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FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Why an intensive therapy retreat?

Some problems are too costly to let them drag on and on. An intensive therapy retreat can save months or years of treatment. You may prefer to solve the problem and move forward. Our treatment approach and methods can often lead to quick results.

How do I choose between an intensive therapy retreat and residential/inpatient treatment?

Residential/inpatient programs tend to offer a variety of activities (e.g., group therapy, yoga, etc.) which may be educational as well as helpful in coping with the symptoms. But information and coping strategies do not generally solve the problem. If the program even offers the trauma resolution work, it is typically for only an hour or two per week. Thus the primary benefit of such programs is safety and stabilization.

In the therapy retreat, you're doing the individual therapy -- typically including trauma resolution work -- all day long. One you have healed from the trauma/loss wounds, you don't have to cope with the associated symptoms anymore. For those who are safe and stable enough not to require inpatient confinement, the primary benefit of the therapy retreat is healing and resolution of problems. Click here for more info on how to choose.

It looks good. But is an intensive therapy retreat right for me?

The next step is to discuss your situation and your goals with the director of the Retreat service. He will give you a recommendation and you'll decide how to proceed.

How do I choose a therapist?

You might choose a Retreat therapist based on experience, areas of expertise, cost, location, scheduling, or other factors. The director of the Retreat service can also help you to choose.

What if I can only do week-ends?

Some therapists offer weekend appointments. Each therapist listing includes that therapist's scheduling options. We do recommend that you get the whole job done in a single block of days, if possible.

The number of treatment days needed varies considerably. Recovering from a single incident can take just a day or two, whereas recovering from a very significant history of trauma and loss can take one to several weeks. In the telephone intake call, you'll get an estimate re number of days needed.

Can my unique situation be accommodated?

Some retreat participants may require extra professional services, such as an additional therapist (for couples or families, in some circumstances) or a translator. Personal services (e.g., child care) may also be required. Your needs and requests will be discussed ahead of time so that the appropriate services can be arranged.

How many hours and days of therapy can a person stand?

Not all therapy is emotionally intense or tiring, and most people do work for many hours. However, many people do not use every available hour, and it's not necessary to do so.

What if I don't want to "talk about it"?

Then you don't have to. Telling the therapist the details of what happened is not required to heal from a trauma or loss memory. You will have to think about it, though, in a particular way as guided by the therapist, to get the work done.

Should I come alone or with my partner/family?

It depends on several factors, including whether you will need a companion to support your stability during off hours (e.g., in the evening), and whether they are likely to participate in the therapy. You can discuss this with your therapist and then make your decision.

What if my work is not done by the end of the retreat?

Most people will accomplish quite a lot in the retreat. However, if you want to do more, you have the option of returning for another retreat, following up with your therapist by phone/Skype, or completing your work elsewhere.

What if my work is done before the end of the retreat?

There is normally a two day minimum fee, after which time you only pay for time used, in half day increments. For example, if you book for Monday through Friday, but finish halfway through Thursday morning, you would pay for 3.5 days.

Why should this work when nothing else has?

Many generally effective treatment approaches fail for some people. This is often because the therapy did not address one or more of the major treatment obstacles. For example:

  • A sports psychologist may provide anger management training, but fail to address the trauma or loss memories that make the angry reaction so strong.
  • An executive coach may teach positive thinking and communication skills, but fail to address the underlying fear that causes the impaired performance.
  • A school may provide counseling and tutoring, but fail to address the student's lack of motivation.
  • A therapist may guide a grieving client to discuss the loss, but fail to prepare him/her to tolerate the strong emotions.

Our research-supported phase model approach systematically addresses the major treatment issues and obstacles. Proven-effective interventions are used to:

  • enhance motivation
  • reduce stresses and temptations
  • improve self-management skills
  • resolve trauma and loss memories
  • achieve peak performance at work
  • anticipate future challenges

This maximizes the treatment's efficiency as well as the likelihood of results that endure.

I tried EMDR (or other trauma therapy) before and it didn't go well. Why should I try again?

Trauma therapy can fail -- or even do harm -- for a number of reasons, that we effectively address.

How is my privacy protected?

All therapists are required to keep information about you confidential. Depending on how the treatment is being paid for, the therapist may not even be communicating with an insurance company. And if you are going to a therapist away from your own home area, there's little chance of even an accidental confidentiality breach (e.g., by seeing someone you know in the therapy office). Many consider the Retreat to be among the most confidential of therapy formats.

I have allergies or sensitivities -- What's the office like?

We operate a scent-reduced facility, meaning that we endeavor to avoid scented cleaning products and body products. However, we cannot guarantee a totally scent-free environment.

Where will I stay?

If you're traveling to work with a therapist in our Northampton, MA office, we have a list of recommended lodging options. If you're traveling to another location, your therapist can provide recommendations.


For more information or to schedule a private intensive therapy retreat,

e-mail us or call us at (413) 282-7797.