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About Sanctuary Counselling

Hi and welcome.  I’m Natasha McGrath, oncology social worker and accredited mental health social worker, who specialises in supporting women who live with or have lived with cancer.

I live on the Central Coast in NSW Australia. I grew up and trained in Northern Ireland where I obtained an Honours Degree in Social Work from the University of Ulster.

I have supported countless women since qualifying in 1988, who live or have lived with cancer in hospitals, cancer centres and in community settings.  I have helped women from the point of diagnosis to post treatment, women navigating survivorship or living with advanced cancer and supporting women with a terminal diagnosis.  These women have so generously shared their experiences with me, their worries, their anxieties, their fears, their confusion, their hopes and how their diagnosis has changed them.  So, I understand what women affected by cancer want and I know what has helped many women make amazing changes, big and small, in their lives after a cancer diagnosis.

When I worked in hospitals and cancer centres, I began to realise that the caring support and understanding available during treatment comes to an end once treatment finished.  And yet I could see clearly that this is the time when the real battle begins.  Women have told me they felt abandoned, alone, unprepared and lost not knowing what to do with this next part of life when treatment is over.  It was like they were experiencing a kind of separation anxiety. For the next part there were no guidelines, no schedule no one showing them the way.

So, I made the big decision to leave hospitals and cancer centres behind, the places I had worked with women for so many years and in 2016, I set up my own private practice.  This was the start for me working out the best way to provide the missing support for this next part as women tried to work out how to move forward after treatment.

This quest has led me down interesting and unexpected paths.  I have studied and trained relentlessly to bring together what I now call my “unique blend”.  I believe this will be an ongoing process of learning and applying that knowledge.

The ingredients of my “unique blend” include over 30 years of a rich and deep wealth of clinical experience, cutting edge knowledge of neuroscience and how the brain works, with an understanding of the mind body connection, in particular in relation to cancer.  Add to this my extensive psychotherapeutic skills and my passion for translating this knowledge into evidence-based programs and it gives women knowledge and tools they can use in everyday life to begin to make small and big changes and optimize their recovery from cancer treatment.

I am now hosting regular online workshops so more women can access my unique “blend” and to bring women together to discover and learn and take charge of their recovery and optimise their healing.

If you are interested in finding out more stay tuned as we will be updating our workshops page soon. You can also contact me through the Contact page.  I look forward to you joining me and the growing community of women travelling this path.

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