Welcome: I’m Grace Gawler.
I have 34-yrs experience in breast cancer service.
I started the first breast cancer support groups in Australia and the first residential programs for breast cancer patients.
I have been a keynote speaker on the topic in Australia and the UK and have written several books on the topic.
The services I provide are caring, intelligent and science based.
I’d prefer to let others explain my work therefore I have included some reviews and testimonials below.
The following is adapted from a Review of my book for women diagnosed with breast cancer (By Pam Stephan,USA. on About.com Guide:)
Women of Silence – Reconnecting with the Emotional Healing of Breast Cancer
A diagnosis of breast cancer can unleash a flood of emotions. Some women do not feel free to express their fear, pain, and concerns. Many women remain silent, keeping their emotional energy sealed up inside while they navigate surgery, treatments and recovery. If they had any emotional baggage from life before cancer, it is put on hold while new stresses and traumas pile up. Depression and withdrawal can appear to be strength and courage, but these are actually affecting a woman’s brain chemistry and thus her body’s response to cancer treatment and recovery. How can she deal with these emotions while balancing the concerns of life and treatment? How can she heal?
Grace Gawler is a survivor who has cared for cancer patients and practiced holistic wellness therapies, naturopathic treatments, and counseling. She has worked with many breast cancer patients, and in her book, Women of Silence she discusses her approach to treating the person, instead of treating a collection of cancer cells. Gawler is not a psychotherapist, but her methods are similar to “talk therapy” in that she encourages women to honestly look inward and then express themselves outwardly in therapeutic ways. She believes that the will to heal should not be motivated by fear of death, but instead by “belief in self, instinct and intuition and … initiated by an inner awareness of the need for personal change and transformation.” To this end, she gives the reader several steps for a healing journey.
After setting the stage, Gawler describes ways to heal emotions. She encourages you to get support from others, tell your story, deal with post-traumatic stress disorder, recognize and deal with stress. If you’re looking for specific ways to start healing, Gawler also talks about adopting a healthy diet, practicing meditation, creating your own healing ritual, and setting emotional boundaries. She tells you how to use imagery and affirmations, and how to turn away dark or negative images and self-deprecation. Since Gawler has seen many women though treatment, she also touches on the medical aspects of recovery, side effects, menopause, and how to deal with bad news delivered to you in a negative way. For friends and family of breast cancer patients, she includes a whole chapter of tips and cautions to help you care for your loved one.
Grace Gawler sums up her book with three stages of healing: the will to live, the will to heal, and the will to maintain your true self and live with peace of mind. This kind of healing is the aim of her work – restoration of the real person who may be wrapped under layers of emotional ill-health, so that the true self can enjoy life to the fullest. Patients, survivors, and supporters would benefit from this book and the related recovery workbook – A Helping Hand – Simple Tools to Enhance your Recovery and Life During and After Cancer.
About.com Health’s Disease and Condition content is reviewed by the Medical Review Board
I just want to say a very big ‘Thank you’ to Grace for all her support, advice and for everything she has done for me since i had a Breast Cancer relapse last year. Her compassion, empathy, medical knowledge and level of commitment to her patients is commendable. She has always been available on Skype, Emails and just talking to her makes me positive as she has always given me her honest opinion and tried her best to help me. Farheen, Malaysia
Hi Grace …I know you must hear this from everyone but thank you so much for all of your experience advice and expertise ..you have made such a difference to the way I have handled my double mastectomy. Now chemo is beginning and I just feel so much more confident that I will get through this thanks to your advice and support… I can now call chemotherapy my “healing treatment” at the “healing centre”! I am so happy that you came into my life. I will keep in touch. My parents think you are amazing! Mannie – Gold Coast
It is a pleasure and an honour to supply a letter in support of the nomination of Grace Gawler for the AMA Award for Excellence in Health Care.
I feel her greatest contribution has been, as is well known, her cancer support service, mainly to women suffering from the disease.
I speak not only as a mainstream medical practitioner, but also as one whose wife survived for eight years with diffuse bony metastases from breast cancer.
Grace was her main supporting practitioner outside of mainstream medicine, and her contribution to this and the many thousands of women she has helped in a similar fashion should not go unheralded.
She has filled and thankfully continues to fill ‘a gap’ which has developed because we in mainstream medicine seem to have forgotten those old adages of
(a) first, do no harm and
(b) never destroy a patient’s hope completely.
‘To point the bone’ by telling a patient they have a finite survival time is in my opinion of no benefit, but actually counter-productive. I have seen, in my previous practice as a general surgeon, such patients die as predicted, not from the cancer but in misery with malnutrition because they were unable to eat with the worry and debility from lack of sleep.
It is possible to live ‘quality life’ with disseminated cancer, as I have seen with my own wife, thanks to the help of the wonderfully empathetic Grace Gawler. We in mainstream medicine have a lot to ‘re-learn’ about the management of cancer patients, and I feel Grace is the one who could teach us if only we would listen. John Sing, Consultant Vascular Surgeon – Gold Coast