Mental Health Retreat FAQ

We've listed the most frequently asked questions about the Goodsky  depression treatment programs below.  Get insights into how programs work, timelines of treatment, program options and more.

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What does Goodsky not offer?

  • We do not detox or manage quick withdrawal from heavy drug (illicit/pharmaceutical) or alcohol use while on the residential programme
  • We do not provide critical or acute in-patient care - we reccomend this be done in a private hospital before beginning our programme.We can reccomend some hospital programmes.

How does a depression treatment programme differ from a health retreat?

That's because we are different and for many reasons.  Our programme focuses on private and individual lifestyle medicine assessments, treatments and integrations.  We have 3 phases of each programme (excluding home program) that firstly:

  • learns about what you are dealing with and collects data and testing to understand what is contributing to your condition while supporting you with the correct therapy and therapist.   
  • secondly we bring you to the Sunshine Coast for further assessments, pathology and continued treatment to help stabilise, recover, balance and shift mindsets, nutrition, gut health and restoration, movement and strength and begin transition in to the next phase. 
  • that being the lifestyle integration once you are back home for ongoing support and treatment.

So if you were to go to a traditional retreat or rehab you would not receive this level of private, integrated and shared care from a team of mental health professionals.   In addition to all of that when you stay with us you are staying in your own beach side self contained apartment that is completely private.  You won't have to deal with any other guests and can focus on your recovery and treatment. 

Why are there different phases of treatment, can't I just attend the programme?

As mentioned in some of our previous questions we have different phases of the programme that serve a role in making sure you get the best depression treatment possible.  In order for that to happen we need to find out what is happening biochemically, nutritionally, physically and mentally. 

We also begin therapy, testing and some treatment as soon as possible to get you stabilised and supported.  This all happens within the first couple of weeks before you arrive on the Sunshine Coast.   Test results typically take 2-3 weeks to return from the lab so to ensure that the teams know what they are dealing with we need this time to ensure the best treatment of your conditions. 

Is supplementation used and do I have to buy them?

We use specific and practitioner grade supplementation to address and treat the immediate issues presented during diagnostics and testing.  This can be gut health and digestion, hormones and genetics, vitamin and mineral deficiencies and much more. 

Supplementation is included in your program and can begin from the outset once your team identifies triggers for your anxiety and depression, and depending on dosage and the length of your program, you will have enough supplements to see you through your treatment and early stages of lifestyle integration.   However, this is different for everyone and in some cases we may need to order pharmacy grade compounded medicine and supplementation to treat parasites and other identified issues.

The main purpose of supplementation in our lifestyle medicine approach is to treat and shift you into a transition of food as medicine.  The right food and fuel for your body takes over from the supplementation, effectively treating your depression and anxiety long term. 

What types of depression does the programme treat?

Goodsky's depression treatment programmes are designed to treat the most common depression types and disorders, such as:

  • major depression - constant low or dark mood with no or little drive to do anything that was once found pleasurable or have interest in things that would usually motivate.
  • persistent depressive disorder - a decreased intensity of low mood compared to major depression but that has lasted for mare than two years.  Daily function is common but with no joy or fulfilment.
  • bipolar disorder and cyclothymia - previously referred to manic depressive, are people that have episodes or bouts of depression but also bursts of intense energy, activity, fast thinking, little need for sleep, risk-taking and very high self-esteem.  This is short-lived as they then crash into depression and self-destructive patterns and behaviour.
  • antenatal depression and postnatal depression - signs of depression low or high that happen within pregnancy or 12 months after the birth of the baby.  Also referred to as baby blues
  • melancholia - this is generally classed as a severe form of depression where physical symptoms present such as reduced and slowing of movement.

Other types of depression such as PMDD Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder can be common in our clients and treated on a regular basis.

Consider taking our depression test to find out more about your depression, anxiety and stress severity. 

What types of anxiety does the programme treat?

Our programmes accommodate treatment for all kinds of anxiety disorders which are categorised as long-lasting, severe and can be crippling in many cases, such disorders can be:

  • Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD)
  • Specific phobias
  • Panic disorder
  • Agoraphobia
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Social anxiety disorder

Consider taking our anxiety test to find out more about your depression, anxiety and stress severity. 

What is equine therapy?

Equine therapy is equine assisted psychotherapy and personal development which assists clients with mental health challenges such as depression, PTSD, anxiety disorders and more.  As part of our lifestyle medicine teams our therapists are highly trained in the EAGALA model that ensures your sessions are conducted by a licensed mental health professional and a qualified equine EAGALA consultant. 

We have the most qualified equine therapy team in Australia with the biggest facilities so you'll know that your therapy will allow for the most effective reflection, projection and connection process that will assist you to learn more about yourself and others in your life. 

Learn more - Equine therapy treating depression


Below is a set of links to further information around causes of depression, lifestyle factors that contribute to depression, viral infection and bacterial overgrowth, nutrition and inflammation, hormonal imbalances, mindsets and more.  There is also links to some of the therapies that we offer and how they play a role in depression treatment and long term health and wellness. 


The Goodsky depression treatment programmes are built on a foundation of advanced lifestyle medicine with the core program outcome of finding the true cause of your condition and then correctly treating it.  Current research and scientific studies are the foundation for how the depression treatment programme was built and is vital to understanding how we test, assess and treat.  To help you understand why this approach has helped so many people we welcome you to begin learning from the following resources, links and documentation.

The lifestyle medicine approach

Essential in enabling you to take control and regain your long-term health and well-being.

This short interview with Dr Chattergee talks about systemic inflammation has many causes including mindset and diet. This drives depression and anxiety, especially when medication has not worked. Upgrades in lifestyle treat inflammation based depression very effectively.

Inflammation and depression explained

In many people with depression and anxiety, the microbiome and digestion can play a big part.  Below are some links to explain.

Gut health
The zonulin pathway and digestive permeability

(causing systemic inflammation and how gliadin a protein like gluten in wheat is a big contributor)

Depression and inflammation feed one another.
Vagus nerve stimulation reduces inflammation.
MTHFR is a genetic condition that interferes with neurotransmitter production. This is identified through pathology and treated through nutrition.
  • can-a ect-mental-physical-health
PYRROLES is a genetic condition

that interferes with the stress response contributing to depression. pathology confirrms it and it is treated through nutrition.

Shame and guilt

increase systemic inflammation. This illustrates the need for mindset change to right depression.  There is a huge body of research around mindset and the mind body connection including the ACE study, mindfulness, trauma and PTSD resolution using non talk based therapy like EMDR, brainspotting, equine therapy and somatic experiencing alongside talk therapy techniques like CBT and REBT.

Stressful life events and depression
Magnesium deficiency and depression and anxiety
nutritional medicine as mainstream in psychiatry