The STAR Foundation has been instrumental in facilitating positive change
in thousands of lives for over three decades.
The STAR Retreat is a ten day intensive healing retreat designed to help you move from dissatisfaction with your life to an experience of your true and vital self – one rejuvenated with the confidence, satisfaction, and skills to create the life you choose. The STAR Retreat offers a variety of the most effective psychological processes available today. It is firmly grounded in established developmental models and professional therapeutic approaches.
The theoretical framework for STAR ’s healing process incorporates the latest neuroscience, attachment theory, trauma research, anger management, and mindfulness practices. Modalities include clinically proven methods of conquering depression and anxiety and specifically address early developmental trauma. The STAR Retreat uses a balanced approach to heal the whole person. Although it occurs in a group context, participants find their STAR experience to be highly individualized.
A STAR Retreat is suitable for a wide range of issues including self-esteem and relationship problems, professional or personal burnout, or a feeling of being stuck or trapped. STAR is ideal for those experiencing loss of meaning and purpose, significant life transitions, blocked creativity, grief and loss, anxiety or depression. A STAR retreat is also very successful in working with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, stress-related symptoms, adult attachment disorder, anger management, or addictive behaviors.
Throughout your STAR Retreat, our experienced staff members, all trained graduates, are available to work with you. In addition, you will be matched with a facilitator who works closely with you to assure that the program is personalized to meet your needs. Our staff-to-participant ration is unprecedented; about one staff member to two participants. This insures that you receive daily individual support to heal and reach your personal goals.
STAR Retreats are designed to assist each individual in uncovering root causes of challenges, while uncovering debilitating patterns at their source. Our emphasis is on helping you experience deep caring, find new direction, and become your authentic self – the person you want to be. Each STAR participant explores the beliefs that led to strategies that may have served them in their family of origin but are no longer effective in living the life they desire. STAR graduates emerge with new tools for living, greater clarity in decision-making, and heightened skills in listening and communicating. When you are ready to redesign your life, we are here to support you.
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STAR is truly a miracle, all you have to do is let it happen. I am so thankful for Barbara and STAR . – Lara
Barbara Findeisen, psychotherapist and internationally recognized pioneer in the field of prenatal and perinatal psychology, founded STAR in the mid 1970’s in Northern California. Her work provided a means for clients to access and begin to heal their earliest developmental traumas and subsequent patterns.
Years ago, Barbara became aware that there were times when clients needed something more than an hour long therapy session. People in crisis needed a supportive environment to complete their transformative and restorative work. They needed a place, a sanctuary of peace and protection where they would have the time to explore their issues with therapeutic support.
Barbara wanted her sanctuary to be surrounded by nature, but easy to reach. She heard about an old dude ranch that might be for sale named Kenyon Ranch in Tubac, Arizona. Barbara was able to clearly see her vision of sanctuary and the properties potential when she first set foot on the land. The immediate sense of the spirit and energy of the Native Americans who lived in the valley and rode their ponies in the arroyos and the peaks of the mountains seemed to have brought her to this magical place. She knew that Kenyon Ranch was her “people sanctuary” for body and soul.
Over the years, STAR Retreats have come to be known as a unique and powerful process, one that often provides the “missing link” in psychotherapy. Many participants say, “A STAR Retreat is like doing several years of therapy!” Surrounded by knowledgeable and deeply caring staff, participants are able to release old hurts, beliefs, and patterns that have inhibited their full potential. Over ten days, they have an experience of who they really are and go home with tools to create the life they have longed for. Upon returning home, participants are encouraged work with their therapist to help them integrate and strengthen their STAR Retreat experience.
We hope you will consider joining us for an upcoming STAR Retreat
as we continue to move the history of STAR forward.
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Clinical Aspects of the STAR Retreat
Many of STAR Retreat leaders and facilitators are highly skilled and professionally recognized psychotherapists. This intensive experience frequently enables participants to go beyond the limitations of the traditional therapeutic approach. It provides a context in which the therapeutic process can be safely and lovingly accelerated. STAR Retreats are not an alternative to therapy, but a powerful adjunct. We encourage participants who are under the care of a therapist to continue work with that therapist following their STAR Retreat. Also, we work with the referring therapist to help the participant bridge their STAR Retreat experience and facilitate their work at home.
The STAR Retreat program consists of a rich mixture of some of the most effective psychological processes available today. It is firmly grounded in established developmental models, professional psychological approaches, and proven therapeutic disciplines. Our theoretical framework embraces affective neuroscience, including polyvagal theory, attachment theory, trauma research, and mindfulness. Our processes especially address early developmental trauma. The STAR Retreat is a balanced approach addressing the whole person—body, mind, and spirit—with an emphasis on the felt experience and early developmental models. Participants find their STAR Retreat to be highly individualized although it occurs in a group context.
STAR Retreats use both cognitive and experiential methods, involving physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual aspects of the human experience. It accesses and utilizes both conscious and unconscious avenues of exploration, self-knowledge and healing. Some of the processes and therapies incorporated into the STAR Retreat include lectures, cognitive exercises, mindfulness practices, group processes, guided imagery, inner child work, journaling, emotional release work, family sculpts, art therapy, birth regression, breath work, psychodrama, and writing assignments.
Why Therapists Choose a STAR Retreat
Working as a psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker, or counselor is a highly gratifying yet demanding career. While the impulse to serve is a commendable one, sometimes the balance of care for self and others gets skewed. Personal needs may not be addressed. Additionally, working with clients frequently becomes very evocative and unrevealed aspects of the therapist may be stimulated. Unresolved issues may create limitations in working with clients as well as compromise the quality of one’s own life.
STAR Retreats offer skillful help and support in a safe and confidential setting. Away from busy schedules and responsibilities, the professional can deeply focus on their own issues. In an environment of nurturing and personalized attention, the discovery, healing, and transcendence of personal and professional issues becomes possible.
With or without pressing symptoms, therapists and other health-care professionals have reported STAR Retreats to be beyond compare as a personal growth experience and as professional development.
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As a mental health professional who has made a number of referrals of clients for intensive interventions, I have not found another program that comes so close in creating such a safe and nurturing cradle of support to individuals that need this very personal and competent attention and follow through.
The 10 days spent at STAR connects my clients with their individual issues, and allows them safe, uninterrupted time to set goals and gain direction for their ongoing work.
Since doing STAR, my client is living a much more joyful and healthy, well-balanced life. Her quality of life has improved 100%. She is meeting new friends, making progress on her eating disorder, and her self-esteem and perfectionism issues have improved greatly.