What We Offer

The STAR Foundation has been instrumental in facilitating positive change
in thousands of lives for over three decades.

A 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 want to live. Our program 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 in neuroscience, attachment theory, trauma research, anger management, and mindfulness practices. Modalities include clinically proven methods of conquering depression and anxiety, and specifically addresses 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 experience to be highly individualized.

Our program is suitable for a wide range of issues including low self-esteem and relationship problems, professional or personal burnout, or feelings of simply being “stuck.”  STAR is ideal for those experiencing a loss of meaning and purpose, significant life transitions, blocked creativity, grief and loss, and/or anxiety or depression. We are also very successful in working with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, stress-related symptoms, adult attachment disorder, anger management, and addictive behaviors.

Throughout your STAR Retreat our experienced staff members, all trained graduates themselves, will be 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 ratio 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 the root cause of their 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 ‘s Story

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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Areas of Focus

For Therapists

Clinical Aspects of the STAR Retreat

Many of our STAR Retreat leaders and facilitators are highly skilled and professionally recognized psychotherapists. The 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. Our program is 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. We also work with referring therapist to help the participant bridge their 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, and is a balanced approach in 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.

Tony Elite, M.D.

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, L.C.S.W.