About Us

Supporting your personal search for authenticity

THE ESSENCE OF STAR THERAPY RETREATS

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 Therapy Retreats

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

Therapy Retreats That Really Work: It’s Time to Say Yes to Self-Empowerment

If you’re like many people, you’ve tried professional therapy before but found it lacking. Perhaps it didn’t go deep enough. Or, maybe returning to your everyday life immediately after sessions threw you straight back into the same destructive patterns. Sometimes treatment focuses on the problem itself instead of a symptom of something more profound.

At STAR therapy retreats, we recognize that the root cause of many mental afflictions is a lack of self-awareness. Becoming aware of your subconscious patterns and behaviors requires confronting yourself and your past in a way that exposes, disrupts, and destroys those barriers. Not everyone wants to take such a bold step. Especially when the journey inward forces them to face parts of themselves they don’t like or want to acknowledge. However, we must take such a path in order to break free from the bondage of the past.

We designed our intensive, ten-day retreats to help push you past psychological blocks and discover new possibilities in life. We provide a supportive environment where change can flourish through a rigorous schedule of therapy sessions, introspection exercises, and life-affirming experiences. You will spend time with fellow participants committed to self-discovery and personal growth like you. You’ll also have time to spend alone in quiet meditation, mindfulness practice, yoga routine, or simply enjoy some light-hearted fun and relaxation poolside. These quiet, simple moments allow the revelations of your sessions to sink in and become part of the newly empowered you.

As the saying goes, the longest journey is the one between your heart and your head. At a STAR retreat, you’ll find the therapies, support, guidance, and courage not just to start that journey but see it through.

A Therapy Retreat for Mind, Body, and Soul

Because your mind, body, and soul are intimately interconnected, we incorporate treatment for all three components in our therapy retreats. Healing of one often requires healing of another; our therapies take you as a whole person into account. We also believe that you can’t truly heal until you’ve nourished your spirit. We aim to create a positive wellness atmosphere that allows your mind and body to thrive.

Distance from civilization is a key element of the experience, allowing you to focus on what’s truly important: yourself. We have no interest in trying to fit you into an existing mold or making you conform to some predetermined idea of who you should be. Instead, we work with you to create your ideal present and future. We want you to feel comfortable being who you are, not a pressed-for-time, overstressed caricature of yourself that constantly worries about tomorrow or re-lives yesterday. At a STAR retreat, it is your time for intensive personal renewal to become the best version of yourself – mind, body, and soul.

A Retreat for the Mind

A wide variety of therapies help to nourish the mind. In addition, we address your specific needs through daily one-on-one sessions with your facilitator. Our staff members have extensive backgrounds in psychology, psychotherapy, energy healing, meditation, and more. Daily opportunities for self-reflection help to engage your conscious mind.

A Retreat for the Body

We serve the body by providing nutritious meals, comfortable accommodations, breathwork, and bodywork. We also offer a place for you to meet new people who can provide friendship and understanding in a safe environment. And suppose you’re looking for some time away from it all. In that case, there’s always the tranquil swimming pool or the nature trails to offer some exercise, rest, and relaxation.

A Retreat for the Soul

We nurture the soul through a path of introspection. Our staff members offer unique perspectives and techniques to help you find your unique way towards self-discovery, healing, and personal growth. STAR therapy retreats serve as a catalyst for change within each individual’s life. Our goal is to help participants become empowered, see themselves more clearly, and become more self-aware so that they may heal fully.

It’s time for health, wellness, and spiritual freedom. It’s time for a STAR retreat.

 Call today to speak to a team member about our upcoming retreats.

The STAR Retreat Process

No matter how wrong things have gone for you in the past, healing can be yours in the present when you open up to it. At STAR retreats, our proven process of identifying, exploring, and connecting to resolve past traumas, breaking down the obstacles they created, and opening up a world of opportunity for the future: empowered, unbridled, and free.

Identify

We assist retreat participants in identifying emotional wounds contributing to their current obstacles, from anxiety and depression to self-esteem to anger management and more. In addition to recognizing destructive patterns, emotional triggers, and self-defeating behaviors, this step involves identifying the sources of these challenges.

Explore

Our programs allow retreat participants to explore the inner parts of their consciousness to discover the roots of their psychological blocks. These are often deeply ingrained beliefs, subconscious memories and emotions, and negative imprints. Exploring these often-painful sources is challenging work, but it is essential to open up the path of healing.

Connect

Once you have identified and explored the roots of your challenges, it’s time to connect with your own heart and soul to discover your inner wisdom. We find joy, meaning, and purpose in our lives when we experience empathy and compassion (for others and ourselves). Connecting will also open the floodgates of healing, growth, and inner spiritual freedom like we’ve never experienced before.

The STAR retreat process provides the intensive experience you need to break through and break free from your spiritual and emotional bondage. Say yes to your mental health and wellness.

 Call STAR retreats today for a free, no-obligation consultation.

STAR: A Unique Therapy Retreat

The serene setting of our breathtaking desert sanctuary acts as a complement to the many features of the STAR process. Below you will find what you may expect during your stay.

Peaceful Setting

Kenyon Ranch is a “people sanctuary” that provides spiritual, physical, and emotional wellness retreat participants. In Tubac, Arizona, Kenyon Ranch lies at the foothills of the Tumacacori and Santa Rita Mountains. Enjoy the beauty of nature and gain inspiration as you heal from past traumas and transform your future. Nature can be a powerful type of therapy that returns you to your balance.

Duration and Intensity of the Retreat

Brief, ongoing therapy does not always produce transformational results. Ten-day retreats at STAR immerse you in an environment of healing and recovery. Our retreats are long enough and intensive enough for genuine spiritual, mental, and emotional transformation to take place.

Staff-to-Participant Ratio

STAR won’t let you get lost in the crowd. We ensure that your unique needs will be met and addressed with a staff-to-participant ratio of 1:2. Whether it’s grief counseling, depression, addiction therapy, or anger and stress management, our counseling focuses on your personal needs. Our groups consist of about 15 to 20 men and women aged 18 and older.

Staff Experience

We employ licensed psychologists, medical doctors, teachers, lawyers, nurses, and more. Each member of our staff has received specialized training under the supervision of the Clinical Director. As former STAR retreat participants themselves, our team members have experienced the STAR retreat program firsthand.

Retreat History

Retreat programs from the STAR Foundation have been in operation for over 40 years. We have been fine-tuning our retreat activities to produce the greatest possible opportunity for our clients to undergo the transformation they are seeking. We are proud of our long history and the quality of our therapy, which is evidence of the effectiveness of our programs.

Private and Group Sessions

STAR retreats include group activities and individual private counseling sessions. Interactive group activities include art therapy, psychodrama, guided meditation, and more. Guided by retreat leaders, groups provide an excellent opportunity for participants to learn from one another while cultivating more profound levels of empathy and compassion for themselves and others. Individual sessions offer one-on-one counseling from STAR facilitators.

Exercises and Therapies that Work

STAR retreats center around personal mental health and wellness exercises and activities. This work is an investment in your future. The techniques used at each retreat have been researched and proven effective. Our goal is to set you free during your time at STAR. Our highly recommended programs have consistently achieved positive results.

Comfortable Accommodations

We provide a comfortable, peaceful, and healing environment for your time of transformation at STAR retreats. In addition to heating and air conditioning, hairdryers, and other in-room amenities, we also offer housekeeping, snack and beverage service throughout the day, and much more. During meals, you’ll enjoy Southwestern-style cuisine.

Supportive Community

STAR’s experienced and devoted staff will provide you with full support and private counseling. In addition, you’ll enjoy making connections with other people at your retreat. Support and encouragement play a pivotal role in healing and growth at our retreats. Many of our participants develop lifelong friendships with other group members.

Recharge and Relax

Rest and relaxation are essential to restoring your health and well-being. There are many ways to relax, find your spiritual center, and reconnect with yourself at STAR, including a heated swimming pool and loungers to soak up the sun. Unwind in the serene and supportive environment of our retreat. You can engage in yoga on your own or with a new friend. Or perhaps enjoy some quiet meditation on the experiences you have encountered throughout the day.

Discover the Natural World

Allow the stunning desert scenery at Kenyon Ranch to take your breath away. Quietly reflect on the day as you walk the labyrinth surrounded by mountains, cacti, and mesquite trees. Take a walk around the property, and perhaps you’ll catch a glimpse of a giant jackrabbit, roadrunner, or desert toad. Find the perfect spot for yoga, or simply sit and enjoy the beauty of nature. Whether you’re on your own or with a friend, you can enjoy some exercise and reconnect with nature in the desert.

Therapeutic Touch

STAR retreats also provide bodywork therapy as part of the program. Participants at our retreats experience the healing power of human touch through sessions with our highly qualified therapists. Feel the calming energy of this session as it guides you on your path of personal recovery.

With STAR therapy retreats, your mental health and wellness receive the boost needed to help you transform your life.

Contact us today to learn more about our ten-day intensive programs.

Experiences at STAR Retreats

STAR offers various therapeutic modalities designed to help you uncover the root cause of your challenges, overcome them, and create a future full of success. Our focus on mind, body, and spiritual aspects for overall wellness, means we use some or all of the following approaches as participants need them during our retreats.

Cognitive Foundations

In contrast with subconscious operations, cognitive foundations are your thoughts, reasoning, memory, comprehension, and learning mental activities at a conscious level. STAR creates a framework for understanding and defining these foundations to implement other healing treatments.

Self-Reflective Exercises

Taking time to pause, observe, and sort through emotions and thoughts in a calm and relaxed manner is part of self-reflection. Reflecting on a specific experience, exploring feelings about a subject, spiritual contemplation, or examining how you react to different scenarios allows you to learn more about yourself.

Experiential Therapies

Experiential or ‘experience-based’ therapy is different from talk therapy and other therapeutic modalities. It involves taking action and getting immersed in an experience— your experience. Experiential therapies can include outdoor activities, working with animals, music, play, and drama. As your body engages in a new or different way, portions of your psyche become open to healing, which can result in lasting change.

Integrative Breathwork

Breathwork stems from ancient spiritual practices, but scientific research has overwhelmingly affirmed its benefits. Breathing control and manipulation influences emotions, physiological responses, and thought processes in surprising ways. Our integrative breathwork therapy helps facilitate all types of health and wellness.

Emotional Release Work

By using emotional release techniques, we can overcome negative or overwhelming emotions and damaging thought patterns, which tend to keep us stuck. A physical release of pent-up emotions and stress may be achieved through breathing practices, visualizing, or more active means. Emotional release work aims to manage emotions and return to a calm, balanced state of mind.

Psychodrama

During psychodrama, you act out past events that have impacted you in your life. There may be role-playing or other psychology-based performances involved in this re-enactment. Retreat participants are encouraged to understand past events and promote emotional and spiritual healing through psychodrama.

Birth Psychology

The field of birth psychology focuses on events that influence the development of your psyche during your early life, from pre-birth to one year old. Traumatic events in your mother’s womb, during delivery, and in infancy can cause lasting psychological damage that we need to uncover and heal to move forward.

Guided Imagery

During guided imagery, retreat facilitators assist participants in using their mind’s eye for visualization. We utilize all five senses during this intensive therapy exercise, providing a space for emotional healing and even learning to manage anger positively. The use of stories and metaphors helps to reduce stress and physical tension during the experience. During guided imagery therapy, your inner spiritual wisdom often emerges.

Ego-State Psychology

Our ego state is composed of various segments of our personalities that govern how we relate to the outside world and other people. We may resolve behavioral, emotional, and interpersonal issues more quickly and effectively when applying the psychology of the ego-state to the counseling process. Ego-state wellness work can have a tremendous impact on our personal relationships.

Family of Origin Exploration

The exploration of one’s family of origin is a powerful means of self-discovery. Our childhood holds many answers to current challenges that we discover only when we dig deep into our roots. Often, how we cope, develop destructive habits, manage anger or stress, and how we develop our “stories” are influenced by our family of origin. Childhood traumas and spiritual suffering can be healed today when we are willing to do the work to confront them.

Art Projects

Art therapy is very popular for mental health and wellness. You can gain insight and explore emotions through art, whether drawing or painting, creating collage, sculpture, or another medium. As a means to manage stress or grief, our art therapy programs can also serve as a positive coping mechanism. You can find your own personal creative outlet by participating in these projects.

Bodywork

The physical and energetic practices of bodywork have a powerful relaxing and stress-relieving effect on both body and mind. The approaches used during bodywork may involve hands-on treatment, touchless energy manipulation, or breathing exercises. We consider bodywork an integral part of our wellness work at our retreats here at STAR. Your retreat experience includes a session with one of our trauma-informed practitioners.

Journaling

Journaling therapy is an effective way to learn more about yourself, discover new insights into your behavior, and experience revelations you might not otherwise find. Private journals can help you reflect on your goals and desires, record memories, or keep track of your dreams.

Writing Assignments

In our writing assignments, specific topics are assigned rather than self-directed journaling. The design of our writing assignments allows you to share them with counselors or other retreat participants, while journaling is usually private. As you complete these assignments, you can dig deep into your past, present, and desired future.

You can resolve the struggles that have been holding you back in life at STAR’s Kenyon Ranch.

We use a unique blend of techniques to help you get a fresh, focused new beginning.

Contact us and get started today.

A Personalized Retreat Experience

There are many reasons people seek healing at STAR therapy retreats. Reasons for attendance are as varied as our participants. However, these reasons generally fall into one of four basic categories. You may be experiencing personal challenges in one or more areas. Still, as you go through the intensive work of the STAR process, you will likely discover that it goes much deeper. Relationships impact behavior, behavior affects emotional, emotional controls personal, and so on.

We take all four personal wellness factors and blend them into a personalized STAR retreat experience for our participants.

Personal

Are you experiencing a life transition or a personal crisis leaving you feeling lost, empty, or powerless? Perhaps it’s an ongoing issue, and the residual build-up has spilled over into daily life, creating stress and havoc. Maybe you feel like life has lost its meaning. Without a clear purpose, many people languish, unable to move forward. They may turn to alcohol or drugs, self-harm and isolation, or lash out in rage.

Emotional

Failure to progress in life often comes from unresolved emotional issues, even if we aren’t aware of them. During a STAR retreat, you receive guidance and counseling on overcoming grief, loss, trauma, PTSD, stress, low self-esteem, depression, and anxiety. All of which create emotional blocks that keep you running uphill on an emotional treadmill instead of creating a satisfying life.

Relationships

Damaged relationships are often the result of an inability to overcome emotional, personal, or behavioral challenges. We guide retreat participants towards understanding the personal impact of anger, attachment disorders, and codependent behavior. Treatment includes a deep exploration of past relationships and the impact of their families of origin.

Behavioral

At STAR therapy retreats, we guide participants towards expressing their frustrations, fears, anxiety, stress, anger, and other emotions in a healthy way instead of turning to self-harm, addiction, withdrawal, passive-aggressive actions, and other negative behavioral expressions. Our approach helps you heal from conscious and subconscious beliefs and feelings that affect your personal wellness, renewing your mind and preparing you for a vibrant return to your everyday life.

Leave the stress behind and join STAR retreats for spiritual wellness and mental health revolution.

Contact us today for a free consultation on how a retreat at Kenyon Ranch can make a difference for you.

Your New Life Begins with a STAR Retreat

Every year, tens of millions of Americans receive some form of mental health and wellness treatment, from private counseling to stress-relieving activities to group counseling sessions. While it’s encouraging that more and more are choosing to seek help instead of struggling alone, the number of those who benefit from traditional professional assistance is disappointingly small. There is a mental health and wellness epidemic from comparatively mild problems to life-destroying psychological blocks.

For therapy that genuinely heals from the inside, it’s essential to find a balance between supportive therapy, spiritual work, and private introspection. Our retreats provide this balance, ensuring your time with us is worthwhile. Getting away from everyday stresses and demands, including triggers and harmful patterns, and solely focusing on healing from within grants the opportunity for a life-changing experience.

We provide an environment where you can explore the world within yourself safely and without judgment, opening up to new possibilities through self-knowledge. During the ten intensive days at our retreat center, you will dig deep. You will explore. You will reconnect with yourself. And yes, you will have the opportunity to experience authentic, lasting healing.

Contact STAR retreats today to learn more about how you can experience a personal mental and spiritual wellness transformation.

Your abundant new life is waiting!