Why a Retreat Instead of Weekly Therapy?
Get your life back on track in days, not months or years.
Scientifically-proven therapy for trauma to process past experiences.
Studies show that progress continues even after returning home.
We All Deserve The Opportunity to Heal
We all have the capacity to experience joy and happiness, but when we carry unresolved trauma, life can become a constant struggle. We may suffer from serious emotional and psychological issues as a result of trauma, and it can be exhausting just to take care of daily responsibilities and keep ourselves afloat.
You may have tried weekly trauma therapy, meditation or other mental health counseling services but thought they did little to address your issues. You need something profound and transformative… a powerful and immediate shift so you can reclaim your life.
We specialize in private intensive therapy retreats that offer significant results in days, not years. We are one of the top mental health retreats, combining recent advances in neuroscience and attachment research with EMDR and Internal Family Systems Therapy, enabling us to work with underlying core issues – to get right to the heart of the problem – so that symptoms are totally eliminated or significantly decreased.
Our step-by-step therapeutic process offers lasting relief from the effects of physical, emotional and sexual abuse, PTSD, anxiety, depression, chronic stress and low self-esteem. Our clients tell us they feel “lighter”, “transformed”, or “like a huge weight is off my shoulders.” “Why didn’t I know about this sooner?” they ask.
A mental health retreat is the most effective and efficient way to use therapy for trauma and to process negative experiences so you can get back on track and move forward in your life. Why continue to suffer when you can heal now?
Private Intensive Therapy Retreats
In our experience, nothing gets your life back on track as quickly or effectively as a mental health retreat. A retreat offers better results than a year of weekly trauma therapy, saving you an enormous amount of time and money.
You will be guided through our research-backed protocol where you'll get in touch with the core feelings and memories that have been disrupting your life, allowing you to successfully process challenging emotions and learn coping skills so you can move forward with more ease and trust.
Our retreats are especially effective for anybody who has undergone child abuse treatment or sexual abuse therapy and not experienced the transformation that they are seeking.
About Dr. Bambi Rattner, Psy.D.
Bambi received her master’s degree in 1987 and has been in practice ever since. She received her doctorate in psychology in 1997 and has worked in pretty much every setting, with every age, and every population. She started in residential, inpatient psychiatric units, and sheltered workshops. She has worked in the schools and in nursing homes, seen clients outpatient and in-home. Her clients have ranged in age from 3–103.
Bambi trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and received her certification in 2016. She feels that clients are experts in themselves, and with EMDR, she can effectively tap into their innate drives not only to survive, but to flourish. She learned Progressive Counting (PC) in 2016, furthering her abilities to access clients’ core issues and allow them to heal. She is now certified in both EMDR and PC and became an EMDRIA (EMDR International Association) Approved Consultant in 2020. She regularly utilizes Internal Family Systems (IFS) during sessions to facilitate emotional processing.
"I have always felt that clients are experts in themselves, and with EMDR I could effectively tap into their innate drives not only to survive, but to flourish." – Dr. Bambi Rattner
What Kind of Problems Can Be Addressed in a Retreat?
Every person is unique in how they cope with negative life experiences and the symptoms with which they struggle. We have worked with people facing all sorts of problems and found that all can be substantially healed, no matter how drastic, provided they are willing and motivated to do the work. Below are some problems that can be addressed during our top mental health retreats using a combination of EMDR and Internal Family Systems Therapy much more quickly and effectively than in weekly trauma therapy or mental health counseling services:
•Depression: One of the most common symptoms of past trauma, depression can manifest as a general lack of motivation or interest in things that were once considered enjoyable or in severe cases as suicidal tendencies. Depression can change over time, often affected by seasonal changes and the amount of social contact. We have a tendency to downplay our depression if it is not overt, but coming to a retreat and working with a professional who is trained in the ways that trauma can manifest itself provides the opportunity to confront our depression for what it is; a coping mechanism for the unhealed wounds of our worst past experiences. Processing those memories using therapy for trauma can sometimes completely resolve depression in only a few days, freeing you from the painful emotions of your past.
• Anxiety: Anxiety can present itself in countless ways, affecting everything from our ability to meet new people to the ease with which we drift off to sleep. We may feel tremendous work-related anxiety as deadlines approach. At the extreme end, panic disorders can cause severe anxiety that often seems to emerge from nothing, gripping our body with intense feelings of terror and a sense that the end is near. Confronting anxiety during the retreat and processing the emotions behind it can yield seemingly miraculous results, offering you the freedom to finally breathe again and recognize that today you are safe and what you are afraid of is no longer a threat.
• PTSD: Well known as a condition experienced by soldiers subjected to particularly traumatic wartime experiences, PTSD can develop from any number of causes. Survivors of physical and sexual abuse can experience PTSD, as well as survivors of crime, natural disasters and even fights or car accidents. Only you can determine how traumatic an event was to you. Fortunately, whatever happened to cause your PTSD can be processed and released over the course of a retreat, encouraging post-traumatic growth as your experiences are integrated as a part of your history. Processing trauma will allow you the freedom to continue living your life while leaving your debilitating symptoms behind.
• Physical, Emotional and Sexual Abuse: Physical abuse is an intense violation of our safety and autonomy. The same goes for emotional abuse, which includes bullying, ridicule and the degradation of independence that we experience in unhealthy and codependent relationships. Sexual abuse is an intense violation of our privacy in an extremely sensitive way that sometimes occurs alongside other forms of abuse or in a single incident, such as a rape. All of these experiences are tremendously challenging and can throw our lives and sense of safety into turmoil. It is a natural coping mechanism for us to feel anxious, depressed, withdrawn or dissociated from our bodies and minds after such an event occurs. At the retreat center, we deal with survivors of attacks, rape and extremely hurtful and damaging emotional relationships. The first priority of sexual abuse therapy is to establish safety and trust, before working our way into the details of the experience and the painful emotions related to it. We have found that regardless of the nature of the event and the severity of symptoms, past trauma can be healed when approached with skill and care.
• Low Self-Esteem: Often our negative life experiences can trigger deep feelings of guilt and shame, either related to the event itself or our ability to cope with it. Low self-esteem keeps us from expressing ourselves easily and authentically, debilitates our willingness to reach for new achievements and limits our belief that we deserve healthy boundaries and relationships. Low self-esteem is often a side effect of past trauma, even pre-verbal trauma that occurred before we were old enough to understand words and language. We may have picked up the limiting beliefs that we are not worthy of love or care, or that we are destined to fail. All of these negative ideas can be addressed when we look at the core trauma that is connected to them. A retreat gives you ample time to unpack all of these issues in detail, allowing you to process the underlying emotions and finally put them to rest.
• Chronic Stress: Stress is a necessary and unavoidable part of life, but the way we deal with stress has a lot to do with the intensity of our negative experiences and how we have coped with them in the past. Stress can promote healthy growth, as in the case of a fitness routine, but too much stress can cause overwhelm and breakdown. The same is the case for emotional and psychological stress. The things that hurt us, if they are chronic or too severe and we lack the necessary support, can be debilitating. But broken into smaller pieces, those same issues can provide us with an opportunity for growth. Letting go of past trauma can result in a significant reduction in the unhealthy stress you experience towards your life and responsibilities, allowing you to approach new challenges with courage and resilience.
What Problems Cannot be Solved?
There are certain active conditions that limit our ability to do meaningful trauma work with somebody. If a person is currently in a very fragile mental state or compromised by drugs or alcohol, deep trauma processing can be counterproductive and potentially dangerous. Please note that these limitations are not permanent, and when the situation calms enough that they become more stable, a trauma therapy based retreat is the best way to address the root cause of these emotional and behavioral problems. We always recommend that somebody have an ongoing therapist for mental health counseling services before and after a retreat.
• Actively Considering Suicide: A big part of our work is moving through emotions related to past trauma, which can trigger intense but momentary emotional discomfort, which would be unsafe for somebody who is actively considering suicide. People who have experienced suicidal ideology in the past can absolutely benefit from a retreat, but it is requested that they be in the care of a therapist before attendance.
• Active Addiction: We request that retreat participants abstain from substance usage 2 days prior and throughout the course of the retreat. People who are suffering from active addition should seek the support of a detox center or substance abuse counselor before attending a retreat.
Seeking an Intensive Retreat with Your Partner?
Head to An Affair Of The Heart to learn about the top mental health retreats to rapidly transform your relationship.