Hear From Our Clients
I had been in recovery for over a decade for drug addiction, yet reached a point where I was no longer coping emotionally and my relationships were seriously failing.
During an acute PTSD episode, I was guided and supported by recovery friends to seek help. From the first call to Byron Private I felt understood and supported. It was difficult for me to seek treatment as I had worked in a treatment service and been on the recovery journey for many years. Yet, there was no point where this was an issue during my treatment. I was supported:
*Physically – with yoga, training, massage, acupuncture and ridiculously delish food.
*Mentally – with an amazing multi disciplinary therapeutic team I was able to talk and work through secondary addictions that had come up for me during recovery.
*Emotionally – I was able to feel safe to be an emotional mess and then find some calm.
*Spiritually – given an idyllic lush quiet space in the hills of Byron to connect with meditation people and myself
In fear of sounding like a schmaltzy sales pitch – I genuinely could not think of a place that could have helped me more during this time.”
I recently finished a 42 day rehabilitation and treatment program at Byron Private Treatment Centre for alcohol, anxiety and depression, so thought I’d write a “testimonial”, recommendation, endorsement which generally gives a glowing review of ones character or competence in the true sense of the word.
I will endeavour to stick to the script. Byron Private has changed my life. Simple
I won’t delve into my sorry former life yet fill the next few lines with positive appraisal of my new life, experiences at Byron Private and a new found harmony within a peaceful soul.
Family, my friends and I collectively wish to thank Byron Private and all their staff for giving me my life back. I thank them for opening up my mind and body to a new way of living.
I thank them their understanding and self realisation that I am a good person with a future of happiness.
From waking up seeing sunrises, walks along the pristine beaches of Byron Bay, relaxation techniques, five star food and diet (cooked onsite by the chef) and rewarding one on one therapy, group therapy, topic groups, meetings and the list goes on.
Byron Private has given me the tools to continue.
I’m not saying it’s easy far from it, at times very confronting and emotional but the end result is rewarding. I’m a far happier, healthier person one step at a time, day by day.
Thank you Byron Private
Prior to attending Byron Private Treatment Centre I had given up on life and my lifestyle had become completely unsustainable. Over many years I had struggled with an emotional malady, which made me feel very alone in the world. Succeeding a great deal of individual therapy and many different therapists, I felt as if I was continuously coming back to the same place. I began to come to the conclusion that something was simply very wrong with me and it was incurable. As this state of mind began to engulf my entire being, I announced to myself that my life had been one prodigious failure. I was exhausted from letting other people down and letting myself down, so I eventually gave up on life altogether. This was manifested through multiple attempts at taking my life. I was even bitter at failing with these tasks and consequently condemned myself to a life of loneliness and substance abuse to gain momentary reprieve from the quagmire that was my life.
Following the urgent pleas from my friends, family and therapist I made it to Byron Private a broken man with little hope of recovery. As soon as I arrived at the rehab centre something very odd happened. I felt unjudged, valued and above all I felt connected. I was surrounded by people who understood what it was like to feel the way I did. Staff and clients alike, everybody there had experienced different however fundamentally very similar journeys to mine. I was somewhat shocked by the overwhelming genuine desire of others who wanted to help me. There was no catch, no hidden clauses, and no secrets being hidden. These people sincerely from the bottom of their hearts simply wanted to help me. The indefatigability of the staff at Byron Private is truly admirable. No stone is left unturned and it is of the utmost importance that every individual has their needs met, no matter how unusual or bizarre the request appears to be.
Since leaving Byron Private I feel as if the world is my oyster and I have gained friends for life of whose impact on my life has been invaluable. I have since had contact from several of the staff members and clientele whose strong bonds are immeasurable to me. Byron Private has enabled me to understand who I really am as a person and has presented me with the tools in which I need to use on a daily basis in order to lead a fulfilling and rewarding life.
1 Year ago today I arrived at the Byron Ballina airport a shell of a man; I was suffering from Chronic PTSD some four years earlier and I had tried multiple different medical professionals and was declared permanently disabled and was told I would never work again. I had withdrawn from family and friends, I would not go to certain places where I lived even drive near certain streets and if I did venture out to a cafe with family I would insist on sitting in the far corner with my back to the wall; I simply wasn’t the same person. I would act differently, I constantly made poor and irrational decisions and as such I have lost a lot of close people out of my life!
Is anyone at fault, of course not! They couldn’t understand what I was doing and thinking and to be truthful even though I was going to numerous medical professionals on a weekly basis I still didn’t understand what was happening to me; Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). I let it control me, it was with me the moment I woke up to the time I would finally go to sleep; it was all I thought about!! With it came depression, anxiety, paranoia and the fear of all males so I simply limited my time with people situations and places to feel safe, there were times I seemed normal and could go to lunch and then there were times I couldn’t leave my bedroom for six months at a time and then it came to a breaking point. l simply couldn’t do it anymore, something had to change so I looked for a treatment centre I could enter for acute care. We had discussed this as a family for over six months but apparently I assumed I hadn’t hit rock bottom yet but I had!!
I spoke to about 5 different hospital based clinics that had this type of care and they were 3 week treatments in a large group setting! For me a hospital was a trigger for my PTSD, in my heart I knew I needed longer than 3weeks. And then I found Byron Private Treatment Centre in Byron Bay, as I read the website it ticked all the boxes for me, it’s not hospital based and takes a holistic approach and I desperately wanted to get off medication as I was permanently sedated, and it only had a maximum occupancy of six people!
I made the call and within two weeks I arrived at Byron Bay and I was meet by the clinical director himself on his day off on a Sunday; the first of many personal touches that were provided to me, this was it! The start of a new life for me it wasn’t easy but no one sugar coated it for me, it was up to me, I needed to do the work, be honest, be accountable and follow the program. Now I won’t lie it wasn’t easy and I cried on a daily basis as we dug deep into my demons, the team at Byron Private are simply amazing, friendly, calm but assertive and will just sit with you and be there as you heal.
As weeks passed I grew stronger, more confident and a developed a clear understanding that I let PTSD control me! Me! I was in control I had choices I had tools to make the right choices and by the end of the program I was smiling and laughing and have life long friends that are truly amazing! No judgment only acceptance and the care didn’t stop the day I drove out the gates as they care about people not financial reward or connections with pharmaceuticals! And my reward is this amazing life I have, is there bumps along the way? YES, but I accept them and move on!
Thank you Byron Private you are a beautiful and special sanctuary and you all hold a special place in my heart.
My 37 year old brother attended Byron Private a year ago to begin the process of dealing with a methamphetamine addiction. We were initially very uncertain – mainly because we found Byron Private via a google search and even though we sourced all the information that we could we had no real idea of whether or not it was somewhere that we could trust, or that would suit my brother.
At the point he entered Byron Private he was very keen to begin as soon as possible so the whole process of sourcing Byron Private and making a decision happened quite quickly. He entered to complete the 42 day program, however ended up staying for 28 days instead – leaving earlier than originally intended, with the support of the Byron Private staff. We then returned to attend the family program after he had returned home.
We could not be more grateful that we stumbled across Byron Private. My brother’s life, and consequently our life with him, has changed completely. He remains committed to his recovery almost 12months later – something we could not even imagine as a real possibility a year ago. Significantly, he has done this in his own way, following his own path. This has not necessarily fulfilled the approaches that are widely recommended to support success in recovery – and yet here we are. The support and validation of this alternate approach to his recovery, provided particularly by the councillor that guided us through the family program, gave us the confidence to accept and support it, which has been vital to the mental health of us all.
Byron Private gave my brother the opportunity to detox and to begin to explore his life without drugs, in an environment where he met and interacted with people who demonstrated hope in the context of addiction. It gave us as a family the opportunity to better understand how we can communicate honestly and support him the best we can while still taking care of ourselves.
Thank goodness for google!!
My experience here at the center was a god send for myself and my family.
I came here looking like the shadow of a man. In my sister’s words. Everyday I feel myself getting stronger with my urges to use disappearing in frequency. My health is peaking further and further positively every week with good care therapy and food (great food for a vegetarian man). The workers and managers are great in character with deep depths of understanding toward addiction and the natural causes behind it. I have thoroughly enjoyed the program so far and have many many new friends amongst the facility and the areas great fellowship.
It was accommodating and kind of Byron Private to take me for the 11 days. As I put it this morning I came here for a grease and oil change and left with a full service.
The personnel were professional, caring and helpful, to the extreme. I was so fortunate to find this facility. I needed help and guidance to assist me to avoid alcohol relapses. And I believe I am leaving here with the tools to guide me.
The psychiatric help (of which I was no fan) was just what I needed and Renato went straight to the nub of my problem. Sue Daley (The Naturopath) left an impression and gained a new client. The carers were sympathetic and very tolerant of a “grumpy old man” The geography of of the place is stunning and the facilities top class.
Workshop and Family Program Testimonials
- I cannot recommend Byron Private highly enough, if only there where more facilities, like it. At times the emotions were over whelming, the professionalism and devotion of the staff such a safe tranquil environment.
- Although having many preconceived ideas about this place it opened my eyes to the importance of family and emotional health and I can see not only the huge positive impacts it has had on my sister but on me as well.
- I am very impressed with the compassion and care of everyone at Byron Private – it encourages their residents and their families to speak openly in complete trust and security.
- The benefits of this program, not just for my brother but for our family, are immeasurable. There’s been a shift that excites me.
- Maria strikes the perfect balance between supporting and challenging family members so everyone walks out feeling developed in a positive way.
- One of the most rewarding experiences of of my life. I have learnt to love and respect myself.
- Byron Private treatment Centre is a unique facility helping so many people through various difficulties in a nurtured and supportive environment and in the beautiful surrounds Byron Bay. I would highly recommend to others who need support in difficult circumstances.
Maria Dolenc - Family Therapist/Constellation Facilitator Testimonials
- Very warm, engaging. I felt heard and valued. Maria helped me to give a great gift to myself – acceptance and self-esteem and getting rid of inner critic.
- Maria is definitely doing what she is meant to be doing. I have never seen so many people have so many breakthroughs in such a short time and that is thanks to Maria
- Maria was so kind, understanding and non-judgmental – and I’m not used to that. She gave me space to feel. I really appreciate that.
- Kind, helpful, challenging, understanding, experienced, honest, present.
- Maria has guided me through a safe, loving, unbelievably challenging process that has shown me into my self in the most scary, peaceful, and onion peeling way. Her incredible experience working in this space I so deeply respect and am so beyond words grateful for.
- An incredible lady, all that was missing was the superwoman cape!! Her insightful interpretation of body language was inspiration and spot-on.
- I am very impressed with Maria and the results she has presented to my own family as well as the other families here.
- Brilliant-Maria is able to take you to a place where suppressed feelings and thoughts are able to bubble to the surface no matter how hard. Plus there is no hiding anything – love the fact that Maria delves into the family background and reasons and causes.
Family Program Testimonials
Byron Private is a life saving facility. There was nothing in New Zealand that could offer us a therapy program for our daughter. The only option was to put her on a regime of strong drugs while we waited for another episode. It took 10 hours of searching the web to find Nungkari. I rang David Godden and he agreed to consider her as a client. There is still work to do but we now have hope of a recovery. She will return to Byron Private for workshops from time to time and is starting to sit it as a safe place to do the hard work. Byron Private is caring and treats the person not the disease. By treating the person, they reduce the disease.
Thank you Nungkari.
I came to the family program here at Nungkari. My whole understanding of this program was to use it as a tool or an exercise to voice my views and feelings about what I expected back as a result of the treatment my husband received. I took it as a time for me to be able to release the so called ‘poison’ of what was the issue as a result of an addicted family member. I wanted to be able to learn new strategies to cope with what I felt was a dead-end situation. The team made me realize nothing is impossible. Maria has been one of the most influential people I can say that I know. I’ve been really lucky to experience her therapy, I’m lucky to have heard her views and words so full of wisdom and knowledge all coming from a background of years of counseling and experiences and education. Basically I have seen a major difference in the dynamic of my whole situation and I have learned that I only am responsible for my happiness. Thanks Maria, you have had a major impact on my life.
The work done at Byron Private is invaluable in moving the clients and families into the future and the now. The staff are trustworthy and approachable as well as caring. This is a truly great centre and I am so grateful for the work you have done with my sister Eleanor.
I approached the process with some trepidation but found the process so supportive and constructive. My daughter had left her course early and was in a raw state at home. So I worried that her situation could get worse.
The first day was very difficult for the whole family but then proved invaluable and we rapidly made progress. On the second day in a way I could have only hoped for we had all been able to vocalize our past frustrations and accept that the family members saw the situations quite differently and that was quite a relief.