I’ve long had a mission to have a retreat center. I wanted to do intensive individual and group work surrounded by nature, softened by solitude, nurtured like a big bear hug of welcome. Gus and I bought this place in 2000….named it Ryokan’s Gate Retreat Center (after the Buddhist Monk)….and began to remodel everything to become our own personal place of retreat and then to invite people to come be a part of all this. I’ve been completely up and running since 2010. Our first retreat was hosting 16 therapists from around Montana, Idaho, and further to come learn how to do EMDR. Fast forward to today and many a happy camper has laid eyes on this beautiful wilderness, been laid on by Spuddy, received in-house massages with the wonderful Miss Sadie Taylor of Inner Spiral Therapies while laying on her table that has traveled the world.
The other mission I’ve been on for a long time is healing trauma - big T — little t, anything you weren’t prepared to handle. There are certain types of healing that can most effectively be done only in the comfort of singular focus. It’s been newly talked about under the name of Post Traumatic Growth. I’m all over this!!! It’s what I’ve been witness to for many years now. Once people do the individual work of healing, they come out of the processing phase of trauma recovery much stronger individuals. Willing to be more brave, take calculated risks, reach for the stars. They’ve already survived some pretty horrible stuff and now they want to fly. Reclaim the past, process what was harmed and then move on. I call it losing interest in the past. I personally am thrilled that I’ve lost interest in the past. Sorry life’s short.
Who would come to a retreat?
- Anyone with attachment issues from early childhood trauma - We can actually reset the 6 protective emotional circuits & the 6 connective emotional circuits back to a factory default setting - where our emotions are meant to help us deal with life.
- Anyone who wants to deal with a lifetime of dings in their childhood years….this leads to emotionally dumping a person into their roles as adults without the ability to emotionally cope with adult life responses
- Anyone who has experienced heavy duty trauma and betrayal - from family to strangers - most of us have experienced serious emotional injury
Here’s what you would hope for during your “ideal” retreat:
This is a rustic little cabin right next to Ed’s Creek, a beautiful full-bodied creek. It has no electricity and it does have a great view and a charming, cozy propane stove, a queen bed, a comfortable sitting swivel rocker, and a writing table. Oh, and there’s also a beautiful armoire. The air is so clean and crisp here.
For those people who are not comfortable with such rustic accommodations, there is now a queen bed up in the retreat center, close to all the amenities….shower, toilet, pellet stove, comfy couches, running water, fridge, Spuddy, and big TV. Yes, we love people to enjoy comedies, stand-up comedians, their favorite shows, music channels. You can even rent movies on Amazon on Demand. You can also journal, read a good book, soak in the hot tub. My husband Gus maintains the hygiene of the hot tub. I want you to know that he use to provide maintenance for all the pools in Missoula when he worked for the city. He is card carrying certified to maintain the highest level of balance of the water safety. We ask that you shower before and after your tubbing fun.
Gus has been vegetarian since he was 17 years old. He is almost 60. Bar none, he is a master at cooking for any palate. If you need gluten free, we’ve got you covered. If you need vegan - ditto. But if you like vegetarian gourmet food with local, organic, food made with love….he’s your chef. You get to pick your menu out for breakfast, snack, and lunch. You get here before dark between 4 & 5 pm on Friday night, have your own food for supper, have the whole place to yourself (while we live on in the comfort of our own house which is next door) to do what helps you to unplug. The next morning starts with coffee, mochas, or green tea. Breakfast at 9:00 am. We start our first 90 minute session at 9:30. A one hour break for snack and hiking (we have a great trail to the top) or whatever you find useful to your process. Then another 90 minute session of concentrated work. Then lunch break for an hour. And then, if you plan your retreat enough in advance, we finish the emotional work at 4:00 pm on Saturday, and if we’re lucky, Sadie Taylor will show up and give you a one hour massage to help your body release cellular emotional tensions before you go quietly and peacefully home.