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Frequently Asked Questions

No, our intensive retreats are not covered by insurance. We are not affiliated with any HMOs or PPOs and we do not accept payments from insurance companies.

We do offer payment plans with up to 36 months financing! Ask the retreat specialist about your options.

commonly asked questions

The advantage of a private intensive retreat is the opportunity to do tremendously powerful work in a significantly shorter period of time than weekly therapy. We believe that the faster you can resolve your core issues and move forward, the more successful and rewarding your life will become.

Think of all the unhealthy and expensive coping mechanisms that people resort to when they don't feel good. Using food or unnecessary purchases to fill a void, reaching for costly drugs, alcohol or prescription medications, not to mention the cost of missed opportunities that they don't feel up to or deserving of. How much money would you save if you felt good without external crutches?

We believe that trauma processing work is one of the best gifts you can give to yourself, and the spaciousness that opens up in your personal and professional relationships is hard to fully comprehend until you do the work to unburden yourself and step more fully into your life.

Standard retreats last 3-5 days depending on your needs. Retreats are priced by the day, to better fit your budget and availability. Please note that a good portion of day 1 will be dedicated to your background and creating a list of negative experiences that you want to address in your life. Ideally, we like to start earlier in the week, providing you with the opportunity to take the weekend to enjoy your time in Northampton.

Please take a look at our Locations page to learn more about our retreat locations.

Please schedule a call or use the contact form and we will be happy to direct you to our intake specialist. They will take you through some questions about your personal history and schedule your retreat on the dates that work best for you.

When you’re in distress, a powerful intervention may be the only way to change the momentum and get things back on track.

An intensive retreat offers relief and healing in days, not years as required by one-hour weekly in-person or online therapy.

A single retreat day adds up to (8) 45-50 min sessions. In other words, 1 retreat day is equivalent to 2 months of weekly therapy, but the effects are substantially more powerful because of the continuity of your work. 

You have your therapist’s attention all day, every day of the retreat, with a lunch break and other breaks as necessary. There is no wasted time saying hello, catching up or shutting down a session – it is ongoing.

Every person is unique in how they cope with trauma and the symptoms they struggle with. We have worked with people facing all sorts of problems and found that all can be healed, no matter how drastic, provided they are willing and motivated to do the work. Below are some problems that can be addressed during an intensive retreat much more quickly and effectively than in weekly counseling sessions:

•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 can often completely resolve depression in only a few days, freeing you from the painful emotions related to the 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 miraculous results, offering you the freedom to finally breathe again and recognize that today you are safe and what you were 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. Physical and sexual abuse victims can experience PTSD, as well as survivors of crime, natural disasters and even a fight or car accident. Our life experience is entirely subjective, and as such, nobody can tell us how traumatic an event was to us. Fortunately, whatever happened to cause your PTSD can be thoroughly 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 our independence as we experience in unhealthy and codependent relationships. Sexual abuse is an intense violation of our privacy in an extremely sensitive way that often occurs alongside other forms of abuse. 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 and dissociated from our bodies and minds after such an event occurs. At the retreat center, we deal with victims of attacks, rape and extremely hurtful and damaging emotional relationships. Our first priority 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, all 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 full 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 were chronic or too severe and we lacked necessary support, can be debilitating. But broken into small pieces and digested, as when you are guided through your trauma over the course of a retreat, those same huge issues can become your nutrition. 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.

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 retreat is the best way to address the root cause of these emotional and behavioral problems. 

• 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.

• Eliminate patterns of behavior that do not work: Learn why your life is in conflict and why resentments accumulate over time. Recognize key behavioral and emotional challenges that push you off track so that you can stay focused on your goals.

• Identify the negative cycle that you are stuck in: Learn about your unconscious driving factors and how they affect your ability to stay open and receptive to life, complicate your ability to proactively work through issues, and contribute to depressing, anxiety, withdrawal and shutting down. Learn new ways of coping with challenges so that you can see the cycle as the problem and not you, so you can maintain trust in yourself even in the midst of challenging moments.

• Learn positive communication skills: Learn how to communicate about anything, even difficult issues, without triggering and disconnecting from others. With the support of a licensed therapist, you will learn the best therapeutic methods and techniques to make requests of others, set healthy boundaries and feel truly heard in your relationships.

• Learn tools to address negative emotions: Our emotions are at the core of all our problems. You will learn tools to enhance your communication skills, self-confidence and self-soothing abilities, and the ability to more effectively cope with difficult feelings when they come up.

• Build a foundation of trust to move forward in life: We can only thrive if our life is built on a solid foundation of trust in ourselves. The best retreat will grant you an enhanced understanding of your deepest inner workings so that you can derive more enjoyment from your life as you learn to strengthen your connection with yourself and others.

Yes, we utilize a variety of solution focused therapeutic techniques, but the foundation of our retreat is built on one of the most effective modalities ever discovered to address past trauma and emotional issues: EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing).

Repeated studies show that EMDR can often produce results in a single therapy session whereas other forms of psychotherapy will take years to deliver. More than 30 positive controlled outcome studies have been done on EMDR, with some showing that 84-90% of single-trauma victims no longer have PTSD after only three 90 min sessions.

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a therapy created by Francine Shapiro, Ph.D. that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress resulting from trauma and disturbing life experiences that often result in a variety of mental health issues.

It is widely assumed that severe emotional pain requires a long time to heal.  EMDR shows that the mind can in fact heal from psychological trauma much as the body recovers from physical trauma.

Repeated studies show that EMDR can often produce results in a single therapy session whereas other forms of psychotherapy will take years to deliver. More than 30 positive controlled outcome studies have been done on EMDR, with some showing that 84-90% of single-trauma victims no longer have PTSD after only three 90 min sessions.

We utilize EMDR during the intensive retreat to rapidly process old trauma that triggers a whole host of emotional and behavioral health issues, helping you to move through and beyond those feelings. 

Internal Family Systems (IFS) is a therapy created by Richard Schwartz, Ph.D that identifies and addresses the various sub-personalities, or “parts” within us. When we experience trauma, our personality breaks into various parts that represent our feelings of hurt, sadness, anger and shame. IFS has been used to successfully treat anxiety, depression, various forms of abuse, PTSD, eating disorders and a variety of other issues.

Parts can develop within us to protect us from the pain of our traumatic experiences and the associated challenging emotions. Often these parts are in direct conflict with one another and our core Self, which is the happy, confident and whole person that is at the center of us.

IFS addresses all of these wounded parts, providing them with a voice and an opportunity to express their unique perspective on our past trauma and what their role is in protecting us. With the support of a skilled mental health professional, we can create a dialogue with these parts, allowing them to be acknowledged and release their pain, moving the stuck energy that is locked within them to provide more ease and freedom in our lives.

I have wanted to write to you for some time now. I want to give you excruciating details of our (my internal family) progress. The work we did has helped me so much. I say a prayer to you daily. I love you, so deeply. There are no words—thank you. I wish I could write

Homa G
I have felt huge shifts since my retreat. First I finally feel in charge of myself and my choices instead of feeling like a small onlooker just responding to things that I encounter. I have a good relationship with my mom, which I had written off before my retreat. I’m able to communicate with my

Megan Boxberger
My 5 day Intensive EMDR retreat gave me a new and improved sense of self-awareness and self love by allowing me to look deep within myself. This office is a very safe and entirely accepting space. Bambi helped me walk through painful memories in order to process my trauma by gently nudging me to step

Sky Yamagiwa

So much has changed in my life! I feel free from so much trauma. I have more time In the day as I’m not bogged down with negative, self destructive thoughts. I am so

The best part of my 5-day retreat with Dr. Bambi Rattner is that she was able to reach my trauma in such a gentle way. Bambi is compassionate, healing, gracious, sensitive, honest and funny. My retreat went by so quickly, even while spending 7+ hours with Bambi every day. I loved how kindly she brings

Judy G
When your ego is breaking apart you can feel stuck with trauma and a lot of blocked emotions you collect through your life. You need to let all those emotions go to become your new self. Bambi with her kindness, love and knowledge was the person that helped me to become my new version of

Pablo G.
At the very beginning of my intensive retreat with Bambi she told me that the process would open up my life to all the universe had to offer. That was a very nice thought but I had no idea that it would completely change my life. After struggling with chronic Lyme disease for 13 years

Josephine Burnett, PhD
Dr Bambi Rattner worked with me doing intensive EMDR after my mother had passed. I was experiencing a reactivation of my PTSD from the sudden death of my father when I was a kid, that got reactivated from my mother’s recent death. It would have been a much longer road of healing without Dr Bambi’s

Dr Kate Klemer, DC, RCST
Dr Kate Klemer, DC, RCST
It seems impossible to describe the extent of the positive impact that Bambi’s intensive therapy brought to me. The first night after about 5-6 hours of her intensive trauma therapy, I experienced a new sense of serenity that I had not felt for close to 15 years. Physically and mentally, it felt similar to when

As someone who has struggled with suicidal depression since childhood, I have done important work with many therapists, counselors, and healers. But Bambi Rattner is the first to help me recognize, name, and face my deepest wounds, and to compassionately embrace the parts into which I broke myself to survive. Bambi has not only shown

Joy Ladin
I have participated in intensive therapy with Dr. Bambi Rattner on three different occasions. I had not done a therapy intensive before and was hesitant, but Bambi made me feel comfortable right from the start. She is warm, accepting, non-judgmental, and deeply kind. As a trauma survivor, it is hard for me to feel safe with people and

Jessica B.
My life had become like ashes in my mouth. I felt nothing but fear, and maybe shame, but not even much of those because I was so shut down by a lifetime of “sucking it up” and “pulling myself up by my bootstraps” until, one day, those bootstraps ripped off in my hands. I was

Don Cuerdon
I sought out Bambi’s help for my son when he was 5 years old and suffering from behavioral outbursts and PTSD from early childhood trauma. I was impressed with Bambi’s abilities. She was always very calming and engaging. She was able to guide him through past traumatic memories in a way that allowed him to

G. O.
Bambi was an integral part to overcoming issues I was still dealing with from my past. She is very kind, open, listens, and provides positive direction to her clients. I felt extremely comfortable working with her and had no trouble opening up and talking. She really helped improve my depression and anxiety in a short

Heather Clifford Moros
I knew I was in good hands… Bambi demonstrated just the right balance of abiding kindness and exceptional knowledge in her craft as a trauma therapist. She brought me through a week-long intensive EMDR retreat in a way that felt safe and productive. She genuinely cared and responded with attunement and warmth to the varied

Traccie Hilton, LMHC