Release and Reclaim

Low tide at the retreat

. . .or still feeling the effects?

It's not the end of the world. Join us at a recovery retreat.

A workshop for letting go of religious indoctrination and reclaiming your life.

Led by Marlene Winell, Ph.D., psychologist, and author of
Leaving the Fold, A Guide for Former
Fundamentalists and Others Leaving Their Religion

WHEN: FRIDAY, Feb. 29, 7PM until SUNDAY, Mar. 2, 3PM.

WHERE: A beautiful house near the beach in Alameda, California, minutes from Oakland Airport.

Front of the houseLeaving one's faith often creates intense feelings of confusion, grief, anxiety, and anger. The effects of authoritarian religious training can last a long time and run deep; full recovery can be difficult if the issues are not clear and you feel alone in the struggle.

This workshop is designed to support you in the process of healing and growth. The weekend is a powerful group experience of sharing personal history, examining key issues, and exploring new liberating concepts and skills. In addition to discussion, we will use experiential methods including art, guided visualization, movement, and role-play. There will also be time for shared meals and relaxation as we build a lasting support system beyond the weekend. A resource list of readings and websites will be available.

COST: $320 for the workshop, $125 for room and board.

A deposit of $100 will secure a space. $25 discount given for full payment by Feb. 10. Financial need considered and options available.

TO REGISTER or for more information: Send an email to
or call 510-292-0509.
Register soon to save a place. Group size is limited to 8.

Dr. Winell at the beachAbout Dr. Winell: Marlene Winell is a consultant/educator with a practice based in Berkeley, CA. She has worked in human services for 30 years and has a Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies. Her work on religious recovery is based on personal history, research, and clinical experience. 510-292-0509.

Comments from previous participants:

"A wonderful retreat. I will never be the same."

"Loved it. The exercises combined with the discussions really created a dynamic experience for me. The openness and the welcoming atmosphere made it easy and comfortable for me to share my thoughts and emotions."

"I see this as a powerful healing experience for most anyone recovering from fundamentalism. There are so few opportunities for people to talk face to face about the suffering that Christianity can cause or about the insensitive cruelties perpetrated in the name of God. Having others validate the experience creates a sense of confidence and clarity. I wish someone was doing your work and making fundamentalism recovery known in every city in the country! I would love to see you training therapists around these issues." - Dr. Valerie Tarico, author of The Dark Side

A group discussion"Wonderful weekend! The tools, especially the monster/child/adult metaphor, and how to integrate and deal with it were very helpful. I enjoyed all the others: a talented, loving, real and compassionate group of people…I have been enriched."

"This retreat is a great way to connect with others and reaffirm that you are not alone in your healing process."

"Enjoyed your sense of humor. Really felt your connection with us."

"You understand, you love us through it, you give us real tools to use, you accept non-judgementally, thank-you!"

"Marlene is skilled, intuitive and informed. She has a gentle but firm way of guiding a person through the healing steps and skill building needed for coping with the negative aspects of religious upbringing."

"Very empowering. I want to feel empowered rather than helpless and so many other programs (12 steps) make you feel helpless. I would come again without hesitation."
"Retreat is worth it. Lots of guidance and nurturance will be provided if you can just get yourself to the retreat. Get yourself to the retreat and much else will fall into place."

"Marlene Winell is a gifted workshop leader. I recommend this workshop to anyone who may be feeling alone in their struggle to sort out the religious abuses and indoctrinations of their life experiences. You'll find here a great community of support for your process." - Debra Thornley

"Marlene provides a supportive, nurturing environment to validate and affirm each participant, regardless of their stage in religious recovery."

"If you were once serious about your faith, but felt betrayed and left desolate by its empty claims, this is the retreat for you. We've all been there too." – Michele Lyerly, author of From Rapture to Revelation

"I thought the variety of activities was wise. It pushed people out of their comfort zones in different ways. Head, body, and heart . . I have a tendency to stay too much in my head."

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