Self-Awareness and Self-Acceptance
Personalized Residential and Non-Residential Retreats for Individuals and Couples
San Anselmo, CA
Muir Beach, CA
WHAT IS RETREAT-BASED THERAPY?
Therapeutic retreats offer individuals, couples, and families the opportunity to spend a short or extended period of time focusing on any concerns negatively impacting their well-being. The popularity and success of this type of therapy lies, at least partially, in the benefit many people obtain from stepping away from their everyday surroundings and immersing themselves in therapeutic work.
Retreat-based therapy is designed to offer respite from the chaos, stress, and often overwhelming demands of everyday life. Retreats offer a safe space for an individual or couple to slow down, reflect, heal, and restore. Clients have the space and time they need to process personal, psychological, emotional, relationship, or spiritual issues in order to return to daily life feeling strengthened, renewed, and better able to meet a variety of challenges.
With the emphasis on awareness, reflection and restoration, retreat-based therapy is an increasingly popular adjunct to my on-going weekly session work.
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Personalized Residential Retreats
Since ancient times all wise cultures have known the value of retreat. Time in retreat allows us to step out of the complexity of life, to listen deeply to body, heart and mind. In the fertile atmosphere of silence with extensive time for meditation and walks in nature, supported by therapeutic exploration and process, clients are invited to awaken more fully to the meaning and purpose of their lives. Careful guidance, education, training and experiential practices are individually tailored to be suitable for clients of all ages and every level of meditation and psychotherapeutic experience.
Retreat provides an opportunity and a caring container for undertaking intensive self-reflection. The central focus on retreats is awakening; awakening to what is true for you, awakening to choices and responsibilities, and to the possibility for maturity in relationship to one's self and others. The focus on awakening enables clients to identify the ways difficulties are created in life and to discover freedom from old, dysfunctional patterns in the midst of it all. Intensive excavation of personal history, family systems and present-day circumstances, is balanced with mindfulness practice, various forms of creative/artistic expression and spiritual experiences.
On a private retreat there are no diversions; no distractions. Since there is no place to hide from one’s self, clients generally leave knowing themselves better than they did before, or they experience coming home to themselves, remembering themselves anew. Self-knowledge and understanding grow as the power of awareness, self-acceptance and personal responsibility fosters clarity, efficiency, discernment and kindness. The path to liberation, inner freedom and a peaceful heart is always available to us when we take the time to retreat.
Who Participates in Residential Retreats?
Any ongoing local or long-distance clients interested in deepening self-awareness and developing a practical understanding of concepts that can be applied in everyday life and relationships.
Experienced clients who want an opportunity to supplement therapeutic processes and mindfulness practices throughout the year.
Clients interested in moving quickly through specific issues.
Clients interested in learning important new skills in a short period of time.
Multi-Day Non-Residential Retreats
Perfect for parents so that they can return home in the evenings to attend to family life.
Non-residential retreats are offered at the San Anselmo office or at the Muir Beach location and can be scheduled for 4 or 8 hours per day, usually over a 3-day period, sometimes consecutively, sometimes over a couple of weeks. Clients spend their days supported in meditation and process-oriented or experiential, psychologically integrative
exercises. Nights are spent at home or in local accommodations that can be arranged on their own (and at their own expense). The intention is to deepen and integrate your awareness practice into your daily life. The supportive teachings for this format, which include audio books, videos and various articles, will focus on addressing the best ways to bring your expanding self-awareness and developing spiritual practice into your everyday life.
Portions of all retreats are held in silence and clients are encouraged to maintain silence (refraining from accessing technology) throughout the appointed timeframes, because, in a silent and mindful environment, awareness sharpens, the body quiets, the mind clears, and space opens for insight and understanding to develop.
Couples Retreats - Residential or Non-Residential
The efficacy of weekly, on-going couple’s therapy sessions is often enhanced in a retreat setting, as the highly focused environment allows for deeper exploration of intrapersonal and interpersonal relationships without the stress of outside concerns. Retreat-based therapy provides couples with an intensive format that enables them to address relationship-based needs for psychological, emotional and spiritual connection.
Retreats create an environment within which couples can return to the values and life purpose underlying their original desire to be together. Couples are able to look deeply into outdated and dysfunctional patterns, strengthening the friendship that holds them together, deepening their understanding of one another, renewing a sense of connection and intimacy and transforming inevitable relationship conflicts.
Couples retreats can be as short as one single 6 to 8-hour day or 3 consecutive 5-hour days. In these formats a couple meets with Annelisa for the allotted time and either returns home or stays overnight at a nearby Hotel, AirBnB or Bed and Breakfast Inn (that can be arranged on their own and at their own expense). This approach can accommodate clients traveling from distant locales who cannot attend weekly therapy sessions in person. It provides an intensive, condensed and highly focused approach to relationship issues that can help couples move quickly through specific issues and learn important new skills in a short period of time.