About Us

Supporting your personal search for authenticity

THE ESSENCE OF STAR

Awakening the Spirit

Awakening the spirit is at the heart of our work, in addition to being the underlying goal of our program. At STAR, the opportunity to pause and look within to discover your own truth, gives way to a profound rekindling of the reality of who you truly are.

The depth and completeness of STAR is designed to allow you to begin to find your way back— to experience your essence, your authenticity, who you were before all this happened, the totality of who you are. Here, you can find reunion, a reconnection with your innermost heart, a coming home to your soul.

Self- TransformingAwakeningRebuilding

40 YEARS OF HEALING
FINDING NEW DIRECTION
BEYOND THE TRADITIONAL

A Better Way of Living & Being

“We all live out what we learned as children. Each one of us was conditioned as a young child by our individual family dynamics. Issues of co-dependence, addiction, trust, and self-esteem originate in our childhood experiences. Many of us have learned destructive and limiting patterns of feeling and behaving which serve to act against us in our daily lives. The family roles we assumed, or were thrust into, became ingrained in us as ways of being and acting. Until we become aware of these patterns, and release the deep and painful memories in which they are rooted, they continue to dominate our lives and relationships as adults. Yet, deep within us, we sense that there must be another way – a better way of living and being.” – Barbara Findeisen

Our Team

We are here to hold the light as you come to know and experience yourself in a way you perhaps never believed was possible.

STAR retreat facilitators and staff

STAR FOUNDATION

What We Offer

STAR offers a community of caring professionals who understand that life transitions are opportunities for profound self-healing, personal growth, and renewal. Healing is not an event, but a process. One that will require you to take the risk to turn within in order to grieve your wounds and mend your heart.

Above all, the emphasis is for you to experience deep caring, find new direction, and reconnect with your authentic self. And, in order for you to do that, you’ll need time, support, and a safe place— that’s what STAR provides.

Recover Your Natural State of Being

Reconnect to your heart and soul and discover what’s possible…

  • Truly love and accept yourself
  • Find, speak, and live your truth
  • Have healthy, meaningful relationships
  • Make positive life choices

  • Freedom from past limitations
  • Being more at ease

  • Trusting your own experiences
  • Clarity in decision-making
  • Expressing needs and wants with confidence
  • Setting and maintaining healthy boundaries

For Therapists

“A STAR retreat is like doing several years of therapy!”

STAR allows for participants to go beyond the constraints of the traditional therapeutic approach, providing the context in which the therapeutic process can be safely and lovingly accelerated. Our program is not an alternative to therapy, but a powerful adjunct. Participants are encouraged to continue working with their therapist to help them integrate and and strengthen their STAR retreat experience.

STAR is a rich tapestry of some of the most effective psychospiritual and transpersonal processes available today, woven together by pioneering therapist Barbara Findeisen.

Firmly grounded in sound developmental models, professional psychological approaches, and proven therapeutic disciplines, STAR is a powerful adjunct to traditional therapy, a balanced approach addressing the whole person – body, mind, soul, and spirit. Integrating the best of mainstream psychotherapy with the holistic approaches found in transpersonal therapy, the STAR process itself is eclectic and, although occurring in a group context, highly individualized.

STAR uses 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 to self-knowledge and self-healing.

Some of the processes and therapies incorporated into the STAR program include:

  • Art Therapy
  • Birth Regression
  • Feelings & Expression
  • Family Sculpts (Virginia Satir)
  • Breathwork (Stanislav Grof)
  • Journaling (Ira Progoff)
  • Lectures and Cognitive Exercises
  • Psychodrama
  • Writing Assignments

The first half of the STAR experience is the uncovering process, where all of the processes used are meant to help the participant go backwards in time to uncover early sources of emotional wounding in their past.

The rebuilding process – the second half of STAR – could be called repatterning, or growing up. Experiences are offered which are designed to help the participants create a new blueprint – based on their discoveries and understandings gained in the uncovering process – of the kind of life they want, free of the factors which led to the symptoms which preceded their participation in STAR.

STAR is especially appropriate for clients in a transition or life crisis, who are feeling stuck, for those in recovery (especially for those dealing with “second-stage” recovery), or for those desiring to move more deeply into understanding the root causes of their addictive behavior or destructive patterns. Many who come to and benefit from our program are feeling a sense of emptiness, loss of perspective, or seeking a greater understanding and appreciation of themselves. STAR is also very helpful for those who feel they have no sense of meaning or purpose in their lives. Parents often come seeking better relationships with their children, and vice versa. Many participants come to STAR under the care of a mental health professional and are being treated with medications; generally this is no obstacle to full participation.

However, STAR will not accept applications from individuals who are unable to take care of themselves physically, are a danger to themselves or others, or are actively abusing drugs or alcohol. Nor do we accept clients who have a severe psychiatric diagnosis such as schizophrenia or MPD. STAR does not provide a hospital setting; there are no locked units, and we do not prescribe or dispense medications.

If you have any questions about the appropriateness of STAR for your clients, please call the STAR office at 520-398-3105 or email STAR Clinical Director, Ken Ball, PhD, LMFT at [email protected]

As members of a helping profession, therapists may at times need to work on their own issues. Therapists and other health care professionals have reported STAR to be unsurpassed as a personal growth experience and professional enhancement, with or without pressing symptoms. Some therapists who have taken STAR have discovered, healed, and transcended personal/professional blocks in their work. STAR offers a safe place away from busy schedules with professional help, support, and confidentiality. Being in a quiet rural setting, you can take time to heal your own wounds, receive care, and be supported so that you return to your personal and professional life with a renewed sense of purpose and clarity.

“STAR is the only program I have found that focuses on each individual 100% of the time. STAR is individual work done in a group, and my clients do not spend time ‘witnessing’ the work of others. There is adequate staff so that no one is lost.”
E. Anne Love, LCSW
Atlanta, GA
“My clients have come into a deeper connection with their feelings and are no longer resistant to ‘negative’ feelings like fear, anger, and grief.”
Kim Grubbs, Counselor
San Francisco, CA
“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.”
Kay Starr Rachelson, LCSW
Atlanta,GA
“STAR advances healing in a way regular therapy cannot. Clients can achieve results that might take years in regular therapy. And for people in crisis, it is better than any hospital I’ve ever known about and thousands of dollars cheaper.”
Wendy McCord, PhD, MFCC 
STAR Graduate and Referring Therapist
“As an attachment therapist and STAR graduate, I know that through the deep early work at STAR, the participant begins to remember and resolve the mysteries encountered in relationship— to self, to others, to community, and to environment. This validating information helps to foster compassionate understanding and fill in the blanks in the attachment continuum.”
Susan L. Love, MA, MFT
Oakland, CA
“During the years when we conducted our trainings at Pocket Ranch where Barbara Findeisen was offering her STAR programs, I had the opportunity to witness her therapeutic skills and experience. I recommend the process warmly, and the beautiful facility to all those seeking healing and transformation.”
Stanislav Grov, M.D.
Author of, “Psychology and the Future
“The STAR process creates an environment in which the participant may explore the deepest issues in a supportive, structured, safe environment. The breadth and depth of the skills of the STAR staff make this program effective for a wide range of client issues from self actualization to mood disorders, and especially healing the after effects of abuse and trauma. Each participant is fully supported in the process and is encouraged to explore as deeply into the painful past as he or she is willing to go. The participant gains a richly intense experience which simply cannot be achieved in a 50 minute hour once a week. As both a participant and as a staff member, I have watched miracles happen at STAR.”
Jayne Carson, MS, National Certified Counselor, Trauma Specialist
STAR Graduate and Referring Therapist

STAR Retreats

Find out how STAR can help you to create the future you’ve always wanted