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Deep Emotional Healing Retreat Fall 2020

This is a semi-private intensive retreat. October 3-4, 2020

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Early bird discount: Save $25 by August 3, 2020.

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Excavate and express your radiant Authentic Self …

the person God meant you to be.

Maximum of 6 participants. Register now to insure your seat.

Venue: Young Harris, Georgia USA

Unresolved emotional wounds decrease our ability to create fulfilling relationships and a meaningful career. They contribute to stress, dis-ease, anxiety and depression. But the good news is, you can heal.

Who Should Attend? Adults. Singles and couples are welcome.

Prerequisites: 3 private sessions for new clients must be completed at least one month before the retreat. Please apply now to get started with your private sessions if you are a new client. Complete the Contact Page for a complimentary10-minute get-acquainted phone chat to see if we are a good fit.

Why Attend this Retreat?

Relationship issues: Do you get emotionally triggered when you have conflicts and it takes a long time to recover? Wish your relationships were more fulfilling? Do you find yourself repeating unwanted patterns?

Spirituality: Do you get thrown off-center when things don’t go your way? Do you want to feel whole all the time, no matter what people do?

Mindset and Mood: Do limiting thoughts and “monkey-mind chatter” generate anxiety or depression? Do you procrastinate, hoping conflicts will just go away?

Health: Do you experience physical illness or pain? Do you suspect that unhealed emotional wounds may be a contributing factor?

Career: Do you want to create a meaningful career where you can be your Authentic Self? Do you sense the creative reservoir within, but you don’t fully express your gifts in the world?

Work-Life Balance: Do you find yourself being so busy that you have trouble finding enough time for your loved ones and down-time for yourself?

If you answered “yes” to many of these questions, I want you to know that you don’t have to continue to suffer. This retreat can help you make deep core changes … more than you think is possible in one weekend.

Retreat venue. Photo credit: Benita A Esposito

Retreat venue. Photo credit: Benita A Esposito

“I just wanted to thank you again for hosting such a wonderful and inspirational weekend retreat. I continued to ride the wave all the way home! As I reflected on one of the weekend’s more intense moments I found myself crying tears of despair, but they were instantaneously transformed into tears of joy as I instinctively felt comfort from the Divine. Thanks to your guidance, I now know how to access the healing, the answers, the wisdom and the love.” ~B.M., Computer Programmer

This retreat will help you …

Raise your relationships, career, health and spirituality to a whole new level of fulfillment.

Receive insights so compelling that you naturally flow into effective action instead of getting bogged down in self-defeating patterns.

Experience rigorous yet gentle leadership so you stop procrastinating and effectively reach your goals.

Allow God’s love to heal you and release wave after wave of creativity. Bask in the sweetness of spiritual intimacy, drawing ever closer to God. Enjoy accelerated healing in the beauty of our mountain lake.

  1. You’ll transform life patterns that no longer serve you.
  2. You’ll heal emotional wounds so you can create what is most meaningful in your life.
  3. You’ll be better equipped to create flourishing relationships.
  4. You’ll connect with your Authentic Self and God so you can feel whole all the time.
  5. You’ll develop self-compassion so you accept yourself right where you are, flaws and all.
  6. You’ll learn skills to reduce physical and emotional pain. Your body will feel safer to unwind and relax. You’ll heal faster.
  7. You’ll experience the sweetness of spiritual intimacy and unconditional love in a group of like-hearted companions. Feeling safe helps you open up.

Last night while soaking in the hot tub, I had a mental slideshow of past retreats and how transformative they’ve been for me.  For many years there’s been a deep ache inside of me because my father didn’t affirm me. This unresolved pain caused great difficulty with my romantic relationships. During the breathwork session at the last retreat, while I was in a dreamy state, I appeared as a radiant bride and my Dad finally gave me the adoration I have wanted all my life. Now six months later, I still feel the love that was planted in me during that retreat. What a priceless journey, worth more than gold!  – T.H, Entrepreneur

What Makes This Retreat So Powerful?

This retreat is a safe place for you to dive deep into emotional healing so you can experience major transformation in a compressed time.

Private counseling sessions of 50 minutes don’t allow for this kind of deep healing. You have an entire weekend to heal layer after layer. Your Authentic Self will shine so much more brightly.

You will benefit from my four decades of professional counseling expertise, but the most powerful healer is the Holy Spirit.

This retreat is custom-tailored to the small group of 4-6 participants.

–>If you’d like to see if this retreat is a good fit for you, please complete the Contact Form for a complimentary 10-minute get-acquainted phone chat. I look forward to hearing from you.

Location: A home overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains and Lake Chatuge. Bordered by the Chattahoochee National Forest. Young Harris, GA. Two hours from Atlanta, Chattanooga and Asheville.

*** If you are allergic to cats, tell me know before you apply so we can discuss if this retreat is appropriate for you.

“As we closed the retreat, I felt, probably for the first time in my life, a deep grief that I would be leaving a group of people that meant so much to me. It’s rare for me to have a deep desire to continue to be a part of new people’s lives, and have them be a part of mine. This is one of the gifts that I received this past weekend. My path in life has been a solitary one, and I mostly liked it that way, but at the same time I felt lonely, isolated, and different. I never before realized how much I wanted to share myself with others, and to share their path and their experience.” E.W., Software Development Consultant

Retreat Activities. You will complete a questionnaire two to three weeks before the retreat telling me exactly what you want to experience in this retreat. I will design processes to meet your specific needs. The agenda remains fluid throughout the retreat so that everyone’s goals are met.

There will be several types of experiential learning formats that facilitate deep transformation:

(1) I will coach one person while the group learns vicariously. Group members learn more than they ever thought possible by observing someone else being coached. We have Q&A sessions to answer all your questions.

(2) Several people with similar issues will participate in a transformational process simultaneously.

Photo credit: Benita Esposito

(3) We will have at least one long Breathwork session. Breathwork is my most effective tool for generating deep spiritual-psychological-emotional-physical transformation.

Note: Read all these pages before you apply.  Breathwork is an intense transformational process. That’s why it is important that you read all the following posts before inquiring about the retreat.

Read this description of Breathwork.

Read these client stories on Breathwork.

Read this Breathwork Q&A discussion.

Click to read FAQs – What is it like to attend a Deep Emotional Healing Retreat?

TallulahGorgeFalls BEsposito

Tallulah Gorge by Benita Esposito

(4) Short lectures, written exercises, hand-outs, movement to music, mindfulness, deep breathing, relaxation, body-awareness activities, and didactic conversations.

“I had never really even entertained the idea of doing a retreat. Scared me to death. This time I had some help coaxing me to go, but I knew I would do it anyway. Once my spirit decided it was the place to be, then it was so powerful that I had to surrender. So far it’s been one life changing experience after another. Right now I am flying. Can you tell? I mean high! I feel like running up this path barefooted if I have to. What an amazing life I have!” – V.S., Psychotherapist

Agenda: Saturday and Sunday

Arrive at 9:00-9:15am *

Group 9:30am – 12:30pm

Break  12:30 – 2:30pm

Group  2:30 – 5:30pm

Saturday evening: group dinner

Please be flexible on the ending time Sunday to accommodate the needs of the group.

We will take one long break during the afternoon to walk at the lake, meditate, nap or deepen friendships. It’s your choice.

This semi-private retreat consists of 4-6 people. If we have 4 people, we will meet five hours on Sunday, instead of six hours.

Note: Every retreat is different and is designed to meet the needs of the specific participants. Some people attend retreats for several years, deepening their growth and renewing friendships with other participants.

“My cheek muscles have been sore since I returned from the retreat. Could this be from smiling so much that it hurts? I have to say, when I left the retreat I had some good gut wrenching cries of loss and now…. wow, I do believe that joy is here. I am walking around singing, laughing, and just having fun with myself.  I want to spread this around to everyone.”- M.F., Technical Trainer

a-teaching-authentic-self-wordlist-be2016

Photo Benita A Esposito

Facilitator: Benita A. Esposito, MA, LPC

Benita is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Christian healer with four decades experience. I respect all spiritual paths that advocate love and respect for life.

Benita’s Bio

Want a preview of my work?

Click here to watch my book video: The Gifted Highly Sensitive Introvert: Wisdom for Emotional Healing and Expressing Your Radiant Authentic Self.

 

“By working with Benita Esposito over the last eight years in one-on-one and in group settings, I have deeply explored the outer reaches of consciousness, and the inner depths of my body-mind-soul-emotions. Via strong empathetic connection with me, Benita has intuitively guided me and coached me through issues so I can create healthy personal and business relationships. I benefit most from group retreats where there is a mixture of people’s energies. The extended time to work on things is crucial to digging deep and making major changes, while the beautiful Nature settings give me the soothing arena I need to process the experiences. Jump at the chance to be involved in a retreat as often as possible – that is my recommendation. If a retreat doesn’t suit you, choose another format. It is an honor and a privilege to have Benita as the co-creator of my true destiny and journey towards my Authentic Self.”  ~ L.S., Software Engineer

 

Tuition includes Saturday night dinner.

$595.00 for two full days.

Early Bird Discount: Save $25.00 by August 3, 2020.

Space is limited to 6 people. Register now to save your seat. Tickets will sell out quickly. Meals and lodging are on your own.

Contact me to receive payment instructions.

***Register early because you must fulfill the prerequisites. Email me via the Contact Page and tell me you want to apply for this retreat.

Remember this Prerequisite:

New clients must have at least 3 private sessions. This can be in-person, on the phone or video-conference. Retreats are profound and intense. I need to make sure you are prepared and that the retreat will be a good fit for you. Please inquire about the fee for these private sessions. Contact me.

List of hotels and restaurants. Book your hotel early. Space fills up quickly because of the Fall leaf season in the mountains.

Photo credit: Benita Esposito

Refund Policy

All refund requests must be made via email. Complete the contact form.
• 30 or more days before the retreat, there will be a full refund minus a $50 processing fee.
• No refunds 0 – 29 days before the retreat, but you may apply your fee to private sessions or another retreat within 1 year, minus a $50 fee.

 

Facilitator’s Cancellation Policy

If an event must be cancelled due to unforeseen events (such as the weather or illness of the facilitator) the event will be rescheduled. Every attempt will be made to accommodate a new date that will suit your needs. If that is not possible, you may apply your tuition to another event of your choice within one year or apply your fee to private sessions.

“When you polish your facet of the diamond, the whole diamond glows more brilliantly.” ~ Benita A. Esposito, MA, Licensed Professional Counselor

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Breathwork Story: How Elaine’s Eating Disorder Was Healed

I’m posting Elaine’s evaluation from our weekend retreat, “Your Authentic Life”, on April 2013 where we did two Breathwork sessions. When Elaine did her inner child healing, it yielded a surprising unexpected result. Her 20-year eating disorder was healed. Elaine gave me permission to publish her evaluation form. Read more

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Healing Trauma: Abortion and Open-heart Surgery

This article was written by one of my clients who chose to remain anonymous. I’ll call her Sally. She was a smart business leader whom people respected. She felt confident at work, but she had trouble forming meaningful friendships. She felt empty inside. Read more

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Healing Abuse. Susan’s Breathwork Story.

A bright 30-something woman, Susan vowed that she would never return to her abusive ex-boyfriend. But two weeks ago, she did.

She was driving down the interstate while he sat in the passenger seat. They were traveling to a concert in another city.  His rage flared into a frenzy.  She had seen this way too many times before. Read more

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Deep Emotional Healing Retreat

This Semi-Private Retreat has a maximum of six people.

Unresolved emotional wounds decrease your self-esteem, self-confidence, and ability to create healthy personal and professional relationships. Even though you are successful on the outside, you may feel empty inside … a lack of wholeness … little inner peace.

You may have experienced emotional, physical or sexual abuse. You may have experienced the anguish that comes from having an emotionally distant parent.

You may yearn for intimacy, but be afraid of it at the same time. You may attract emotionally unavailable people. You may not know how to effectively communicate to resolve conflicts so that your personal and professional relationships flourish. Your intimate relationship may suffer because you cannot be as emotionally close or as sexually open as you would like.

The part of your brain that tries to protect you might have become stuck in survival mode: fight, flight or freeze. This can generate a number of symptoms including anxiety, depression, chronic worry, self-sabotage, pessimism, procrastination, OCD, substance abuse, and emotional eating.

LkChtg 7Apr12

Lake Chatuge. Photo by Benita Esposito

The Promise of the Retreat:  You’ll experience rigorous yet gentle leadership tailored to your unique learning style to ensure your success. You’ll receive insights so compelling that you will naturally flow into effective action instead of getting bogged down in self-defeating patterns. You’ll be in a safe place so you can allow Love to flood you, heal you and release wave after wave of creativity. Bask in the sweetness of spiritual intimacy, drawing ever closer to the Divine, the source of all healing. Your transformational journey will be accelerated in this beautiful Nature setting: the Blue Ridge Mountains overlooking Lake Chatuge.

When: View the retreat schedule for current dates.

Where: Young Harris, GA. Enjoy the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains overlooking Lake Chatuge.

Breathwork is the primary activity of the day. It helps you access memory, emotion and spirituality in a profound way.

Click on the following links to learn more about what happens in breathwork:

Breathwork Q&A.wisdom-of-crowds-control

Breathwork Testimonials: Relationships, self-esteem, physical healings, career success.

2 Client Stories about their Breathwork experiences in our Annual Florida Beach Retreat

Healing Abuse. In Susan’s Breathwork, God showed her where the abuse pattern started: at conception.

Healing Trauma of an abortion and open-heart surgery.

Healing an Eating Disorder. This client was not focusing on healing her eating disorder. It occurred as a side-benefit.

Reserve your seat now. This small intimate retreat consists of 6 people.  A minimum of 3 private sessions are required before attending this retreat. Participation is by invitation only. Complete the Contact Form for a complementary 10-minute interview.

NOTE: If you are allergic to cats, please let me know. I have one cat who will not be in our meeting space if it is a problem for you.

Cupids Falls, Young Harris, GA

Cupids Falls, Young Harris, GAReserve your seat now.

Retreat FAQs

TESTIMONIALS

“I had never really even entertained the idea of doing a retreat. Scared me to death. Once my spirit decided it was the place to be, then it was so powerful that I had to surrender. So far it’s been one life changing experience after another. Right now I am flying. Can you tell? I mean high! I feel like running up this path barefooted if I have to.” – V.S., Psychotherapist

Last night while soaking in the hot tub, I had a mental slideshow of past retreats and how transformative they’ve been for me.  For many years there’s been a deep ache inside of me because my father didn’t affirm me. This unresolved pain caused great difficulty with my romantic relationships. During the breathwork session at the last retreat, while I was in a dreamy state, I appeared as a radiant bride and my Dad finally gave me the adoration I have wanted all my life. Now six months later, I still feel the love that was planted in me during that retreat. What a priceless journey, worth more than gold!  – T.H, Realtor, Health Coach

“By working with Benita Esposito over the last eight years in one-on-one and in group settings, I have deeply explored the outer reaches of consciousness, and the inner depths of my body-mind-soul-emotions. Via strong empathetic connection with me, Benita has intuitively coached me through issues so I can create healthy personal and business relationships. I benefit most from group retreats where there is a mixture of people’s energies. The extended time to work on things is crucial to digging deep and making major changes, while the beautiful Nature settings give me the soothing arena I need to process the experiences. Jump at the chance to be involved in a retreat as often as possible. It is an honor and a privilege to have Benita as the co-creator of my true destiny and my journey towards my Authentic Self.”  ~ L.S., Software Engineer

Lodging:  click here for a list of hotels.

Facilitator: Benita A. Esposito, MA, Licensed Professional Counselor

To inquire about counseling services or intensive retreats, click the Contact Us form. Enter your question and comments. If that does not work, enter your contact information in the “comment box” on this site.

Refund Policy
*There will be no refunds within 30 days of the event. Cancellation must be writing. Fax to 706.896.0031 or email to Benita@EspositoInstitute.com.
* 31-45 days before the retreat, there will be a 50% refund, minus a $35 processing fee.
* 46 or more days before an event, there will be a full refund minus a $35 processing fee.

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“Authentic Self Yacht Retreat” The Story

As the sun rose in the sky, we stood on giant rocks surrounded by the rushing stream that ran through the deep valley below my house. Tall hardwoods and lush ferns and moss flanked the edges of the stream. Our spirits lifted as the sound of four waterfalls splashed white noise all around us. The doors to our Authentic Selves opened quickly in this Nature sanctuary. I always start retreats with a grounding exercise, introductions and goal setting. This was one of the most beautiful ways we ever opened a retreat. Read more

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Coat of Many Colors: Benita’s Retreat Story.

Emotional Intimacy Beings Within.

My Intensive Personal Growth Retreat Preparation

The North Georgia Mountains cradled a group of people who gathered for an intensive transformational Retreat.  It was one of my first retreats with my teacher, Lee.  I was looking at a whole lifetime of not being true to my Authentic Self for fear that someone, mostly some man, wouldn’t love me.  I was afraid to be vulnerable, to be transparent, and to reveal my flaws. I was successful in business, and I dressed impeccably. I looked good. I had spent a life time developing coping strategies designed to create success and love. But my body was stiff and hurting. Some called it chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia. My breath was short. Deep down inside I felt scared and insecure, but I didn’t let anyone know it.  I certainly did not cry in public places.

Committed to being true to my Authentic Self, I decided to break out of the “need to look good” pattern.  I wanted to feel my emotions when they came and to take responsibility for them. I wanted to stop blaming others and hiding my Authentic Self.  Instead of stopping the tears, I wanted to be transparent and honest.  I realized that others might feel uncomfortable in my presence, but I chose to see them as adults who could take care of themselves and handle their own feelings while I felt mine. I didn’t have to protect them from themselves. I chose to stop my unhealthy codependent care-taking behaviors.  I promised to love my Authentic Self and to love others more wisely. I committed to stop manipulating their impression of me by projecting a fake mask. More than anything I wanted to stop abandoning my Authentic Self. If I wasn’t willing to love myself unconditionally, how could I expect any one else to be there for me in a deeply connected way?

My Retreat Experience                                                                                                                

As I walked into the dining hall Saturday morning, the room was bustling with chatter and laughter. My introverted self was not feeling very sociable. I felt out of place, and observed my discomfort.  I thought to myself, “I won’t fit in if don’t socialize with them.” Tears swelled in my eyes, but I didn’t know why. Instead of smiling politely, I gave my face permission to be sad and cry a little. Instead of putting on a happy face and chatting like all the others, I didn’t make idle conversation.  I ate a little, keeping silence.

Then my eyes were drawn to a brightly colored ski jacket hanging on the back of a chair. I was very moved by its beauty.  It had wide diagonal stripes of turquoise, periwinkle purple and fuscia pink blazing against a solid black background.  Would I sit quietly appreciating its beauty, or would I express the joy I felt to its owner? What would my Authentic Self do? My inner voice told me to share my joy because expressing my joy as well as my pain was part of being true to my Authentic Self.  Listening to my inner voice and acting on its direction was my mission that weekend.

I walked across the crowded room to the table near the jacket.  “Whose coat is this?” I asked. A dark-haired woman responded, “It is mine.”

“It is so beautiful!” I exclaimed.  “It’s just so beautiful!”

She glowed and said, “Thank you.”

I walked back to my seat.  There was still food on my plate, but I didn’t want to eat it.  Neither did I want to socialize.  So I walked out of the dining hall and headed through the woods to the building where we were to gather for the retreat.

I entered the large one-room building.  No one else was there.  “Good,” I thought.  Curling up on the sofa, I vowed to stay present with my Authentic Self, still feeling sad and tearful.  I knew people would walk in soon. I talked to myself saying, “Don’t put on a happy face when they came in. Stay close to your Self. If you want to cry, cry. You have the courage to be real and transparent.”

A few people came in, laughing and talking.  I was still crying softly on the couch. They ignored me. “Good,” I thought.  They didn’t try to distract me or make me feel better, although I thought it was strange that they would ignore a person who was crying.  A few more strolled in, and then a few more, all talking among themselves and ignoring me.

Then a woman walked over to me and sat on the floor in front of me.  She gently put one hand on my knee and sat quietly with me. There were no words. She was just being present with me. I cried more, touched by her warmth and tenderness.

Another woman came in and she, too, sat on the floor in front of me, resting a hand on my other knee.  She gazed into my teary eyes as I gazed back.  There were no words, just quiet sharing.  “What a beautiful gift,” I thought.  We continued communicating without need of words, love radiating between us.

Then the woman with the ski jacket walked over to me and placed the coat around my shoulders, saying, “Here, this is for you.”

I enjoyed the comfort of the coat while cuddled up on the couch.  She sat with us, too, and I continued being close to my Authentic Self, softly crying, grateful for the women surrounding me.

After a while, my tears subsided and I breathed easier, feeling like a weight had been lifted off my body.  I looked at the woman who owned the ski jacket and handed it back to her.  She said, “No. This is for you.  I am giving it to you. I have enjoyed it for two years, and I am done with it. I am making many changes in my life, and I am giving away many things. I want you to have it. It’s yours.”

“You mean it?” I asked while gingerly receiving it. She smiled and nodded. My eyes moistened again as we stood and hugged each other. I was so touched by her love, and she was touched by my receiving. The other women and I hugged.

My Reflections

The women and I trusted ourselves enough to act from our Authentic Selves. I discovered that I could be transparent while loving myself every moment, even while crying in public. I discovered that some people would love me in a way that I felt nurtured, and that others wouldn’t connect with me at all, or only superficially. That’s how life is. The more I commit to be my Authentic Self, the more those who want to connect with the real me will come into my life. Others will go on their way. That’s OK. When we are true to our Authentic Self, we love more fully and purely.

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Author and Retreat Facilitator: Benita A. Esposito, MA, Licensed Professional Counselor. I’ve been leading intensive transformational retreats for four decades. If you’d like to attend a retreat, view the current schedule: click here.

If you’d like a complementary 10-minute get-acquainted phone meeting to see if we are a good fit to work together, complete the Contact Page.

Psychotherapy Website: www.Flourishing-Lives.com

Life and Spiritual Coaching for Highly Sensitive People: www.SensitiveIntrovert.com

Specialties: Couple counseling, divorce, emotional roots of disease, depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, grief, and success skills. Combining intuition and evidence-based practices, Benita gets to the bottom line to help clients create flourishing personal and professional lives. Psychotherapy is available in Blairsville and Atlanta, Georgia.

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Healing Trauma: Laura’s Retreat Story

Three men and ten women gathered for one of my spiritual retreats: “Awakening the Authentic Self.”

I had been helping Laura for two years, and we had built quite a bit of trust between us which is necessary to do deep level work. As a child, Laura witnessed and experienced physical, emotional and sexual abuse. She had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, panic disorder, and clinical depression. Anti-depressants and hospitalizations helped protect her from suicide attempts when she was in her early 20’s. While in the hospital, she was sometimes in a semi-catatonic state.  Professionals wouldn’t let her die. They used injections, medications, and leather restraints.  She hated all of it, so she was trying to die the only way she knew: by disassociating. That’s how great the pain was.

Laura was 37 years old. During the last two years, Laura had projected onto me and learned to take responsibility for her own thoughts and feelings.  She had gone away from me, argued with me, and tested me enough times that she knew that she could trust me.  She trusted my wisdom, my tenacity, my strength and my ability to connect deeply with her. I stayed with her in the middle of her pain. I was not going away and I was not going to tell her or her pain to go away. She knew it.

She was feeling safe enough to feel deeper levels of the pain now.  She had good self-awareness and was pretty stable.  A year and a half earlier, I was so concerned that she was becoming suicidal again that I refused to continue to work with her unless she enlisted the services of a psychiatrist. Although she intensely resisted my request, she complied because she wanted continue to work with me.

In the last few months, Laura had gained enough strength and skill that she was able to wean off the anti-depressants.  Now, she thought she was prepared to cope with the whole range of her emotions.

Laura asked me to facilitate a piece of work to help her heal trauma.  As we prepared, all these memories flashed through our minds. We were ready for the next step. I asked her if she wanted to work through it in the quickest time possible and she said, “Yes, as long as it is done in a loving way.”

I instructed: “OK, choose two people with whom you feel safest and ask them to sit on either side of you on the couch.”

Laura chose Tara and myself. We sat close to her, touching her body to help her feel safe.  Laura’s body immediately started tensing up and her breathing grew very shallow.  She’d been peeling away layers for the last two years, and she didn’t have much armoring to prevent her from feeling her emotions and sensations.  She had already come a long way.

I put my hands on her arm and shoulder and instructed Tara to copy me on the other side.  Her body needed to be braced so that she could feel like she was being held together because she was about to feel like she would fly apart with intense emotion. I received this information intuitively, from my prior experience of working with her, and from watching her body.

Laura began to shudder and twitch in her shoulders, neck and head.  I encouraged her to let it happen, and to unwind the tension.  The twitching started slowly and then increased with intensity.  I knew that her body had been coping by freezing up with the stored trauma.

We are biological creatures and we have four choices when we are traumatized:  freeze, fight, flee or faint.  Laura’s body was frozen in fear. Although Laura has taught herself good communication skills over the years, when she felt threatened, her affect was either frozen or angry.

The rest of the group gathered around us to support us. I told them, “Pay attention. You are going to learn how to heal trauma.”

I played a CD which began in a low male resounding voice, “Commencement!  Take One!”  Then beautiful piano music followed.  It was a song written for a graduation ceremony:  “Take My Hand” on Gerald Stacy’s “In Remembrance of Love” CD.  It is very moving music and I knew it would help Laura connect with her emotional, spiritual and physical heart.

Laura’s body started twisting into different positions, breaking out of the container that Tara and I were providing.  She made loud deep raw guttural sounds of the pain and anguish.  She ended up lying on her side, facing the back of the couch, her head tucked into the corner of the couch.  It looked like she was hiding, with her arm draped over her head. Tara and I re-positioned our bodies so that I was at her head with one hand on her head and one hand on her side supporting her body.  I wanted Laura’s body to feel that I was there for her. Tara was at her feet, touching her legs, again being fully present with her.  Our intention was not to get the pain to go away. I invited Laura to be in absolute connection with herself even in the midst of the pain.

The sounds of anguish continued while Laura’s breathing became shorter. She started to gag because she felt like she couldn’t breathe. I kept my hands on her back, feeding energy into her lungs, connecting with the trauma in her body, and helping her stay present all the way through the fear.  I intuitively tracked her body, supporting Laura to stay 100% present with whatever fear arose each moment.

About 45 minutes, the contracting, squeezing, and twitching stopped. Laura’s body opened a little and closed down again and then opened a little again. Finally, her breathing opened up, and her body began to relax. The sounds naturally subsided as her catharsis came to a close.

I sat on the couch and pulled Laura onto my lap, holding her like a mother would hold a small child. Non-verbally I reassured her of my love and my connection with her. I fed her healing energy, and reassured her that she was OK.

The CD was finishing as we sat quietly on the sofa. It was indeed a “commencement, a graduation.” Laura felt like she had gone through the eye of the needle and now felt at peace.

As Laura sat up to make connection with the group again, we saw a slight smile beginning to radiate across her face. The muscles in her face were soft and her skin was glowing.  The smile grew as she sat there and radiated.  She felt a deeper connection with her Self than ever before. She was amazed and proud of herself. So was the group, and so was I.  It felt like diving into a black hole and coming out of a white hole. Transformation! A true celebration!

The group had paid close attention for the whole hour. Laura was their teacher, although she did not know it at the time. They each shared what they had learned from watching Laura and experiencing their own feelings.  Every one of them, without exception, had a powerful moving experience.  They were in touch with their own emotions in a much deeper way.  They began to trust that they, too, could move into such deep levels of pain and come out the other side into peace and freedom

I told them, “You have witnessed a miracle. The courage to stay so profoundly present in the midst of anguish is a very uncommon phenomenon on the planet.

As I looked around the room, I saw faces of peace. People were solid and grounded and connected within themselves.  The whole group had transformed while Laura was transforming.

I said, “The reason why you all feel so secure right now is that you felt the power of my presence and the presence of the Holy Spirit while I assisted Laura through her intense feelings. I was not scared to feel the feelings. I was confident. You felt that Laura was safe even though you were witnessing violent movements and volatile emotions.

“If Laura had been in a traditional setting with psychotherapists and psychiatrists, when they began to see her twitching, screaming and writhing with such dramatic intense emotions they would have given her an injection, or pills and put her away in a room.”

Laura started crying as she remembered the times that had happened to her. Professionals had put her in locked units in the hospital where she disassociated.  But now, she was still connected to her core self and to me, and she was emotionally stable. The support of the group was immensely healing for her.

I continued: “I first learned how to do this deep healing work under the guidance of my teachers. I have done years of my own deep healing work. That’s why I am not afraid of it. The Holy Spirit directs my words and my hands. It is the Holy Spirit who is the healer, and teacher, and the Holy Spirit lives in each one of us.”

The wind blows away the clouds to uncover the sun.  The sun has been there all along, shining brightly.

Dateline: October 2001, North Georgia Mountains

Copyright 2012, The Esposito Institute, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

*****

If you are interested in attending a retreat, please contact Benita A. Esposito through the “Contact Us” form on this site.

Click here for the current retreat schedule.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Retreat facilitator: Benita A. Esposito, MA, Licensed Professional Counselor.

Bestselling book: The Gifted Highly Sensitive Introvert

The Esposito Institute, Inc.  Counseling, Spiritual Therapy and Life Coaching

2 Offices: Blairsville, Georgia and Atlanta, Georgia

Psychotherapy Website: www.Flourishing-Lives.com

Life Coaching and Spiritual Counseling for Highly Sensitive Introverts: https://sensitiveintrovert.com/

Specialties: Marriage counseling, divorce, emotional roots of disease, depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, grief, and success skills. Combining intuition and evidence-based practices, Benita gets to the bottom line to help clients create flourishing personal and professional lives. Psychotherapy is available in Blairsville and Atlanta. Life coaching for high achievers is available worldwide via telephone and video-conference. Spiritual counseling and hands-on-healing is conducted at retreats. Benita A. Esposito, MA is an ordained minister with AIWP.

 

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