Counselling Services

The Gawler Cancer Foundation and the Yarra Valley Living Centre currently offer both Private Counselling sessions and specialized End-of-Life Counselling services to our retreat participants.

Private Counselling

Through your participation in one of our programs you may become aware of unresolved emotional issues and/or important (perhaps difficult) decisions that you need to make. The overall structure of the program is designed to bring clarity and resolution to those issues relating to the program itself, however some participants feel the need for extra help in the form of an individual counselling session.

A limited number of individual counselling sessions are available during the retreat (outside of program session times) with the following members of our therapeutic team.

Please note: Private counselling may also be arranged after your retreat stay.

Paul Bedson
BA, B.Couns., B.Acup.

Paul is a counsellor and meditation instructor who has been working in the field of Mind-Body medicine for many years. Paul specialises in the areas of emotional healing, grief counselling and relationship counselling.

Paul calls his work “Holistic Counselling” as he supports the whole person; body, emotions, mind and spirit.

Paul will support clients in dealing with such emotional issues as anger, anxiety and resentment so they can complete and release the past and be free to make a strong commitment to their future.

Both people experiencing cancer and their support people need help in dealing with the many emotional issues associated with the healing journey.

Maia Bedson
DipHol Couns, Grad DipCounsHS, Grad DipClin Nutr.

Maia is a counsellor, meditation teacher and a practitioner of various forms of natural therapies and has worked in the area of energetic healing for over 20 years. She has worked with The Gawler Cancer Foundation for many years and, as well as her qualifications in natural therapies & counselling, she also has a Post Graduate qualification in Clinical Nutrition to enhance her more than 25 years of study and practice in the area of diet and nutrition for health and wellbeing. She uses her various skills and the experience gained from her own healing to inspire and support others on their path to wellness. Maia has a particular interest in assisting clients to heal and integrate emotional issues that impede their true essence of health, vitality and joyfulness.

Siegfried Gutbrod
BBA, MCounsHS, DipPsychophonetics

Siegfried spent many years in corporate management prior to moving to therapeutic work. He holds a Master’s degree in Counselling and is also an accredited meditation instructor.   Siegfried joined The Gawler Cancer Foundation in 1996 as the Business Director and became part of the therapeutic team in 2000. He worked as a counsellor and group facilitator and established a new service to provide emotional and spiritual care for people reaching the end of their lives.

After doing 5 years of humanitarian volunteer work in Africa Siegfried returned to The Gawler Cancer Foundation in 2009 and took on the role as Therapeutic Director.

Siegfried developed a rich meditative and spiritual life over the last 30 years. His particular interests are in empowering people to find and take the next steps on their life and healing journeys and helping people to deal with emotional and spiritual challenges associated with major illness.

Fees for consultations with Siegfried, Paul or Maia are as follows:

$24 for 15 minutes
$96 for 60 minutes

Bookings and inquiries are made through our Programs Office, either in person during your stay, or by calling 1300 651 211 beforehand.

End of Life Counselling

The latest research confirms that the mortality rate amongst the living is still 100%! Despite this undisputed fact of life the vast majority of people are not at peace with their own mortality and hope that somehow God will make an exception in their case.

When diagnosed with cancer the possibility of death becomes very real, and for many people a cancer diagnosis is synonymous with being given a death sentence.

We know fear is counterproductive to the healing process and to quality of life, which is why we address the topic of fear of ‘death and dying’ in our cancer programs.

Many participants of our cancer programs significantly extend their prognosis and some even go into total and lasting remission however some participants do go on to die from the illness. The feedback that we have received from support people who have lost a loved one is that the preparation for end-of-life was highly valuable to everybody involved in this process.

The Gawler Cancer Foundation has now decided to offer extended ‘Emotional and Spiritual Care for End-of-Life’ counselling services, by donation, to our past participants and their families.

In line with the philosophies of the foundation, this service will be provided on a non-denominational basis and the spiritual and religious beliefs of the people concerned will be fully respected.

Offered predominantly as a phone counselling service, this service includes (all or part of):

  • Assistance in achieving inner peace in the light of facing one’s own mortality and pending death;
  • Preparation for a ‘good death’ by addressing the fears and questions related to dying, and assistance with dealing with any unresolved emotional and spiritual issues and unfinished business;
  • Facilitation of meetings with family and/or friends to openly talk about topics related to the pending death. E.g. Wishes of the ill person regarding arrangements for the last hours, for the time up to the funeral and the funeral itself;
  • Support of the dying person and their families at the time of death as well as after death has occurred;
  • Providing grief counselling to the bereaved in the early stages after death has occurred.

Home or hospital/hospice visits may be possible for people living in the Melbourne area.

This service is provided primarily by our Therapeutic Director – and specifically trained spiritual care counsellor – Siegfried Gutbrod, and is subject to availability.

click here to read more about Siegfried’s therapeutic journey

Call 1300 651 211 or email info@gawler.org to enquire.