Leaning into Transitions:
An Immersive Expressive Arts Ecotherapy Retreat for Women
August 11-13, 2023 at the Christine Center
Arrival time on Friday is 3-4 pm, first meeting at 4:30 pm, Retreat concludes with lunch on Sunday at 12:30 pm
Offered by Ecotherapists: Jillynn Garcia, Rachel Mullis, Alison Vooris and Agnieszka Wiosna
Immersing oneself in the natural world can teach us so much about ourselves and our inner strength, especially during times of transition. This retreat is geared towards all female identifying individuals who have or are experiencing a life transition.
Transitions happen throughout our lives, (be it the beginning or end of a significant relationship, the birth of a child, the loss of a loved one, the start of a new job, moving into retirement or embracing a new way of showing up for yourself). Some transitions are expected and gradual and others are abrupt and dysregulating. Whatever the transition is that you are experiencing, you are invited to join a circle of women to explore your thoughts, feelings, strengths and needs during this time.
As a collective we will engage in ecotherapy, art therapy and somatic practices as a means of developing strength, expanding perspective and gleaning insight from this time of transition all while steeped in the lovely natural surroundings of the Christine Center.
All Inclusive Retreat Pricing Options
Listed pricing includes all housing, meals, and program fee
Single Modern Hermitage
$695.00 (Early registration). After June 30 the fee is $745.00 USD
Single Guest Room in Main Building
$635.00 (Early registration). After June 30 the fee is $685.00 USD
Single Rustic Hermitage
$545.00 (Early registration). After June 30 the fee is $595.00 USD
Single Cabin Bedroom
$635.00 (Early registration). After June 30 the fee is $685.00 USD
Shared Modern Hermitage
$615.00 (Early registration). After June 30 the fee is $665.00 USD
Shared Rustic Hermitage
$515.00 (Early registration). After June 30 the fee is $565.00 USD
Please contact our main office to make your reservation for any of the following (715-267-7507 or email@example.com):
- To ensure roommate for shared lodging
- To reduce the number of meals you would like
- If you need to make special arrangements
- If you would like to reserve pet friendly accommodations
Modern Hermitage: One room cottage with anywhere from 1 to 3 beds; living area; kitchenette; bathroom and shower.
Cabin Bedroom: A private bedroom with 1 to 2 beds located on the property in a shared cabin; shared kitchenette; shared bathroom and shower.
Guest Room in Main Building: A private bedroom with 2 beds and private bathroom located in the main building.
Rustic Hermitage: One room cottage with anywhere from 1 to 2 beds; living area. No bathroom or kitchenette. Modern bath and shower facilities are located on the property.
For an overview of the daily schedule, click here.
Setting Intentions and Incubating Your Dreams: Art based ecotherapy with Jillynn Garcia
“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature — the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.” ~Rachel Carson, Silent Spring
In this retreat we will engage in nature based art making to unpack the core nature of the change you are experiencing. We will identify your wants and needs associated with this change, establish your desired outcome, and connect to resources to support you through the change process.
By connecting in community and engaging your creative energy, you will tap into your internal resources and bolster your resiliency as you step into a new way of being in the world.
Art offering: You will be invited to create a self-representative talisman in the shape of an egg, focusing on what you are incubating throughout this life transition.
You will then have the opportunity to use natural materials, fabric, beads and wire to create a representational support system in the shape of a nest. As we create, we will reflect on the depth of feminine intuition, the power of affirmation and how to foster a deeper connection to one’s community.
Somatic Ecotherapy: Arriving in Your Body by Rachel Mullis
“No matter how deeply we have been wounded, when we listen to the inner voice that calls us back to our bodies, back to wholeness, we begin our journeys.” ~Tara Brach
When we learn to shift from mind to body, we develop a sense of presence. This presence allows us to listen and understand the signals our bodies send, creating an environment of wholeness and healing. In this workshop I will guide you through activities including journaling, gentle somatic movement, and spirit bathing.
We will begin our journey to wholeness by listening to our inner voices and identifying recurring patterns and tensions in our lives that we wish to change or release. Incorporating the healing and cleansing nature of water, you will have the opportunity to participate in a spirit bathing ritual. Through engaging in these activities with others, we learn not only to regulate our own nervous systems, but are also able to create healing and wholeness in our communities. Resourcing and building connections in this way can be particularly centering in times of transition.
Flow: Exploring Transitions Through The Element of Water and Herbal Infusions offered by Alison Vooris
“We are water. Like water, consciousness takes the shape of its container. Like water, consciousness remembers all it experiences. Like water, consciousness never ends, it simply transforms” ~Delta Venus
Water is known to represent rebirth and help with the process of change. In this retreat, we will be using water to create an herbal infusion. There will be a selection of herbs representing different spiritual and medicinal qualities that will be used for making infusions that will support the body’s natural processes of releasing and replenishing.
Offering: Herbal Infusions and Watercolor Postcards
Each community member will be able to select the herb(s) that they feel best fits the transition and intention they are working on. Using these herbs they will then create a unique infusion that will be consumed as part of a communal tea ceremony.
Collectively we will learn how the simple act of adding an herb to hot water can become a daily ritual of intention, transition and self-care.
Again, using our herbal infusions and water gathered in nature, we will solidify our sense of flow through a guided watercolor practice.
Resourcing and Planting Seeds – Allowing Your Dreams to Take Root by Agnieszka Wiosna
“Keep planting new seeds until your mind becomes the earth that gives birth to new worlds.” ~Curtis Tyrone Jones
As we navigate life transitions and allow ourselves to let go of what was, we are left with rich compost in which we are given the opportunity to plant new seeds.
Seeds are magical. Every little one has the potential to become a new plant and give you more seeds – connecting us to the circle of life and nature’s endless ability to surprise and delight. The act of planting seeds and watching them grow into seedlings and then on into plants is enormously therapeutic.
Traditional symbolic meanings of seeds include: Potential, Trust, Hope, Nourishment, Sacredness, Earthiness, Initiation, Reproduction, Cycles, Time, and Provision. It takes time and patience to plant a seed and wait for the plant to rise and become full in its expression.
In this retreat we will work with soil, sand, compost, water and wildflower seeds in creating little seedballs to be planted later in your chosen place and at your chosen pace. You will be able to select seeds that are meaningful to you and which represent your readiness to sprout and bloom while enjoying the growth process without judgments or expectations. Together, literally and figuratively, we will allow our dreams to take root…
Meet your Guides for the Journey
Jillynn Garcia LCAT, LMFT, ATR-BC, Art Therapist, Marriage and Family Therapist, Certified Ecotherapist
My name is Jillynn (pronounced Jill-Lynn), and I am a Licensed Certified Art Therapist, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Certified Ecotherapist, who brings my passion for art and the more-than-human world to my work as a clinician, clinical supervisor, and educator.
I identify as a queer, white, latinx woman and find that my intersections are ever evolving. I believe that having a solid understanding of my positions of privilege and when and how these positions intersect with those of my clients is an essential framework when building a therapeutic relationship.
I have spent the past 22 years working in a variety of community based, residential, day treatment, and therapeutic school settings with children, adolescents, young adults and families who have been significantly impacted by systemic oppression, relational abuse and mental health challenges. I specialize in working with women, young adults and adolescents and have significant training and experience in supporting neurodivergent individuals, individuals recovering from trauma and individuals in the LGBQTIA2S+ community.
In addition to offering individual and family therapy, I facilitate art based ecotherapy groups for women, BIPOC individuals and members of the LGBTQIA2S+ community experiencing various life transitions. I also offer seasonal ecotherapy workshops to assist one in finding grounding, peace and aligning with the rhythms of the more than human world.
When I’m not working directly with clients, I serve as adjunct faculty in the Art Therapy Graduate Department at Lewis and Clark College and provide clinical supervision for associates working towards licensure.
For fun, I spend as much time as possible in nature, traveling, painting, paddle boarding, and connecting with my family.
Rachel Mullis, LMT, COTA, Certified Ecotherapist
“Touch comes before sight, before speech. It is the first language and the last, and it always tells the truth.”
– Margaret Atwood
As far back as I can remember, touch has alway been one of the most important senses in my life. From an early age, I gravitated to touch and recognized that I had a natural ability to connect and support others in this way. I believe healing touch can be transformative for individuals as they release stress and tension in the context of connection and support. As a massage therapist, my work goes beyond relaxation and release and teaches individuals to embody themselves in a deeper, more authentic way.
I meet clients where they are in their healing journey, to encourage personal growth, and at the same time challenging them to welcome what comes in life and step out of their comfort zone. Everyone has unique needs and preferences and I highly value the input of my clients when creating a group offering, or working one on one. I support clients in finding their growth edge in physical, emotional and spiritual development
I am trained as an Ecotherapist, Occupational Therapist, Massage Therapist, and an Embodiment Coach. I have additional training in Structural Integration, Myofascial release and Trauma Releasing Exercises (TRE).
Working with my clients is deeply satisfying as I am able to closely connect with them, seeing firsthand the impact of healing touch on the body’s ability to process and release trauma. In my practice I help individuals in all stages of life integrate their mind, body and soul as they navigate stress and various transitions. I do this through a unique fusion of bodywork, coaching and nature connection which supports my clients in experiencing a sense of embodied presence and wholeness.
In my free time, I enjoy spending time in nature with my dog, Bella, traveling, connecting with like minded colleagues and exploring the healing power of herbs.
Alison Vooris: MA, Psychology Associate, LGPC, Certified Ecotherapist.
My experiences started from a young age being born in Africa (as a British citizen) living in South America and traveling the world. My father was an anthropologist. This life taught me to be flexible and I was always able to find a sense of place and belonging. Many of these experiences involved connection with the natural environment and I developed a love for birding and ecology. Eventually, I moved from England to the US and currently live on the rural Delmarva Peninsula in Maryland.
With a Bachelor’s Degree I started my 20+ years experiences in the field of psychology. This included working in the fields of social work, education (as a science and ecology teacher) and at places like Kennedy Krieger and Johns Hopkins Hospital. I am licensed in Psychology and Counseling and have a Masters in Guidance. Recently I became certified in Ecotherapy which allows me to offer healing approaches including and being in the natural environment. Simply being on land, close to water or tapping into the power of nature and reconnecting is known to have a calming effect on the nervous system and the brain.
I am the founder and owner of Riverhawk Centre, a holistic ecotherapy wellness center where I offer psychotherapy and nature connection workshops. My specialties are working with neurodivergent individuals, LGBTQIA2S+ individuals and grief counseling and eating disorders. I love to work with all ages and I particularly love working with groups and incorporating art and nature into the therapy.
When I am not working you will find me in the natural environment, swimming in the river near my home, kayaking, paddle boarding or birding. I teach youth my passion for birding and volunteer in the summer on Hog Island for Audubon, ME. If I am not doing these things I will be somewhere else in the world visiting my international family or exploring.
Agnieszka Wiosna: MA, LPC, Certified Ecotherapist, Community Garden Organizer
My name is Agnieszka (pronounced ag-nee-eshh-kuh), and I’ve worked in many fields, back in Poland and here in the U.S. The last few years I have maintained a home-based art studio and facilitated family arts and crafts workshops at Chicago Libraries. I have also taught the Origins and History of a Human Figure and run hands-on workshops at Roosevelt University at Chicago for undergraduate students.
As an adult, I returned to school and obtained a degree in Psychology, Clinical Counseling and Fine Arts as well as a Certification in Ecotherapy. I had the privilege to work, counsel, and provide support to young adults with special needs and their families at special education school where I observed how applying the principles of art and ecotherapy, and gardening in particular, can make a difference.
Aside from professional work, I have always been involved in volunteering activities. From schools’ music associations and youth sports clubs to international theater and the local library. My volunteering experiences have taught me the importance of community and has instilled in me the desire to give back. Recently, I initiated a community garden for the residents of our apartment complex of 220 households.
This project has combined all the teachings I have received so far and has enabled me to show my gratitude and love to the land I occupy and people I meet on my life’s journey.