Formerly known as Animal Caregiver Affective Wellness Services, which has since been renamed to highlight the extension of services, which now include human grief and injury, too. Fur, scales, feathers or skin, we are listening!

     Absent Companion and Adversity Wellbeing Services (ACAWS) is a complimentary phone and online counselling service for people facing grief and injury of themselves or family members - human or animal. We have flexible hours for immediate care or appointment-based treatment. We guide clients through their pain and concerns, assisting on many levels, including acceptance and response of grief and injuries, how to navigate around difficult behaviour patterns, as well as supporting transitions during the impactual events. We are also tied to a strong network of colleagues for referral in specialist care situations.

     The service is available no-charge to all persons, regardless of financial standings, race, age or type of injury. Counsellors are diploma-level or higher, and recognised by the Australian Counselling Association, and undertake regular professional development to extend their skills and expertise. We supply non-biased, non-discriminatory, and non-judgmental care, with competency-based indicative approach, meaning we choose our counselling interventions or programs based on wants and needs of each individual in clear, cooperative terms.

     ACAWS is the outreach founded by creator of Bowyer is a qualified counsellor and has studied many disciplines of counselling that support the understanding and diffusion of grief, trauma, and intense emotional pain and re-building the inner self and self-concept after extensive life changes have occurred. Her motivation strikes from her own experiences of animal care and the power pets can have on a coping lifestyle, as well as disabilities in the lives of previous clients, family members, and acquaintances.

     "There are so many who rely on their animals, and whether the dependence seems large or small, the every-day routines of the individual will feel important to them. Amusingly, even Sigmund Freud himself relied on his animal to stay alive, his dog chewing his food once Freud was unable to chew his own at an old age," Bowyer says. "While some people won't feel close to their pets, many hold great significant relationships with their pets for emotional, physical, spiritual and protective reasons, all of which are nourishing to both animal and pet."

     "We decided to then extend the service to human grief and injury also because we had requests for it. I decided that grief and trauma is a real challenge - whether your family member is human or animal - so the service should support both. Assisting those who are hurting was always my goal so it made sense to extend our services to cover the entirety of grief, trauma, injury and disability."

     Despite the extension of services provided, Bowyer states the service will remain complimentary. "My goal in life is to make the difference - a real difference. In past, I have donated money to charities, only to find that throwing money at a problem doesn't always reach far into assisting the emotional pain a person has to tolerate. Therapy can be expensive and sometimes takes resources a grieving or hurting family don't have, due to it being used up in medical or burial expenses."

     "I realised after some calculating that if I invested the money I usually gave to charities into resources, I could provide the care people required, and set up infra-structure for other colleagues to be involved too. Time seemed to afford more. We can even provide a free call-back service for rural and interstate clients, meaning our outreach extends beyond local areas. With technology where it is today, there is a capability and that joins with my passion to provide help where it is truly needed."


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