Taking Control of Chronic Pain

A holistic approach to managing and recovering from chronic pain in a safe, nurturing, compassionate environment. With a team of chronic pain specialists.

About the Program

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?

Our residential programs are conducted at the Quest for Life Centre in Bundanoon in the beautiful Southern Highlands of NSW. The residential aspect of the program allows you to fully immerse yourself in the supportive atmosphere and soak in the education provided without any day-to-day distractions.

About the team

The program is facilitated by highly experienced professional teams of chronic pain specialists psychologists, counsellors and therapists who educate, encourage and support participants to achieve their goals. In addition to our team members’ many professional qualifications, each member has their own experience of personal growth through suffering. This lived-experience adds a powerful dimension to our programs as participants feel they’re amongst people who relate to their suffering.

Program Dates

Register interest

Program Fees

Quest subsidises all privately funded places to ensure the cost of our programs remains affordable to individuals. This allows us to reduce the fee from $4,295 to $2,695. This reduced fee only applies to privately funded bookings.

Subsidies available. Through generous grants, donations and fundraising, Quest is able to offer subsidies to attend our Residential Programs. Anyone experiencing financial stress will be considered.

Quest for Life is an NDIS Provider. Programs can also be funded through Worker’s Comp insurance and DVA for eligible veterans.

$1,995 Shared room (Early bird* $1,895 – must be paid 30 days in advance)
$2,695 Single room (Early bird* $2,595 – must be paid 30 days in advance)

Fees effective 1 July 2022


Quest for Life Centre
13-33 Ellsmore Road
Bundanoon NSW 2578
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Program content

Content is tailored to the needs of the participants and addresses practical aspects of living well with challenging circumstances and instruction on how to create an environment for healing. The program provides evidence-based approaches to health and wellbeing.

Your day starts at 7.30am with a gentle morning stretch and meditation and finishes with an evening activity that ensures you get plenty of sleep. There is long lunch break so you can rest, read, have a counselling or massage appointment or go for a walk in the beautiful gardens.

Group sessions include:

  • An understanding of trauma’s impact on the brain and body
  • Pathways to recovery
  • The role of meditation – understanding they why and how
  • Living mindfully
  • Taking charge of our thoughts and feelings
  • Practical strategies to improve communication
  • Learning to respond rather than react
  • Managing our lives more skilfully
  • Relaxation and sleep strategies and techniques

Program Inclusions

  • Accommodation (4 nights) in your own ensuited comfortable bedroom with double or queen/king size bed. If you travel to Quest with a family member, partner or friend, they are welcome to share your room.
  • 3 delicious and nutritious meals a day, morning and afternoon teas and fresh juices. Read more about our acclaimed food below.
  • A varied selection of herbal teas or coffee. Our delicious, filtered water is available at any time.
  • A personal counselling session. Extra counselling sessions are sometimes available at a reasonable charge.
  • Education in neuroplasticity (the brain’s ability to change/heal) and epigenetics (the factors influencing genetic expression including sleep, exercise, nutrition and mindfulness).
  • Gentle yoga stretching each morning.
  • Regular relaxation sessions incorporating meditation.
  • Personal vision board to take home.
  • A USB containing audio files of Your Life Matters book and meditations to complement your program.

Optional extras

(Book on arrival. Credit card or cash payment)

  • Massage
  • Additional personal counselling sessions


Set within 9 acres of manicured gardens in Bundanoon in the Southern Highlands, NSW. From the moment you enter the drive, you will begin to feel renewed, refreshed and inspired.

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.

You will be nurtured, nourished and restored with the confidence to embrace your life again.

Arrival and Departure

  • Monday Arrival time 2-3pm
  • Friday Departure time 2pm
  • Plenty of onsite parking is available
  • You can be picked up and dropped at the Bundanoon train station (City Link and Country Link trains stop at Bundanoon)
  • Best trains to catch (book well in advance)
    – From Sydney Central Station Depart 12.01pm
    – From Canberra Kingston Depart 11.55am


Discuss any accessibility or mobility requirements with the Program Adviser when you book in. Quest has a wheelchair accessible room/ensuite.


  • We serve delicious freshly prepared meals using the principles of SLOW – Seasonal, Locally-sourced, Organic, Wholefood as far as possible. The Quest veggie garden supplies seasonal produce.
  • Our chef can cater to most dietary needs – all special dietary requirements can be discussed with the Program Advisor at the time of booking.
  • Breakfast is served from (8.30-9.30am), Lunch (1-2pm), Dinner (6-7pm)
  • Freshly pressed juices are served for morning and afternoon tea along with delicious snacks.
  • Teas, coffee, filtered water and fresh fruit are available at any time.
  • Please note that the Quest for Life Centre maintains an environment that is alcohol and non-prescription drug free. A participant will need to leave the program if found to be drug or alcohol affected.

Enquire or book into this program

You can call between 9.30am-4.30pm Monday to Friday on 1300 941 488 to speak to a Program Advisor or complete the form below and we will be in contact.

What previous attendees have said:

“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.”