THE FOLLOWING ARE TESTIMONIALS FROM CONSULTANT PSYCHIATRISTS AND SOME OF OUR CLIENTS. THANK YOU TO ALL WHO CONTRIBUTED TO THIS PAGE.
The Daisy Retreat program attains on average a 96% improvement in mood and 92% improvement in anxiety. (Based on results from The Beck Depressive Inventory and The Beck Anxiety Inventory from May 2013 to April 2018)
Dr Adrian Lord
Consultant Forensic and General
"I worked alongside Ellie for several years in London at Cygnet Hospital Harrow, where she was Head of Therapy, and also in private practice at Bloomsbury. She's an excellent Therapist who is able to be both compassionate and rigorous, in order to achieve good outcomes for clients. Very highly recommended!"
Dr Joseph Bray, MB BCh BAO (NUI),
As a Consultant Psychiatrist, I worked closely with Ms Donnelly at Priory Hospital Southampton, England from 2010 until 2013. During that time she was Head of Therapy Services for the Hospital. This was a very responsible post and she managed and supervised the work of all the therapists at the hospital. She also advised and supported the other Psychiatrists and Nursing Staff at the hospital.
She has a Master’s Degree in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, and her special interest is in the management of patients with severe Anxiety Disorders, Depression and Stress-Related Illness, as well as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, General Psychiatric presentations and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. She is also skilled in dealing with Eating Disorders, Addictions and Bipolar Disorder.
As a Therapist she is very effective and engaging. She is eclectic, combining her specialist knowledge with common sense and a practical approach, respecting each individual’s dignity, autonomy and capacity to heal. She takes a holistic approach, combining sound psychological principles with awareness of the need to address the physical, psychological, social and spiritual needs of her patients. She is a very wise and experienced therapist who is kind, warm and engaging, with a relaxed and supportive disposition, who is committed to the welfare of her patients.
At a personal level she has been very helpful to me during times of adversity, and I cannot recommend her highly enough.
Miss L Retreat
My father found Ellie through her website while I was going through a period that I was struggling. My family and I knew that I needed help with a pattern of very unhealthy behaviour surrounding food and body image. I was desperate to feel good, but unable to take steps to move away from the familiar. Ellie exuded love, understanding and a deep knowledge and intuition of what I was dealing with from our first phone call. I spent two weeks on retreat with Ellie a couple of weeks after we first spoke.
The 14 days were challenging, and at times confronting. However, with Ellie’s help I was able to identify a lot of the beliefs that I was holding onto dearly which were preventing me from living my life. She is loving, compassionate, honest and patient. I believe that the time that has passed since seeing Ellie would have been completely different for me had I not spent that two weeks with her. It’s impossible to sum up the experience in a simple testimonial, but I know I left a very different person than when I arrived. My friends and family noticed a huge shift.
Ellie has helped me at times that I’ve needed her since returning home, so I have never felt like I had ‘completed’ our time together. I know that I can get in touch if I ever need to.
I have so much gratitude for Ellie, Wati and of course the animals! Bali is a perfect place for this kind of treatment as you really are able to focus solely on your work and recovery.
I could not recommend Ellie more highly. I am forever thankful to have met you Ellie xx
Mr J Daycare
Since seeing Ellie at the Daisy Retreat in Bali where she diagnosed me with strong OCD disorganised thoughts my quality of life has completely changed. When I first saw Ellie I actually thought I was losing my mind and that I was alone with this and was quite depressed. After my first session, Ellie diagnosed me and explained how I was to use different strategies to overcome and cope with my disorder. You can't imagine that now I was not alone , it is a common condition , now I have coping strategies, I am not losing my mind , well I felt like I'd been freed from hell in my own head! I strongly reccommend going to Bali and having some sessions whilst on holiday in Paradise, Ellie is a highly skilled and very welcoming person who will be able to get your mind qualified , quantified and back on track !
Miss J Daycare
I started seeing Ellie at Daisy Retreat at an extremely challenging time of my life around 4 years ago. I wasn’t sure what to expect and had exhausted many options, after suffering from lifelong mental health problems. I was scared, but I didn’t know what else to do.
During our work together, Ellie and I worked through many different therapy techniques to identify and lessen my problems. From well-known therapeutic methods, to recommendations for books and meditation resources, she provided such a well-rounded approach.
What I love is that she is a real person – she’s forthright and no-nonsense, and super caring. From the outset I felt a high level of trust and comfort with her, that increased with each time that we worked together.
Working with Ellie has had a significant impact on my life. I feel that I understand my beast and am better equipped to tame it – which I can say has never happened in my life before as I tumbled from one state to the next. While I will always have to work hard to foster good mental health, I am now armed with more knowledge, confidence and greater self-compassion which makes everything so much more achievable.
Thank you Ellie. You’ve enriched my life and made my present and future a sunnier, more enjoyable place. XX
Miss V, Day Care
Ellie is an absolute godsend and helped me through a period of severe anxiety. Within 5 sessions together she had diagnosed and equipped me with the right tools and strategies to heal and manage it going forward. I feel great and know that each day will be better than the last. On top of it all she is also a kind and caring person who gives the best hugs and I can’t recommend her enough!
I would also like to add how incredible Ellie was even before I came to see her. She truly went above and beyond to make sure I wasn’t given the wrong prescription. You truly are a godsend! Thanks for everything Ellie x
MR S, Retreat
Over 31 days of intensive therapy with Ellie, I woke up from a state of deep depression, incessant rumination and exhausting anxiety and learned how to live again – to have hope again, to appreciate being alive, and to feel joy in everything from walking with her and her four loving dogs on the beach to changing my thinking and behavior to be honest with myself and others, even when it was uncomfortable for me to do so. When I came to Ellie’s retreat villa to have an initial face-to-face consultation with her, I was on the fence about doing the retreat. I chatted with the guy who was there in retreat at the time, and he told me straight out that if he knew what he knew then from being in retreat with Ellie, he would have easily paid double. When he told me this, I didn’t know what to think frankly… and indeed my skepticism and cynicism were still fully intact, along with my nagging doubt, desperation, and hopelessness. But now having gone through retreat myself, I totally get it and unconditionally agree with him. Indeed, I would easily pay more than double for what Ellie helped me (re)attain: peace of mind. You can’t put a price on that. So, thank you Ellie.
It was not only peace of mind, but also Ellie helped regain my self-awareness and she provided me steps/skills to “course correct” myself so that I didn’t get stuck in bad thinking and bad habits, and instead walk towards compassion for myself and others, walk towards values I admire in others such as freedom and courage, and walk towards honesty and joy. When I think of where I was when I arrived at Ellie’s retreat center and where I was when I left, a huge smile comes across my face and my eyes fill with tears of joy and gratitude. Thank you Ellie.
Before I was in the retreat, I was worried -- to say the least -- about the full on, all day, for every day one-on-one aspect of the retreat – how do I spend all day with a therapist who is also a stranger for more than one day? Indeed, for even one day. Well, that worry totally dissipated during Day 1. And an initial 14-day retreat turned into 31 days. Yes, it was that useful, and, yes, I was that sick, and yes, Ellie was for all intents and purposes a miracle worker for me. Each day was really hard, but also really productive. There were days when I could not see even a sliver of light, but there is something about how Ellie worked with me that always made me feel I was making progress. It is absolutely clear that getting her clients to feel better about themselves, others, and life through therapy is more than just a job for Ellie – it is her calling. And I and the multitude of her clients and our friends, families and loved ones are all the better for it. So once again, thank you Ellie.
Mr D; Australia; Retreat.
Like so many other testimonials written here I have taken so much time and rewritten it a thousand times in my mind but there are simply no words to describe the amazing woman that is Ellie Donnelly and the life she has given me back.
I was at the end, a ten year struggle that included every drug under the sun and a trail of numbness and depression. After a lot of research I found Ellie, she was in another country, I would need to sell my toys to get to her and I would need to leave my wife and kids for a month and all the time being at my lowest ever and my family is all I had. I kissed the family and I went.
Enough has been written in other testimonials to guide you through what Ellie does, I can only tell you that everything in the below and above testimonials is true. No person is the same and the medical profession as I have seen it has only a small kit when it comes to treatment, Ellie has heart and soul and can instantly see you for who you are. Ellie is not only one of the warmest souls I know but her level of professionalism coupled with her own battles of which she is very open about makes her the perfect person to understand what you are feeling and this is the true difference.
Every day still produces obstacles for everyone and navigating through those is so hard but what Ellie has taught me really is the difference between living and being happy with my life, and she will teach you it is your life.
There is honestly hundreds of stories from my time with Ellie and her team that I think about every day and I am thankful for.
If you are suffering and you need help then please just pick up the phone and call her. Money can be earnt but time cannot be turned back. If you want your life back, make the call. It's honestly the best thing I ever did.
I want to make a special mention and a huge thank you to Ellies staff - Big Johnny and Kadek, two men who touched my heart and showed me there is so much more to life, their smiles are so addictive and I can't wait to get back and hug and Twin ( Yoga master ) who transformed the way I thought about my mind and body.
None of this however would be possible without Ellie. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I had given up on everything and everyone and you were honestly my last option. You and I are going to be friends for life. You are my savior. You are an amazing human, thank you for helping me believe in myself. Xxoo
Miss A; Canada,Retreat
I’ve thought about how to write this testimonial a hundred times but it is difficult to put into words a journey that changed the entire trajectory of my life. Someone posed a question to me the other day, they asked, “was there an event in your life that caused you to think of your life in terms of ‘before’ and ‘after’?” My trip to Bali was this event. My life story will now be thought of in terms of ‘before Bali’ and ‘after Bali’. I want to be able to reach through the computer, take your hand and tell you all about what relief feels like from the other side. This retreat can offer you spiritual healing, through yoga and meditation, but Ellie also offers evidence-based methods needed to make lasting change. I know I needed more than just a little sunshine and yoga. I needed someone to help me challenge my core beliefs, properly diagnose me, counsel me about medication, and skilfully use CBT to help retrain my brain.
I have struggled with anxiety and depression since my memory serves me. I was put on anti-depressants and stimulants when I was 14 and I learned to internalize my mental health struggles since that day. I blamed myself for everything. Ellie helped me to see just what a ‘sh*t show’ (sorry for the language) my childhood was. She helped me feel anger towards those who were supposed to protect me and validated that this was a normal and accurate emotion needed to provide closure. She didn’t cause me to feel bitterness but she helped me to mourn the childhood I never had.
Before I went to Bali, I was in bed for a few months, barely grooming or eating, wishing I had never been born. I left Bali with my head held high, with some hope in my pocket and a will to live a happy and fulfilling life.
Ellie empowered me with a proper diagnosis of OCD (mostly obsessional thinking) for which I had most likely been suffering from since I was a child. The only way I can explain it is that before Ellie, I was operating on a different wavelength than everyone else. I was in a state of constant arousal and tortured with worry, guilt, anger, shame, and self-loathing. I felt unheard and alone. I can now take deep breaths without feeling like the weight of the world rests on my chest. I can laugh, I can stop myself from listening to my negative self-talk and I can finally relax. Ellie helped me achieve this with her incredible sense of humour, wit, empathy, and insight.
I could honestly write a book my experience with a chapter dedicated to the amazing staff and the therapeutic relationship I developed with the pets. I know it is difficult to take such a big step. I hope my story helps you to see that change is possible. You deserve happiness and Ellie can help you achieve it.
Mr H, Retreat
I spent 12 days at The Daisy Retreat Bali and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to go.
The atmosphere that Ellie creates is incredibly calm and relaxed. There is no clock watching on time spent talking, no regimented times to have sessions and no pre-conceived ideas and formulas.
Almost immediately it felt like I was home away from home in a beautiful setting and spending time with a friend who was helping me to understand myself in the context of my life.
I wasn't made to feel like I was a sick patient that needed fixing. Instead a healthy head who had lost their way and needed help to regain a clarity of thought and feel confident enough to get back to living and to stop slow-dying.
The therapy was a combination of more formal sessions as well as a much softer approach which included sharing meals (the majority cooked by an amazing chef), stories, interests, outings, animals, swimming, alone time and generally seeing Bali.
The approach actually felt advisory as opposed to other therapy that I have had that continually puts every question you ask back to you for you to try and figure out.
In Ellie I have found a support and a friend who has helped me to think more clearly, make big decisions with conviction and generally hold my head up higher and start to believe in myself.
A very big thank you
Miss V, Jakarta; Retreat
I'm bipolar type 1 with mania and was recently treated in Daisy's retreat for it.
While I was there, I learned invaluable lessons; lessons to preserve life-long health.
My symptoms of Mania are such as
racing mind with flight of ideas
There, I was taught how to diminish these unwanted things for my own good as well as those around me until I slowly recovered from my mania.
I have learned lessons such as
how to do mindfulness to slow my brain down, quiet it down.
How imperative taking medicines are for bipolar and the risks of stopping.
How I can be aware and get early help before an episode takes over through identification of my episodes' symptoms.
I also grew up with negative thoughts which render me to be low in self-esteem, with her own method Ms Ellie helped me challenged these thoughts, making me a more confident individual.
She also shared with me the perks of being a bipolar and that it is not all gloomy.
Throughout, I learned how to keep myself healthy but aside from that I also learned how to accept and love myself.
Ms Ellie is an incredible therapist, a friend and a mother to me. Thank you Ms Ellie.
MR J, Bali, Day Care:
Pada awal 2013 saat saya tidak bisa berhenti melirik penis seorang laki-laki, semakin saya lawan semakin kuat dorongan untuk melihatnya. Saya merasa malu karena dikira seseorang pecinta sesama jenis. Saya merasa takut bergaul dan saya cenderung mengurung diri. Ini sangat mengganggu aktivitas saya sebagai karyawan. Lalu saya ke psikolog dan saya disuruh berpikiran positif. Tapi sangat sulit untuk berfikiran positif dan penyakit saya tak kunjung sembuh. Lalu saya kembali ke psikolog tersebut dan psikolog tersebut merujuk saya ke dokter jiwa untuk minta obat. Lalu saya diberikan obat oleh dokter tersebut Alprazolam dan tidak membantu saya. Saya hanya merasa ngantuk dan mata saya terus melihat penis. Saya tidak tahu apa penyakit saya dokter tersebut bilang ini penyakit yang jarang dan dia tidak bisa mendiagnosa. Pada 2015 saya mencari digoogle lalu saya menemukan Daisy Retreat lalu saya membuat janji dan menemui Mrs. Ellie. Bukan bermaksud menjelekan dokter yang lain tapi hanya dalam waktu 30 menit bercerita, Mrs. Ellie dapat mendiagnosa penyakit saya. Saya dibilang OCD. Saat itu saya tidak percaya dengan diagnosa Mrs. Ellie lalu dia merekomendasikan saya sebuah buku. Dan semua yang terjadi pada diri saya ada dibuku tersebut. Dengan buku tersebut OCD saya melemah. Dan saya dapat mengendalikan penyakit saya tersebut dengan baik.
At the beginning of 2013 when I could not stop glancing at a man's penis, the more I resist the stronger the urge to see it. I felt ashamed of being mistaken for someone of the same sex. I am afraid to get along and I tend to shut myself up. This is very disturbing to my activity as an employee. Then I went to a psychologist and I was told to be positive. But it is very difficult to think positive and my illness does not heal. Then I went back to the psychologist and the psychologist referred me to a psychiatrist for medication. Then I was given medicine by the doctor Alprazolam and did not help me. I just feel sleepy and my eyes keep looking at the penis. I do not know what my illness the doctor said is a rare disease and he can-not diagnose. In 2015 I searched google then I found Daisy Retreat then I made an appointment and met Mrs. Ellie. The other doctor could not tell me what was wrong but within just 30 minutes of telling, Mrs. Ellie can diagnose my illness. I have OCD. At that time I did not believe in Mrs. Ellie then she recommended me a book. And everything that happens to me is there in the book. With Mrs. Ellie and the book I overcame my OCD. And I can control my illness well.
Doctor and Mrs T, Australia, Retreat
My Dear Ellie,
What more can we say but thank you from the bottom of our hearts! You will never know how much we appreciate the wonderful care you have given our daughter. You have changed her life and we will be forever grateful. With all good wishes to you.
DR. L, San Francisco, Retreat
Ellie Donnelly and the program at her Bali Retreat saved my life. There are no words big enough or great enough to describe what Ellie has done for me. I have never felt truly happy until now.
I would recommend any one who is suffering to seek help from Daisy Retreat.
Thank you Ellie for being my therapist and my friend for life.
Lots of love L xo
DR. S, UK, Retreat
Having spent 10 days on retreat in Bali I can honestly say they were amongst the most thought-provoking of my life. Ellie masterfully guided me along a journey that culminated in me having much greater insight into who I am, why I am the way I am, and what needs to change to improve my life.
Incredibly, before I went to Bali I had misunderstood my relationships with those dearest to me, and in doing so, was stuck in behavioural patterns that have been destructive to me.
I was battling with acceptance of a newly diagnosed bipolar disorder and what this meant for me going forward - the need for long term medications and stability that was lacking in my current lifestyle. I still battle with this but have much greater insight, and a deeper understanding of what worsens my mood swings.
Spending 10 days on retreat gave me a chance to pause "real life" and focus fully on myself and my wellbeing in a way I have never achieved before. Good food, sunshine, comfortable accommodation, masterful yoga classes with Twin, and all my needs attended to made this a very stress-free time despite the deep issues I was addressing.
Having another client there at the same time only enhanced the experience - we spent a lot of time talking to each other, watching movies, and laughing, and practiced the new behaviours that Ellie taught us. I am pleased to say that I have formed a deep friendship with the other client that I hope will continue for life.
The retreat is expensive but worth every penny.
Bringing about the life changes I need to make upon my return to real life has been challenging - I may see the need to change my behavior but those around me are resistant to these changes, and may be frightened or resentful. I am working on that- no miracles expected but gently chipping away.
And I still do yoga.....
MRS S, Canada,Retreat
I spent ten days of retreat at The Daisy retreat Bali and it changed my life. Prior to my retreat I was struggling with the effects of bipolar illness and was in a deep depression. In fact, prior to my first conversation with Ellie, I was fixing to end my life and had plans to do so. Even just speaking with Ellie for the first time via Skype helped me until I was able to get to Bali and complete my retreat and CBT.
The retreat itself was beautiful and the most relaxing and rejuvenating experience of my life. The staff are amazing (special thanks to Jherry, Wayan, and Rudy) and the food (much thanks to Hatin the cook) was out of this world. I truly felt pampered and cared for in every way. Ellie also went out of her way to organize things for me to do, and share meals and spend time with me outside of just the therapy. I also partook in Yoga and mindfulness meditation daily.
My time with Ellie is where I learned to change my thinking and retrain the voices of negativity that were entrenched in me. After experiencing extreme depression for years and a total lack of enjoyment of any aspect of my life, when that fog began to lift, with Ellie's help, I felt like a different person. For the first time in years I feel good in my own skin, I feel happy and content with my life. I swear I owe my life to Ellie and her experience in providing CBT.
Much gratitude and love,
Ms K, Hampshire, Retreat
I was diagnosed with depression four years go and after feeling like I had run out of options to try to battle it my friend suggested a retreat. I went home that night to research retreats abroad and found the daisy retreat. I emailed late that night and in the next couple of days I was having a Skype consultation with Ellie and in only one hour Ellie had completely understood and got me and I knew I had to meet her. On the lead up to going to the daisy retreat they were so responsive and helpful whenever I had a query or question.
I have gone to write this testimonial a few times but there’s simply not enough praises or clichés to explain how perfect the daisy retreat is. I've never felt so at peace with myself then the time I spent with Ellie and the daisy retreat. For me it was the most nerve wrecking thing I have done in my life considering I couldn't even meet someone at a social place. Ellie welcomed me with open arms and I knew I was in the right place. The staff were so lovely and the villa was so stunning but in a few days of being there I felt like it was my home. It brings me to tears writing this as I only wish there were more people in this world like Ellie, no words can describe the experience for me that I had in Bali so I will leave you with this; A philosopher called Alan Watts once said with a negative there always comes a positive and for a while I felt anger with this because where was the positive of having to live with depression but then I met Ellie, without having being diagnosed with depression four years ago I would have never of met her and that to me is the positive that came with the negative.
much love, K xo
Ms H, San Francisco, Retreat
Ellie and the staff at The Daisy Retreat surpassed all of my expectations.
It was my first time in Bali and the food was incredible and the villa was gorgeous; tropical with a relaxing pool. And, how can I forget my favorite doggies (Pavlov and Rosie), love!
But, more importantly, I have been in therapy for over 10+ years to work on my depression (and also my overeating and binge-drinking). By the time I arrived in Bali, I was hanging on by a thread, hoping that Ellie could help me understand what was wrong. I was desperate at this point, and was considering both 30-day alcohol rehabs and in-patient eating disorder clinics as a last resort, to get "fixed." What I really needed was to work on my underlying disapproval of myself and not engage with the negative beliefs I had about myself. Little did I know, this whole time I wasn't really struggling with severe depression, but more so perfectionism and obsessive thoughts. My extremely high demands (that could never be met) were actually what were keeping me in a perpetual state of "meh" as we called it. I was living with feelings of defectiveness and constantly ruminating on negative thoughts (guilt, shame and body disgust, overand over and over) and Ellie helped me to see all of this. She really helped me come to a place of acceptance. One of the biggest things I've learned is that no matter what - I GET TO BE HAPPY. She's a miracle worker and the best psychologist I've ever met. I have to say, I've been to quite a few therapists (and psychiatrists) in my day and Ellie is by far the greatest. She was the first to nail my issues head on, and in such a short time frame! I felt so relieved that someone finally "got me." Also, I came home with tools and exercises along with an acute awareness, which I know I will take with me everywhere and every day. A few things I plan to do more of: follow my heart and walk barefoot (for starters). Haha! I feel so forever grateful to Ellie and her team for being so compassionate and for creating such a warm and non-judgemental environment. I miss you all, already!
If you are struggling with anything at all, just go - you will not regret it.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!!! xoxo
Mr W, USA, Retreat
When searching for depression treatment clinics and retreats, you will find many that suggest that some time away, some exercise, and a little therapy will get you past your depressing event. But what if you suffer from long term depression? A little fresh air simply isn't going to help, and besides, you've probably already tried it.
You suddenly realize that your options are limited to places where you check yourself in for a 30 day CONTRACT at $1500+ USD per day, with the possibility that you need a few months to heal (that is $45,000 to $90,000
USD). Your insurance is filed after you've signed on, and there is no guarantee that they will pay anything. Your package includes 1 hour therapy, 1 hour group, 1 hour exercise, etc - daily. There is an entire staff of people who can describe the experience, what to expect, can tell you about the clinic and services - but you can't really talk to any of the therapists who will actually be working with you... So your decision will be based on the initial staff friendliness, marketing materials, therapist credentials, and patient reviews only (HealthGrades et al).
Then you find Daisy Retreat: Specializes in long term depression; Intense therapy sessions to fit 30+ hours of sessions into 2 weeks; Therapist with impressive credentials and proven track record; Initial consultation with the therapist herself; Very reasonably priced; Provided Yoga sessions for exercise and meditation; Located in paradise with a stunning view. If you are like me, you are skeptical that such a place can exist. Fortunately, it does exist!
If you are tired of being depressed, at the end of your rope, and/or can no longer see a way forward - schedule the initial consultation with Ellie. In just a few minutes, you'll know if she is the right fit for you and can help you. You will be able to recognize her knowledge and detect her confidence.
For my initial consultation, I prepared a list of all the topics that I wanted to cover. When I started the consult with Ellie, she didn't really give me the opportunity to use my prepared outline and list... ... But when the consult was over, she'd led me through my concerns and managed to cover my list. And interestingly, the urgency of some of my concerns changed, simply because of the initial consultation. In that first consultation, I had two takeaways to consider. At that point, I knew Ellie had the potential to make a difference...
The road to recovery really does start with the proverbial first step. And Daisy Retreat makes the first step not only easy but meaningful.
At Daisy Retreat, there are several points throughout the day where you are with the staff - including Ellie - outside of session. These proved to be the
most enlightening benefit of the Daisy Retreat experience - but more on that later. So imagine sitting down for breakfast and getting a few moments to meet Ellie and staff. In a very relaxed moment, you make your introductions, exchange pleasantries, and start to know one another...
So, it is time for your very first season. As you have had your initial consultation already and just had the opportunity to meet each other at breakfast - you start your very first session actually working on your concerns. The things that one might typically do in a first session have already been completed. Although homework for day one is mostly assessments and metrics - you still have the feeling that day one was useful. And the sessions only get better, especially if you let your soul guide you and get and give feedback to Ellie. Some powerful moments can come.
When I am in therapy session, my mind is geared for that... ..I am listening, thinking, interacting, learning, maybe being emotional - and my brain is working hard. Outside of a therapy session - I am just being "me". The most profound moments of my Daisy Retreat experience were at meals where I was just being me... Several times I would say something, and Ellie would point out that I just did something we talked about, or maybe said something defeatist, or maybe expressed a view that was distorted... Ellie would often follow that with a change to or additional homework. But the fact that you have a real world example between your thoughts and your actions can be powerful. In one of many such events, Ellie caught something I said and gave me a life altering notion - which I will never forget... ... And in session, Ellie ceased the importance of that idea and took me to a place I never dreamed possible. The power of the moments outside of session is the hidden jewel that Daisy Retreat offers.
Before I came to Daisy Retreat, I was already seeing a good therapist. I have seen other therapists and had been on several medications for depression previously. Ultimately I reached the end of my rope and everything in my life came to a crashing halt. I knew I had to get serious help, far away from everything else, with someone skilled to handle long term depression. (I needed so much more than a week of yoga on the beach with some group
therapy thrown in - which is what some competitors offer in Bali and the US...)
When I came to Daisy Retreat, Ellie immediately began working with me on those things that were troubling me. Then she began to make me notice those things outside of session which were negative and needed to be addressed. Then she gave me the tools that I need to manage, maintain, and keep my depression under control.
Then she did the impossible. Many years ago, I gave up the hope of ever being happy - I simply wanted to exist without the pain of depression.. But Ellie challenged me to strive for happiness - and gave me the tools to work towards that. Result - I am happy. I mean really happy. Of course I have moments where I am not happy and have concerns that trouble me - but I have tools to deal with those, and I've exceeded my wildest dreams. And by allowing my soul to guide me, my life has given me moments beyond widest dreams that I never would have let happen before. Wonderful things that I could never have conceived of are happening to ME! MY life has become amazing.
Some other odds and ends:
My therapist was all for me going to Daisy Retreat. She visited the website, checked credentials, etc. Likewise, Ellie understands that you may already have a therapist. There is no conflict of interest. Both want to see you improve and be happy and well functioning. And yes, I have seen my therapist of years since my return home - but I do not have regular scheduled appointments.
Shortly after my return home, several people unloaded a lot of negativity at me. I am not sure if my new strength gave them the confidence to clear their conscious or they were trying to put me "back in my place", but it was a shock. Ultimately I stayed on my new course; but you should be aware that not everyone will be happy that you are happy. I choose to strive for happiness.
Making the decision to go to Daisy Retreat was difficult given the place where I was (and that it sounded too good to be true) - but it was indeed one of the best and most crucial decisions I have ever made. Setup the initial consultation to see if the same is true for you.
There is no doubt in my mind that God led me to Ellie and the staff at Daisy Retreat.
Mr. L, (18 months post-Retreat)
"In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer." Albert Camus, 1913-1960 I learned to use this mantra when I left Daisy Retreat 18 months ago. It has served me well. In fact, I had it tattooed on my forearm. No matter what happens in this crazy world, if I remain gentle, considerate, and forgiving to myself, the outside world will have less impact on my well-being. Ellie helped me rediscover my true self, and embrace my natural love for life, people, and nature. I ditched a poisonous relationship, and put my energy into myself, and my existing positive relationships. I am single, at this point, but very content. I laugh every day! I address stressful situations with humour and patience. I seem to have a holistic view of events in my life, and feel spiritual when things don't seem to go my way. I have learned a bit of acceptance. Though I am an atheist, I feel more in tune with my place in this world. Elle taught me the value of meditation and I use it frequently to calm myself. I know when I start to spin out, and move too fast, the techniques that Ellie taught me will slow my meaningless thoughts to emptiness. Ellie's assistance with a psychiatrist to obtain the correct medication for my bi-polar disorder was essential in my miraculous recovery. Ellie, in no uncertain terms, explained to me the importance of accepting the fact that I have a serious disorder and therefore will need to take this medication until science finds a more suitable alternative. I am still manic at times. I love that mania. However, it no longer takes over! I'm no longer depressed. I love life. Without Ellie's intuition and her loving but firm style of therapy, I do not believe that I would have survived the hole of depression that I had fallen into. She is a special person who has a gift for helping people learn to love and value their true selves. If you find that you are in despair, perpetually unhappy, and mentally and physically sick, I advise you to give Ellie a call. She can, and will, help you if you have the desire to live a fruitful and beautiful life. "
Mrs. N, UK, Retreat
After being diagnosed with Bipolar Type II last year, I really believe I came to Bali to meet Ellie and feel well again. Ellie has helped me to understand my illness, her explanations were far more concise and accessible than any others I have received during my past year of receiving treatment from a variety of doctors in different countries. I now understand and realise how and why I behave as I do, and have been taught many methods of coping and behaviour monitoring techniques. My Life is now truly enjoyable again. She has an amazing gift and if you are at all in any conflict with yourself, don't hesitate in contacting Daisy Retreat. I can honestly say that Ellie changed my life and in turn, that of my whole family. I am so grateful for meeting her, as is my husband. Ellie is so easy to talk to and adds humorous compassion in her sessions, as well as comprehensive professionalism, without which I wouldn't feel the way I do today. Thank you sincerely, you've truly helped me change for the better."
Mr & Mrs R, Retreat
My wife and I spent 10 days at Daisy Retreat. I can honestly say that for myself and my wife, these were 10 of the most well-spent days of our lives. Ellie’s easy and approachable manner made it feel more like talking to an old friend and allowed us to get comfortable quicker and address issues more frankly. We would highly recommend Daisy Retreat as a great place not just for therapy, but also to regain balance and sense of clarity. It is a place of warm hospitality, friendship, and tender care.
Thank you Ellie xo
Miss J, UK, , Intensive Day Therapy
"Thank you so much Ellie - honestly, you have helped me so much. I never considered I would be where I am right now. I am very happy!"
Mr A; Hong Kong, Retreat
"Ellie is very personable, warm, direct, and insightful. The 10 days I spent with her, after suffering work-related burnout and and insomnia, were invaluable at the time. As I look back several months later I realise they have also been subtly but significantly life-changing.
Working mainly through a CBT-based exploration of the causes of my feelings and responses, Ellie gave me new ways to think about myself and my situation, and new tools to protect myself and to rediscover my value.
Furthermore, Ellie has set me on a path of discovery of CBT and meditation that is giving me enriching new perspectives on life. The evidence base for these practices is very strong, and Ellie and her compassionate yet no-nonsense approach was just the right introduction."
Mrs. N, Dubai, Retreat
"Absolutely 'amazing', 'unforgettable' and 'beautiful' - are the words that I would use to describe my experience at Daisy Retreat Following my first Skype consultation with Ellie, I was amazed at how quickly she was able to understand me and how comfortable I felt with her. I just knew that I had to meet her and that she would be able to help me... and I was right. I had been suffering from anxiety, OCD and insomnia for a long time and was feeling totally helpless and depressed before going there. Ellie has given me hope, shown me that life doesn't need to be taken so seriously and given me the confidence to walk with my head held high. I enjoyed every minute of our CBT and Mindfulness sessions - Ellie ensured that she really dug deep in order to get to know the real me, which helped us to understand my core life traps from childhood in order to tackle them. Thanks to the Mindfulness training, I am now able to appreciate being in the present moment much more, focusing on sights, sounds and smells as well as observing intrusive thoughts but being able to let go of them more easily. I have learnt to look into my soul, to be more curious about nature, and focus more on the beauty and wonder around us. The accommodation was beautiful - a Balinese style villa with stunning views, a lovely garden and pool and my room was extremely spacious. All the staff were so friendly and sweet, they welcomed me with a big smile every morning and served us a tasty healthy breakfast on the terrace - with magnificent views of Bali - which was a wonderful way to start the day. The lunches and dinners were absolutely delicious - exquisite Indonesian cuisine! On one of my days off, Sue hired a private driver for me who took me sightseeing around Bali. Its such a spectacular island, I absolutely fell in love with it and would definitely love to go back to see more as well as visit my friends at Daisy Retreat. We also went all together on my second day off to the bird and reptile park, to a really nice restaurant on the beach and we watched the breathtaking sunset. Ellie is not only an incredible therapist, she is the most amazing, compassionate, loving, honest and genuine woman I have ever met who has truly touched me. Words cannot even describe my appreciation to her and I feel extremely fortunate to have met her and spent such a special two weeks with her. Reina, another therapist who I did a lot of my mindfulness work with is also such a kind, sweet, peaceful soul. The time that we spent together was filled with joy, laughter and fun. I wasn't just treated as a client during my stay; I felt that I was part of their family. I consider them all my dear friends and feel extremely lucky to have met them. Thank you to all of you at Daisy Retreat for my amazing stay. I love you all."
Mrs. K., Australia, Intensive Day Therapy
"After searching around Australia for therapy for anxiety and depression I finally decided to make contact with Ellie in Bali and soon found myself on a plane for two weeks of therapy with her. I can wholeheartedly recommend to anyone looking for help getting back on their path to turn to Ellie. Although some days are still tough, Ellie has helped me understand my lifetraps and given me skills to deal with so much in my life. She is such a compassionate and empathic lady, making you feel valid and loved."
Mr. T., Canada, Retreat
"Dear Ellie and Penny, Thank you for showing me the road to happiness."
Mr. L, Australia, Retreat
"Part 1: Mental Health Before I left for Daisy Retreat I was severely depressed and couldn't get out of bed. I felt like giving up! I started taking anti–depressants, which eventually made me manic. On my way to Daisy Retreat I was thinking maybe I didn't need to go on this retreat. After a few days with Ellie, she informed me that I was in a state of mania and needed to come down. I really didn't know I was manic. I had been this way my whole life. She then told me that I had a disorder called Bipolar II. She worked with a psychiatrist to change my meds. The intensive one–on–one therapy combined with the mindfulness training was so successful that I extended my stay one week. I would have stayed longer but I had other commitments. Ellie's intuition, therapeutic tools, empathy, humour, and years of experience in the field, helped me see life as an adventure, not a destination. Also, she helped me accept the new diagnosis of Bipolar II, and understand that it was not a death sentence, but instead the key to understanding my past, present, and future. My new motto is "Get busy livin', or get busy dyin'." Part 2: The Experience Ellie and Sue (the Cruise Director) usually ate lunch and dinner with me and the other client. We talked about
many different topics at these memorable meals, and addressed our issues in a non–stressful and humorous environment. Sue was awesome. Sue's sense of humour combined with her conscientious attitude to make my stay as comfortable as possible enabled me to relax without worrying about the trivialities of everyday life. Instead I could focus on getting well. Her caring and loving attitude made my stay a first class experience. She organised my daily massages to fit my schedule, called in my prescriptions, ordered the take–away I requested, and a myriad of other things. More than anything they both made me feel like a part of their family. I was there for Christmas and Ellie and Sue took me to their favourite restaurant in Nusa Dua where we feasted on five star cuisine. I laughed with Sue and Ellie more than I have laughed in years. They say laughter is the best healer! Part 3: The Accommodation The Villa is incredible. You have your own giant bedroom, with a massive bed and bathroom. The balcony attached to my room enabled me to sit alone in the evenings and see both coasts and the brilliant lights in Kuta. The pool was beautiful and clean, and helped me to relax before and after the therapy sessions. The Indonesian staff became my family. They always had as smile whether they were cooking food or cleaning a room. The grounds of the retreat were immaculate and very private. Daisy Retreat is far removed from much of the hustle and bustle of Bali. However, if you want some city life, a short walk into town can be good exercise and a chance to practice your Indonesian. Part 4 (The Food) I awoke to fresh fruit, Balinese coffee, and whatever eggs etc. that I wanted for breakfast. Lunch was usually Indonesian or Western cuisine prepared by the staff. Dinner was take-away from the various local restaurants or Indonesian food prepared by the staff. I never went hungry or thirsty the entire trip. Also, most importantly, I never became sick from the food. Part 5: The Service I was picked up at the airport and escorted through customs and immigration by a VIP service that Sue organised. A driver for Daisy Retreat then picked me up and took me directly to the retreat. When I had days off, Sue hired a driver for me. He took me surfing, shopping, and sight–seeing. Part 6: Ellie the Master Ellie is an incredible therapist and even more importantly, an awesome human being. I consider her my therapist for life, but also a dear friend who I will definitely visit again. The powers above broke the mould when they created Ellie. Her honesty about her battles with mental illness helped me through my struggle. I don't know how my life would have been without the three weeks at Daisy Retreat. I might have died, or just faded away slowly. I have become a better father and a more powerful person because of her help. Also, Ellie has helped me learn to slow down and smell the roses!! Finally I feel confident that I can handle anything that life throws at me. Thanks Ellie for the gift of Life! I love you! "
Miss S., UK Retreat
"I was at odds with myself; I couldn't keep making the same mistakes, I had to let go and I was too terrified to look at my own weaknesses, too afraid of judgement and of being misunderstood. I hated being me, but I didn't know how to behave in any other way. I felt hopeless and change seemed impossible. Intensive CBT sessions helped me understand how I saw myself, why I was behaving the way I was and what steps I could to take to accept myself and resist falling into my lifetraps again. Mindfulness gave me a newfound appreciation for simple things like taking in a sight, a sound or a smell; just being in a given moment. I knew that Ellie could help from our first Skype consultation. I was blown away by how quickly and accurately she got to the core of me simply by listening. What I take away from meeting Ellie are her ability to love, her genuine nature, her loving-kindness and her humanity – not least, her will to share those gifts with everyone whose lives she touches. I feel incredibly lucky to know Ellie; she's like a secret I want to tell everyone about!"
Mr. S., UK Day Care
"I am a very grateful to Ellie for her help when I went through very difficult time with Anxiety and Depression. She is a fantastic mentor and coach and is able to get to the root cause of a problem. She will show you how to change your approach and way of thinking to become a stronger and more positive, happier person. Thanks to her I have overcome my phobias and do so much more in my life now."
Mr. D, UK, Day Care
"I don't feel I'm a depressed person, as such. But there have been three times in my life when I felt I really, really needed to speak to someone professional. The first two psychotherapists I saw were highly experienced, London–based therapists. I felt better after each stint with them, but I never felt 'right', just better able to cope for a while. The most recent and final bout hit just two years ago, and this time I found Ellie. Within two weeks, I felt like a new person, seriously – and after several further weeks, I had the understanding and tools I needed to
keep my head where it needs to be and not to expect the worst. Ellie is what made the difference this time – her compassion and understanding are like the warmest hug of support, which allowed me to truly understand why I think like I do, why I behave the way I do, and embrace and employ the techniques and overall learning experience I gained from Ellie. She's truly amazing."
Dr. M., UK, Day care
"I was driving into work and had to pull over as the sobbing wouldn't abate At that point I accepted I was at the point of utter despair and couldn't go on. I knew I had to get emergency help. The psychiatrist I saw referred me to Ellie, who through her compassion and empathy helped me get through the darkest of times, and, with her expertise in CBT and Mindfulness, equipped me with the confidence and skills to reach my goals. Words cannot describe my gratitude to Ellie, her sensitivity and her professionalism. She saved my mind, and probably my body too."
Mr. R., UK Day care
"I started seeing Ellie several years ago whilst I was suffering with a severe bout of Anxiety. She came highly recommended by a psychiatrist I had been to see. Ellie helped me through a very difficult period of my life and taught me techniques to deal with my OCD. After a few months of therapy with Ellie a huge weight had been lifted and life went back to normal. Ellie has a truly caring nature and I continued to see her for many years as even though my symptoms had diminished considerably she always has an amazing perspective and was a great sounding board on general everyday issues. I cannot recommend Ellie highly enough. Whilst being extremely professional with her work she has always gone above and beyond to ensure my wellbeing and has been a great friend to me. I feel lucky and privileged to have chanced upon her. She truly turned my life around and for this I am eternally grateful."
Mrs. K.,UK Day care
"I've lived my whole life with OCD but once i fell pregnant it became progressively worse. Once I had my beautiful baby my OCD was unbearable to live with. My doctor recommended Ellie to me and she was one of the nicest people I have ever met. She was so kind giving up her time to help me, and gradually week by week, month by month I became stronger. Another year on and I am able to completely enjoy being with my son rather than engaging in my OCD. I have found the strength to come off my medication and start trying for another baby. I would not be where I am today if it was not for Ellie. She is an amazing person and I would recommend her to anyone struggling with OCD/depression. She was my light at the end of a very dark tunnel.
Mrs R: UK Day Care.
The first time I met Ellie was in London in Capio Nightingale Hospital. I was seeing another therapist but I requested to see her instead simply because she filled the room with good energy and positivity when she walked in once. I started to see her on a weekly basis and my condition improved drastically. Talking to Ellie had a major impact on my recovery. I am so grateful for all the support and warmth I have received form her. I still call her from time to time and speak to her from London to Bali and she always gives me sound advice filled with genuine warmth. Over the years, I have done different types of therapy with her and mostly recently she has introduced me to mindfulness which has been a different approach. Throughout the years she has worked with different types of therapy which is reassuring as she is seems to always be working with the latest research. I'm so glad to have met Ellie and having the right therapist makes all the difference. Thank you Ellie!