebate may be available for those with private health insurance ‘extras’ cover.
Didier & Shannan
Didier Appave heads up the Living Valley Psychology Department. He holds a Graduate Diploma in Psychology and Postgraduate Diploma of Psychological Studies at Western Sydney University, as well as a Postgraduate Diploma of Professional Psychology at the Australian College of Applied Psychology. Didier has experience, and a history of success, working with various presentations including anxiety and depression, adjustment difficulties, grief, relationship issues, stress management and trauma. Didier is well known for his expertise in the delivery of viable solutions.
Shannan Thomas holds a Bachelor Degree in Psychology and a Masters in Social Work. She has a long history of success working in the mental health sector at hospitals and in the community. Shannan has experience and expertise in providing optimal support for individuals presenting with a variety of psychological and emotional challenges such as phobias, fears and anxiety. Her specialties include mindfulness, stress management and trauma recovery. Shannan has a passion for people, to help them realize optimal mental health and happiness, in a wholistic way.
Mental health is more than a Diagnosis
There was a time when the term mental health was only used for people that were admitted to mental institutions or received a specific diagnosis.
Unfortunately, this has added to an unhelpful stigma that mental health is as a disease and abnormality, which in turn has caused many to feel embarrassed to seek help and attain wellness.
Thankfully, the truth is becoming clearer, mental health and wellness is as relevant to every person as physical health and research is demonstrating that taking time to work on your mental wellbeing is just as crucial as eating a balanced diet or exercise.
Our Mental Health Retreat is individually tailored to assist a wide range of difficulties including:
Experiencing symptoms of low mood, diminished interest in daily life activities, low motivation and frequent guilt or sadness.
Experiencing physical symptoms such as accelerated breathing, increased heart rate, nausea/discomfort in the stomach and insomnia, as well as psychological symptoms such as frequent worries or doubts, difficulties concentrating, and often feeling restless, irritable or on edge.
Grief, Trauma and PTSD
Experiencing anxiety or distress in relation to traumatic life experiences. This may include frequent thoughts (sometimes intrusive or unwanted) about the trauma, fears of the event recurring, or avoiding of certain situations that were previously part of normal life.
Addictions and Substance Abuse / Dependency
Regular use or overuse of a substance (e.g. alcohol, illegal or prescribed drugs, food) or engaging in a behaviour (e.g. gambling) beyond your limits. Symptoms can include frequent guilt or regret and feeling a loss of control over this behaviour despite its negative consequences.
Burnout and Stress
Experiencing ongoing or chronic stress which may be coupled with symptoms of depression and anxiety. A sense of being overwhelmed with one or multiple areas of life sometimes associated with uncertainty, avoidance and difficulties in decision making.
Unfulfillment and Loss of Direction
Experiencing a sense of being stuck in ‘doing life’ rather than truly living. Feeling as though you are existing or surviving your life rather than thriving through life; feeling detached from a sense of meaning and purpose.
Uncertainty and Goal Clarification
Reaching an important point or crossroads in your life that requires clarity and discernment to move forward effectively. Whether it be in relation to career, relationships, health or other domains of life, attaining clarity on your values and goals is critical to choosing your actions through major transitions in life.
Mental Health is for the whole body
It’s no secret that the mind and the body are intimately connected, yet this critical relationship is still often overlooked in most mental health treatment approaches. Our Mental Wellness Program leaves no stone unturned and has its roots in a holistic approach to mental health. Throughout your stay on the Mental Wellness Program you will receive the following:
What’s involved in the Mental Wellness Retreat
The whole team at Living Valley is here for you and we look forward to giving you the best overall healing experience available.
Call our team now on 1800 644 733
International enquires please call +61 7 5485 4344