Taking Control of Chronic Pain

A holistic approach to managing and recovering from chronic pain in a safe, nurturing and compassionate environment. With a team of chronic pain specialists  Petrea King, Bernadette Arena, Jane Bradshaw and Diana Taylor.


When medical treatment has been completed, many people find that they continue to experience pain which can be distressing, unrelenting and overwhelming. They may be told there is nothing more that can be done, and they must ‘learn to live with it’. Understanding the complex neurobiology of chronic pain is the first step explored in this residential program which includes experiential activities demonstrating the power of the mind-body connection to deliver valuable insights on how to take control of pain.

Topics to be explored include:

  • what do we know about the experience of chronic pain?
  • what people in pain teach us
  • what does it mean to manage my pain? Is it all about drugs?
  • why many people try to pretend that pain doesn’t exist and the effect this has on pain itself
  • why it is important to think about pain as a whole person experience
  • why pain persists when treatment and injury have gone through ‘cure’
  • what can I do to reduce and improve my pain experience?

You will leave this program

  • with a deep understanding of the mechanisms involved in chronic pain
  • knowing how to pace yourself more skilfully
  • feeling confident in your ability to embrace your challenges
  • with a much deeper understanding of yourself and others
  • feeling optimistic, empowered and capable
  • with a greater appreciation for your story and your potential
  • with a toolkit of strategies and practical skills to draw on for life
  • with an enlivened spirit.

Our nationally acclaimed programs change people’s lives in practical and positive ways and people generally leave confident in their ability to meet the significant challenges they face.


"I'm writing to you with good news - I am going back to work tomorrow!

"Recently I made the decision that I was well enough to be able to return to work as an osteopath in a very part time capacity, starting with 3 appointments a week. I have a quiet confidence that I can do this in a way that is sustainable to my health and sanity."

"Thank you for your part in helping me through a long period of falling apart both mentally and physically and coming back together again. I would not have been able to do so without what I have learnt from each of you at Quest. The retreats have changed the way in which I experience my life on a very deep level and helped me to develop good strategies for managing my physical limitations while finding ways to participate in all that fills me up and makes me happy." Helen

“Taking Control of Chronic Pain programme allowed me to take time out from challenges in my life and to reassess my journey with chronic pain" 
"The programme was a positive and powerful experience, that enabled me to realise I am not alone and that there is always hope, whether it be in the latest medical information or in the wonderful mindfulness journey that Quest starts you on."
"The programme allowed me more control over what I felt was a battle that I was slowly losing. The wonderful staff at Quest could not do enough for our group, the food was nourishing and delicious. The programme was scheduled in a way that was relaxing and flexible so that those unable to sit could lay comfortably whilst still participating.
Petrea makes you feel connected to a wonderful community that you can tap into anytime. This is really important for those of us living in rural and remote communities or especially those with chronic health problems as this alone can make you feel disconnected no matter where you live."
"I love Quest's approach to their participants experience. To me it feels as if the whole foundation works hard at providing every participant with a meaningful experience.
The Chronic Pain programme spurred me on to approach things in a different way, to allow myself the time to make changes in time and move forward in my life through the challenges of living with a chronic disease.” Michelle

"When I arrived at Quest I had a bulging disc that was pressing against 2 nerves down my leg that prevented me from, sitting, standing, walking and preparing meals. I was a prisoner in my own bedroom and its 4 walls, for 5 months. Quest was amazing in accommodating my physical situation. They provided a daybed for me to lie on through the day during our group sessions and brought food to my room for each meal so I was able to lie down to eat. I was so grateful for this. All the staff were so kind and caring and never made me feel like anything was too much trouble."

"After only 3 days of participating in the Quest's Taking Control of Chronic Pain Program, I was able to actually sit in the dining room and join everyone for breakfast (before I had to lie on my side in bed to eat). This was huge for me...as I said I had not been able to sit for 5 months. The next day, due to the meditations, counselling, encouragement, exercises and implementing pain management strategies, I was able to join everyone for each meal. From then on, the pain progressively eased and I was able to increase my mobility each day!!"

"Quest provided me with skills to recognise triggers that aggravated my back pain, such as stress and to feel where my pain was located and gave me tools to learn how to deal with this in a different manner so the pain no longer crippled me."

"This was a huge benefit for me. I AM NOW WALKING UNAIDED!"


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