Byron Bay 2016

Wellness intensive for Health Professionals
Byron Bay 29th October to 3rd November 2016

Self-care goes beyond immediate actions aimed at nurturing ourselves or soothing our distress. These behaviors are important, especially after a hard day or when a crisis hits or resolves. However, true resilience can only be developed from a planned regime of health and wellness behaviors. This pattern of caring for ourselves sets us up to bounce back more quickly when the difficult happens. Not only do these routines assist our psychological well-being but also our physical longevity and vitality. Our ability to cope with difficult client interactions, hearing trauma experiences and working with others is largely influenced by our own wellbeing and the energy we bring into the healing relationship.

As health professionals, as much as we pay close attention to our client’s needs, we can be complacent about nurturing and caring for ourselves. It is easy to get hooked by the mental barriers that are often closely bound to our self-care.  We are wonderful at helping others but often overlook ourselves. We owe it to ourselves, our loved ones and clients, to take care of our mind and body. Then our healing can be truly enriching and leave us with energy for those we love, and ourselves. Taking good care of all aspects of your health will add to the credibility of the health message you want to promote to your clients.

5 Days of Practical, Active, Evidence-Based Wellbeing Activities and Professional Development

This Wellness Intensive provides the perfect opportunity to take time out to rejuvenate in the stunning natural environment of the Byron Bay National Park.  Daily workshops teach evidence-based information and resiliency skills.  There will be a strong emphasis on learning and applying practical Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) coupled with Positive Psychology research to create changes in wellness and self-care behaviours. Health practitioners will work on applying the content to their own lives and will learn how to apply these strategies to assist the overall wellbeing of their clients and people they are working with?

Practitioner rejuvenation begins immediately with a menu of self-care activities to choose from including yoga, group and individualized fitness sessions, massage, beach walks and sunset bike rides through the national park and more. The natural beauty of the Byron National Park, will provide the perfect backdrop to cultivating mindfulness practice and to reconnect with self, nature and other therapists in an authentic way.  Amongst these activities there will be approximately 4 hours of content per day, allowing plenty of time to put theory into practice.

The Presenter

Dr. Samantha Clarke (Ph.D.) is a Clinical Psychologist and a Personal Trainer. Samantha also has a major in nutrition and a wealth of experience assisting people in addressing lifestyle factors to enhance their overall sense of health and vitality.

Samantha has developed and provided training in ACT, Goal setting and striving for wellbeing and Motivational Interviewing across Australia in both the public and private health and mental health sectors. She is a Registered Clinical supervisor within Australia (APS and APHRA) and provides individual and group supervision. Samantha is skilled in helping health professionals to manage the demands and responsibilities of the caring role whilst staying grounded in practices that bolster a vital sense of wellbeing. She places a significant focus on helping wellness professionals lead by example to help improve the wellness outcomes of their clients.

Samantha’s Ph.D. is in the area of Goal Setting/Striving and how to assist people in establishing intrinsically motivating goals and values. She received an NHMRC scholarship for this research and her Ph.D. thesis received a special commendation. Samantha is an expert in the area of Mindfulness and Mindfulness-based interventions such as ACT and has taught at the Buddhist Teaching Institute, Chenrezig Institute.

Samantha is a published author and has presented at conferences both nationally and internationally and has taught in the undergraduate and postgraduate psychology programs at both the University of Wollongong and the University of the Sunshine Coast.  In conjunction with her role as Director of a large psychology practice on the Sunshine coast, Samantha also provides personal training, wellbeing courses and wellbeing intensives and retreats. Placing a strong emphasis on providing experiential exercises to assist deeper understanding, Samantha strives to help clinicians learn from the inside out.

Retreating to Paradise

Retreat into paradise amongst the Byron Bay National Park in stylish beach houses 60 meters from the beach. Wake in the morning hearing the rolling waves of Tallows beach and the laugh of the kookaburras. The retreat will take place just outside the hustle and bustle of Byron Bay, so you can take the time to wind down and reset. Yet the town center is only 10 minutes away by car or bus.  All meals for your stay will be provided. Enjoy scrumptious vegetarian cuisine tailored to nourish you over your stay. The retreat menu aims to increase your food diversity to kick-start your movement towards health.

Byron Bay is home to some of the most beautiful natural scenery imaginable. Take long walks along the coastline, relax under the shade of the gum trees or ride your bike to the lighthouse. In town, you will find wonderful shops, health food stores, and live music. If you are missing your daily espresso, look no further, Byron has some of the best coffee around.

If you would like a little more adventure there are snorkeling and dive sites at the famous Julian Rocks. See a myriad of fish, turtles and leopard sharks. There is also surfing, stand up paddle boarding, sea kayaking and horse riding available.

Millions of people come to Byron Bay each year to relax and rejuvenate. Byron Bay has a large amount of rose quartz in the rock formations and it is thought that this is why the sense of healing that people experience here is unique.

Professional Development

This Wellness Intensive is for health professionals including psychologists, doctors, social workers, nurses, counselors, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, acupuncturists and other allied health clinicians. Students are most welcome, as we believe that the integration of these skills from early on in professional life is ideal.  This workshop can account for a minimum of 16 hours professional development with the APS and AHPRA. Additional professional development opportunities are also available in terms of optional peer support hours.

Learning Objectives

After completion of the Wellness Intensive we aim that participants will:

  1. Understand the role of key lifestyle factors in both poor and good health.
  2. Understand the internal and external barriers for implementing lifestyle changes and how to address these using ACT.
  3. Be skilled in the theory and practice of mindfulness and how to use mindfulness to assist with lifestyle changes.
  4. To be able to link lifestyle changes in values and intrinsic goals that assist adherence and long-term change.
  5. Learn how to set effective goals to bolster goal attainment.
  6. Build self-care practices and regimes to ensure their own professional longevity and prevent burn out.

Note: We ask that all therapists apply these learning outcomes to themselves to learn from the inside out. We believe it is only truly by applying something to our own experience that we can begin to help others to shift their own. 


The Wellness Intensive starts on Saturday, 29th October at 4 pm, allowing you time to check-in (after 2 pm) and rest a little after your travel. At 4 pm we will gather for welcoming practice, which will be followed by a welcome meal together. Guest will check out on Thursday 3rd November prior to 10 am. The formal workshops will be completed by the Wednesday evening. Guests are welcome to stay on a little longer. If this is something you would like please let us know as soon as you can to ensure we can organize this for you.

Who is this suited to?

This Wellness Intensive was developed to assist helping professionals learn how to improve their health by shifting their lifestyle, and, by extension, that of their clients. People will vary with their individual health practices, yet a desire to learn and enhance well-being is all that is needed.

This Wellness Intensive is tailored towards people who want to retreat to nature, reconnect with their sense of purpose and improve their wellbeing.

Not all sessions are mandatory, but there will be a range of moving practices which people are encouraged to attend. If you have a passion for movement you will love the variety on offer.


A range of accommodation options is available. Partners and children are welcome, however, this will require the whole beach house to be booked. If you would like to bring a non-participating partner and your children, please contact us via email for costs. 

Additional professional development opportunities may be available with the group and individual supervision.  Follow-up supervision is also available via Skype at participant’s request. Additional nights of accommodation are available, but please let us know to ensure we can secure your booking.  Every beach house is different and each boasts its own unique charms and features.


The Wellness Intensive include

  1. At least 16 hours of active Professional Development led by Dr. Samantha Clarke an experienced Clinical Psychologist and Personal Trainer. 
  2. 5 nights accommodation in boutique beach houses 60 meters from the beach.
  3. All meals  – enjoy scrumptious vegetarian delights for breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  4. 60-minute massage
  5. Daily self-care activities  – yoga, fitness sessions, meditation and more
  6. Participant Workbook
  7. Audio track meditations to assist long-term retention 

Accommodation package – Cost

Private room with shared bathroom – $2228

Private room own bathroom – $2428

Twin Share room – $2018

To secure your Booking contact

Dr Samantha Clarke at 0408814715 or email:

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“I attended the Mindfulness Retreat for health professionals and was delighted with the experience. Having seen first hand the value of ACT and mindfulness when working with my own patients in recent years, I was intrigued to be on the ‘receiving end’. I found both the material presented, and the practical exercises, well researched, insightful and enriching. Sam was unfailingly professional and enthusiastic, with a sincere passion for passing on her expertise with mindfulness to others”.

Other comments from retreat participants

“Great opportunity to get out of our heads and into our body, certainly improved my physical/mental/emotional wellbeing”

“Loved and enjoyed every activity”

“Excellent resources and facilities”

“I felt very well taken care of”

“I really enjoyed the retreat, beautiful location, great people”

“Relevant challenging information combined with relaxation and self-care in beautiful environment.”

Testimonials about Samantha

Sam has the ability to provide a very comfortable and safe atmosphere for learning that encourages and supports the individual to challenge themselves.  Her approach to teaching is open, honest, and accepting of whatever comes into the session.

Sam has helped me to develop my knowledge in psychology, but more importantly, she has helped me to develop my abilities as a therapist, whereby I feel more present and connected in therapy sessions and more confident in my ability to be present with whatever comes into the room. I would recommend any opportunity to undertake professional development with Sam.

“The supervision I have received from Samantha has been invaluable.  She is able to gently balance my own professional growth and development with the concerns of the client to achieve a highly beneficial outcome for all.”

Samantha has provided me with psychology supervision for over 2 years and I have found her to be an exceptional supervisor. She has a very broad range of knowledge and experience in the field of psychology and health and is able to convey this knowledge is a way that is easy to understand and apply.

Sam shows genuine care and concern for everyone in the group, building an atmosphere of trust which allows everyone space to open up and share. She provides a safe space and helps people build caring relationships so that they can grow stronger and better as a team.