"My experience was amazing. I was surrounded by a loving, supportive community with total acceptance and authenticity. I came away with a ton of healing and a sense of freedom and emotional wellness that I still carry with me today out in the 'real world'."
Marissa L, Newton, MA
The Old Story
We all long to shine in our lives and express our true nature. We long to be fully alive and present to each moment. We long for emotional wellness. We want to love and be loved.
But too often, we find ourselves entangled in conflicts and limitations, out of sync with our hopes and dreams. We repeat old destructive behavior patterns in new relationships, unconsciously recreating the conditions we want to avoid.
We find ourselves caught up in addictive patterns of behavior, lamenting the past and worried about the future. We're focused everywhere but the present moment.
We’re stuck in the same old story.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
At each of our emotional wellness retreats, we journey into the transforming power of a loving community to restore a sense of wellbeing, ease and hope.
First, we will create a warm and safe container for deep healing work. We build trust through a series of interpersonal exercises that help our brains and bodies relax and open up. We agree to stay throughout the retreat and support each other with goodwill, We agree to confidentiality.
Into that safety we tell our story and why we are attending.
Then, using processes drawn from humanistic and transpersonal psychotherapy and diverse spiritual traditions, we’ll learn to connect with fear, grief, anger, and other deeply held feelings and work them through to the other side.
Miraculously, an alchemical transformation takes place. Lead becomes gold.
We come back to our bodies in a new way and experience a fresh aliveness and spaciousness in our hearts.
Our dark, stuck feelings come bearing gifts, treasures waiting to be discovered. And in this discovery is a celebration!
Come to our retreats if you want to:
• Transform grief, pain, and trauma
• Lift sadness by healing suppressed feelings
• Learn skills to create a loving, connecting space
• Free yourself from anger, release guilt and shame
• Embrace your Soul's calling
• Discover your true nature as a source of pure love
• Live life more passionately
• Learn to trust yourself and your life’s journey
Our emotional healing retreats often reveal a painful emptiness or hole in our sense of self. Some people have spent their whole life trying to fill that hole, with relationships, alcohol and other drugs, dysfunctional patterns and all sorts of not very helpful coping behaviors.
That hole, in most circumstances, is rooted in our childhood experiences.
When we are young, we need our parents to care for us. Without our caregivers we would die. We need to be fed and protected to physically survive. But human life is so much more than just physical survival.
To thrive in this world we need healthy parenting, which nurtures and protects us.
Many of us were not sufficiently cared for, or were traumatized in different ways at that crucial time, a time when we were building our brain’s neural networks of safety, competence and relational intelligence.
This wounding became a template of how to live in the world, which affects all our romantic and close personal relationships. We replay old pattens of relating, we relive our old stories. In a way, as Harville Hendrix and others have pointed out, we are trying to work through the past lack of nurturing and caring in our present close intimate relationships, but often end up just replaying the old patterns.
These patterns often occur below our ordinary awareness. Without realizing the cause, we can end up blaming others or the world for our problems, or aim blame at ourselves. The root cause of the problem is in that early survival template.
We continue to play this out until we learn how to take care of ourselves, to love and nurture ourselves, to believe in ourselves. Change the "old story" and you change your world!
Most methods of trying to do this are slow, difficult and just partial:
It's not too late to change our old story and re-parent ourselves. But it takes work, and especially the courage to heal old stuck feelings that lock us into these old destructive patterns. Our retreats focus on healing deeply held feelings that lock us into the old story, so we can reclaim our freedom, joy and aliveness.
We hold our emotional wellness retreats in relaxing and informal settings. We make every effort to create a safe, warm, supportive environment for deep work. All participants must agree to support each other with goodwill, confidentiality and presence.
This retreat is at Star Dance Ranch, Jon's residence, which is in western Massachusetts. It is an old farmhouse with a beautiful new extension designed just for our retreats.
Click on this link to view some pictures of it, and the overnight accommodations. Most of the on-sight housing is shared with some privacy for each person. For those who snore or prefer their own space, motels are within a few miles of the retreat center at various additional costs.
We are just under one hour from the Bradley International Airport (BDL). Travel can be arranged to Star Dance Ranch through van shuttles or Uber.
This retreat is limited to a maximum of 12 participants so that every person receives personal attention.
If you are interested in attending this retreat, please contact Jon, ahead of registering, to set up a phone interview. We want to answer questions and make sure that this retreat is appropriate for you.
Contact Jon by using the form below. There is no charge for the call, which usually takes about 20 minutes. Longer consultations and counseling sessions are available as well, at our regular counseling rates.
After the consultation, if you decide to register, the fee to register and hold a space is $350, which can be paid through PayPal, Venmo, Zelle, or sending a check.
You are asked to sign a retreat liability release form at the retreat. A sample of that form is here.
This retreat starts at 4 pm on Wednesday and ends at 2 pm on Sunday. We cannot start until everyone has arrived, and participants must stay until we finish.
Refund policy for this retreat: Your deposit will be refunded, minus a $150 administration fee, if it is at least 28 days before the retreat date. After that, the deposit will be forfeited. If you are on the waiting list and do not get in, you will receive a full refund of your deposit.
To find our dates for our other emotional healing retreats or more information, click here to go to our main retreat page.
"That was the best weekend of my life!! I feel quite different; the "worthlessness" is gone and I'm seeing through new eyes, feeling through new emotions and my bod feels good!"
Michele W, Boulder, CO
"Previous therapists I have worked with took months to grasp my situation and understand the personal hell I was in. Within ten minutes Jon was able to completely understand the personal turmoil I was in and I felt understood.
At the retreat he was then able to identify my most pressing issue which for me was my loss of any sense of empowerment or hope as a result of an abusive relationship. He helped me stand up to this person and create space for myself to start healing.
I was surprised to find out this new found sense of self and space carried over into the real world once I left, and actually it continues to build upon itself.
It was a foundation for me that I wasn't able to build myself. And Jon was so kind, supportive, and helpful. I felt safe with him instantly.
I can't believe the amount of help I received in one weekend, and I was astounded by Jon's gift, he was obviously born to heal people."
Sarah McInerney, Bethlehem, PA
"I came back from my retreat with my tank full, loved, nurtured, supported and a whole lot of great feelings that I haven't felt in a long time. I went from functioning to living.
The retreat was no cake walk. I did a life time of growing and forgiving in 4 days. This week has been incredible, I am able to handle the curve balls that life throws at me with love and efficiency. My relationship with my family as well as my colleagues at work has been the best its ever been.
Most important of all I feel like the weight's been lifted off me. Thank you for the support and guidance in this journey and for giving me my life back."
Bhavani Kurtz, Saratoga Springs, NY
"After my life partner of 15 years passed away, I sought out a 'healing retreat' of sorts, knowing I needed 'something' to help me cope with this profound and excruciating loss and pain... I came upon Jon's website and connected with him.
So I took that leap of faith and signed up for the Nov. retreat and I'm glad I did. Upon arrival, everyone was so warm and welcoming; very friendly. It is a rustic, country setting and everyone helps out in various ways... and within 24 hours, it was indeed a 'community' where you feel very connected to others.
With his natural ease and calming nature, Jon helped me with my grief and what evolved was a slight shift in the pain that remains with me. Although I still mourn and grieve, there is a different level of acceptance that I achieved.
Jon's keen instincts, candor, unconventional exercises and smile engaged me to 'trust the process' within the backdrop of 'the community - very powerful and supportive. While hard to describe, suffice it to say it is a weekend well spent with much positive upside!"
Molly Levi, Brooklyn, NY