What Services Do We Offer?

We support people with life-threatening illnesses, from diagnosis through to end-of-life or return to wellness, and we also support their families and carers.   Our Model of Care is designed to empower people in the community to navigate holistically through the process of living with, and dying from, life threatening illness and its consequences. 

You are invited to discuss what would be helpful to you and your family through this experience and beyond. Dove House is the hub of our wellness programmes where we provide a range of wellness and supportive therapies to ensure you and your family manage this challenging time in the best way possible.

Services offered include:

“Your warmth & passion is greatly appreciated  - I always feel rejuvenated, glowing and walk away feeling confident within myself.  It opens the mind, body & soul, and leaves you feeling wonderful.  With all my heart I thank you all so much for this wonderful experience"

Our highly skilled team offers a number of complementary therapies, counselling and emotional support to patients, families and carers.

Services include an expansive day programme with a holistic focus on health and well-being within Dove House and a 3-bed, 24-hour care unit with a palliative care focus at Dove Wing.   

We aim to promote your emotional and spiritual well-being and have a strong focus on wellness.  Our therapies are designed to support and enhance conventional treatments that you may already be receiving.

“Just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate my appointments with you.  Keep up the great work – Dove House is lovely and relaxing”

Dove House Services 


Complementary Body Therapies


As part of the Dove Model of Care we offer body therapies to our patients as part of their care plan. Sometimes we are asked what are complementary body therapies and how do they help people with life threatening illness?

Alongside conventional treatment, these therapies help support the mind-body connection to improve wellness. In other words, the power of touch, deep relaxation and nurturing are also treatments that can help people to feel better.

A range of therapeutic approaches can be used at the same time as "conventional" medical treatments and these are often known as "complementary" therapies because they support the healing process.

The complementary therapies work by signaling to mind and body that it is possible to unwind some of the pressures and tensions that may have built up as a result of illness or stress.

We offer the following therapeutic services:

"I would like to thank Dove House for the wonderful support that I have personally received this past year for my ongoing recovery... for helping me stay positive and always making me feel so much better... The service that Dove House provides is absolutely amazing. When I look back at when I was first told to call Dove House, I was very hesitant as it felt like I had so many appointments to fit in and thought "not another one". But now I am so grateful to have been able to experience this wonderful support that Dove House offers; and I can’t speak highly enough of the team -:) With all the cups of teas my husband has had while waiting for me at each appointment we can both see how much effort and what the volunteers do as well"

Oncology Massage is a slow, gentle massage specifically for
cancer patients and it helps alleviate anxiety and depression. By
gently removing waste and supporting the internal organs, patients
also report relief pain and insomnia following treatment.

Lymphodema Massage uses slow, gentle and rhythmic movements to help lymphatic vessels open and drain, reducing risk of infection and easing discomfort and pain, Other benefits of this therapy include immune system support, improved function of affected limb and appearance.

Reiki is an ancient Eastern practice used to channel “universal energy” to promote harmony and balance the mind-body-spirit connection. We get very positive feedback about it from our patients.

Skin & Nail treatments promote self-care and the health, improved function and appearance, of skin and nails. Pain and discomfort is addressed alongside product knowledge, self awareness and a boost to confidence.

Reflexology is another “healing art’ from ancient cultures and uses pressure points to activate the body’s own ability to restore itself. For those who enjoy a good foot rub, this is the next level of foot bliss.

Aromatherapy is similar to Oncology Massage, but with
essential oils from plants which are chosen to support symptom
management and promote relaxation.

Relaxation Breathing allows us to change the way we breath. If you want to easily achieve a more relaxed and clear state of mind, we encourage you to learn and apply this method both during therapy and in everyday life.


“I love coming to Dove House.  I find everyone very welcoming and the atmosphere soothing.  Dove House offered a warm, caring and nurturing environment when I felt at my most vulnerable. It was like a peaceful island in a world of fear and anxiety, a place to share thoughts and feelings”

Counselling and Spiritual Support

Through our counselling and spiritual care we seek to support you to find meaning and hope in your situation.  This means we are committed to:

  • Listening to you—abandoning ready-made answers and instead endeavouring to understand and appreciate what it means to be you.​

  • Providing you with a non-judgmental environment of love and respect where your dignity, power and autonomy are seen to be important.


What is Counselling / Psychotherapy? What can you expect?


Counselling and Psychotherapy work by engaging you in a relationship where you can express and explore thoughts and feelings, hopes and fears, explore your current life situation, and consider the ways you manage this.


The Counselling and Emotional Support Service at Dove House provides staff who are trained as psychotherapists, and one who is trained as a narrative therapist. We are here to support you. We do this by listening without judgement, and providing a space in which you can safely talk about your experiences and the challenges you are currently facing. You do not need to have a ‘mental health issue’ to attend, simply a desire for support. We believe that counselling will help you feel stronger in facing the challenges found in living with illness, in caring for others, and/or experiencing bereavement.


It can be very helpful to discuss your situation with someone who is not directly involved with your daily life. You may be experiencing depression or anxiety, stress or worry and need support in dealing with this. There may be days where the challenges you face feel overwhelming and you need to share.

People sometimes say they feel lighter after spending time with a psychotherapist. You may find new ideas and ways to practice self-care. You may feel safe to share things you have not shared with others. You may begin to see your situation with more clarity or from a different point of view. Through discussion, sharing and exploration you may come to new understandings that empower you to make changes and move forward.

Here at Dove House, a counselling appointment is usually about 50 minutes. Your goals, your counselling plan, and the length of time you remain in counselling are regularly reviewed with you. Couple and family meetings may also be available if you and your counsellor see this as useful for you.

Support Groups and Workshops

You'll find we have many different support groups and workshops to support you, your family and your carer which will assist with providing information, resources, support and social interaction.



Regular Groups


A broad selection of  supportive groups, classes and  workshops are available at Dove House on an ongoing basis. We encourage you to talk with your counsellor, nurse or body  therapist about your care plan and  discover which of these group sessions they
recommend for you.

New Physiotherapy-based Exercise Class:  This class combines physiotherapy with elements of yoga, and is facilitated by our physiotherapist and designed to rebuild your strength and recover your stamina. Thursdays at Dove House from 1:30pm-2:30pm.


Chair Yoga:  Our Yoga teacher is an experienced practitioner. She assists patients by tailoring the yoga to their abilities and needs. Provides gentle exercise and helps with relaxation, gentle stretching and increasing mobility incorporating movement and breathing practices. Mondays from 11:30am to 12:15pm.


Art and Healing Table: The facilitators of this session assist you to experience the healing power of expressing yourself through art. The group combines creativity and company to enhance your wellbeing and to experience affirming support. No previous art experience is required. If it is your first time, please come at the beginning of the session so you can be introduced to the facilitator. You do not have to stay for the full session – how long you stay in each session depends on you. Wednesday 10:30am to 2:30pm.


Orchid Group: Facilitated by a nurse and counsellor. Those with advanced and/or metastatic disease meet to share experiences and information about the challenges of daily life when also coping with serious illness. Tuesdays 10:30am to 12 noon.


Mind Body and Breath: Our facilitator is also an experienced mindfulness and yoga teacher in the community. The class combines gentle movement with breathing to create a feeling of mindfulness. This group is useful for relaxation and stress management and helps you to learn a tool that can be used wherever and whenever you feel stressed. Tuesdays 1:30pm to 2:30pm.


Bereavement Morning Tea: Facilitated by a nurse and counsellor. Starts again on Thursday, 16th January, from 10.30am (please RSVP for catering purposes). Runs every two weeks.

Men’s Group: Facilitated by Dr Graeme Kidd and Graham Southwell. A relaxed and informal group session for men who have been diagnosed with cancer or other life threatening illness and are keen to improve their quality of life (please RSVP for catering purposes). First Wednesday of every month from 10:30am-11:30am.

Other Groups and Workshops  

Men's Evening:  During the year the Men's Group may also be held in the evening and combined with a light supper. The evening group is open to men with a life threatening illness and to those who are supporting someone with a life threatening illness.

Restoring Wellness - kindly supported by Southern Cross Health Trust:  This group supports people who have completed their treatment to strengthen the foundations of their well-being and to consider what health and well-being mean to them in terms of moving beyond their recent experiences with a potentially life-threatening illness. It is held in the early evening, usually about four times a year over a six-week period. There may also be an additional session focusing on nutrition and a check in session a month after completion. It is a facilitated programme.  


Mindful Wellness - kindly supported by Southern Cross Health Trust:  This group explores living as fully as possible in the context of an ongoing life-threatening disease. Provides skills to build self-awareness, life fully and manage stress and anxiety. This programme runs for three or four weeks. It is a facilitated programme.

Food as Medicine: Let the experts take the complexity of what food has become and break it down to gain an understanding of the basics. Learn how the
food we eat can be just the medicine our bodies need. This philosophy on nutrition is based on a natural whole food diet that brings together health and enjoyment of food. (Usually runs in conjunction with the Restoring Wellness programme)

Carers Group:  This is a group to support those who are involved in the care of a person with a life-threatening illness. It recognises the challenges of caring for those we love when they are ill and the demands this may place upon the caring. It is a facilitated programme running over a four-week period.

Music Therapy:  This group is facilitated by an experienced music therapist. Music is used to assist with the healing and personal growth of the participants. It also encourages creativity in an enjoyable environment with others.

Journaling Workshops - kindly supported by Southern Cross Health Trust:  This group provides an opportunity to learn journaling skills and utilise these to increase self-reflection and personal development. In the context of a life-threatening illness journaling may also become a tool for passing on life experiences.

Bereavement Retreat:  This is an opportunity to develop well-being tools, share with others, and be strengthened in your loss.


Seasons for Growth:  This is a four week programme for those who are bereaved intended to offer support as well as learning about the grief process and developing your resilience.