- What is A Woman Who Loves?
- What do you mean by an “experiential” workshop or retreat?
- Who leads the program?
- Who attends the program and why?
Registration & Fees
- How much does it cost?
- What does the fee cover?
- How do I sign up?
- After paying the US$250 deposit, how do I pay the rest of the fee, and when is it due?
- What is your refund policy?
- What if the weekend I want to attend is already full? Is there a waiting list?
Location, Time & Transportation
- When will I get detailed information on where the program will be held, travel instructions, and other details?
- Where exactly will the program be held?
- What time does it start? What time does it end?
- Do you provide transportation assistance?
Preparation & Confidentiality
- Is there anything else I need to do to prepare?
- What about confidentiality?
- What will I need to bring with me?
During the Weekend
- Can I call home or work during the weekend?
- What if I don’t want to participate in one of the processes?
- What if I want to leave early, or want to leave for part of the time?
- What if I have some physical limitations?
- What if I have special dietary needs, or if only eat kosher food?
- Will my religious values be respected? Will my religious practices be accommodated?
What Is A Woman Who Loves?
A Woman Who Loves: Healing Loss, Empowering Wholeness (formerly “A Wife’s Healing Journey”) is our peer-led, experiential-healing and personal-growth retreat primarily for women who are working through hurt, betrayal, fear, anger, and grief related to issues with the men in their lives.
A Woman Who Loves is also intended for women who simply want to better understand themselves and the men they love. Or who want to strengthen themselves and their relationships. Or women who want to open their hearts to loving again.
This weekend retreat is for women who are committed to their own personal growth — and who are ready to experience breakthrough emotional shifts and insights, regardless of some of the choices the men or others in their lives may have made.
What do you mean by an “experiential” workshop or retreat?
Experiential workshops primarily use active participation methods — live, personal experience — rather than lectures, discussion or analysis as teaching methods. They use processes designed to enable self-discovery — to create “aha” moments of insight into one’s self, one’s behavior patterns, thinking patterns and feelings.
Hundreds of organizations and individuals offer “experiential weekend” retreats or workshops in the United States each year for personal growth and empowerment, self-discovery, emotional healing, spiritual enlightenment and more.
Examples of experiential processes at A Woman Who Loves may include:
- Guided imagery (visualization)
- Emotional processing (especially around, anger, grief or fear)
- Shame release
- Psychodrama (also sometimes called “guts work” or “body work”)
- Inner-child work
- Therapeutic holding
- Profound, introspective questions
- Sentence stems
- Body awareness and connection (breathing, posture)
These types of processes tend to elicit much more profound self-awareness and dramatic, even cathartic emotional shifts than typical didactic teaching or dialogue ever could.
A typical feature of experiential learning of any kind is that experiential processes are designed to be experienced, not revealed, discussed or analyzed before participation. Therefore, the specifics of the experiential process are intentionally kept hidden from the participants until they can experience it themselves, firsthand.
If this creates undo anxiety or distress for anyone, any participant is free to express her concern to a program leader, who will explain enough about the upcoming process to enable the participant to decide whether and how to participate.
Who leads the program?
A Woman Who Loves is led and facilitated by non-professional peer mentors who have relevant life experience and skills. They are women and men whose marriages have survived and even (ultimately) thrived as the husband addressed the root causes of his issues, the wife confronted her own anger, fear, betrayal, sadness or shame, and the couple, together, worked towards a more rewarding and intimate relationship as husband and wife.
The leaders and volunteers are not professional counselors or therapists (or if they do happen to work in that professional capacity in their regular everyday lives, they are not serving as counselors or therapists during the retreat). There are usually about 10 to 15 staff-volunteers — mostly married couples (although some volunteers staff the event without their spouse present).
Who attends the program and why?
Past participants have ranged in age from 23 to their 60s. Some have been married for decades already; others, for just a few months. Others were single, separated, divorced, or widowed. Some have attended at a time when they were engaged to marry an SSA man who had encouraged her to attend so that she can better understand his journey and be more equipped to handle whatever issues might arise, as a result.
Many participants attend at a crisis point in their marriages, when they are preparing to make life-changing decisions. Others are generally happy in their marriages, and are really attending more for their own personal-growth and also to be better equipped to understand and support their husbands’ journeys.
Most but not all participants are married to men with SSA. Sometimes their husbands have been serial adulterers or sex addicts. Other husbands who experience SSA have never acted on their same-sex attractions at all, but still experience temptations, distress or internal conflict over their attractions.
The number of participants has ranged from as few as seven to as many as 25, depending on the event.
How much does it cost?
The regular fee is $590 (with a minimum initial deposit of $250), but the early-bird fee is just $490 if you pay the full $490 no later than 6 weeks before the event.
If you are not going to take advantage of the $100 early-bird discount, just pay an initial deposit of at least $250 at any time to register and hold your space. You can then pay the remaining $340 later, in either a single payment or multiple payments, as long as you’ve paid the full $590 no later than 10 days before the event.
If you can’t afford either the full fee or the discounted early-bird rate, you may want to apply for financial assistance — either a payment plan or a partial sponsorship. Generous donors who believe in our program are willing to give partial sponsorships (minimum $200, maximum $340) to support women who are committed to their own personal-growth work but don’t have the resources to pay the full amount.
What does the fee cover?
- The full program (total of about 20 hours of facilitated processes over two and a half days)
- Use of the rented camp or retreat center for all our activities
- Two nights stay at the camp or retreat center
- Six meals (dinner Friday through lunch Sunday)
- A post-weekend, follow-up teleconference to help you integrate your experience into your daily life
It does not include transportation to or from the camp or retreat center.
How do I sign up?
Regular Online Registration
To register, click the Register Now button to go the registration page, then click on “Regular Registration or Payment.” This will take you to a secure credit-card processing site for registration and payment of your US$250 deposit. You can pay in installments, but all remaining payments are due 10 days before the event. Remember, there’s a US$100 discount if you pay in full at least 6 weeks in advance!
Applying for Financial Assistance
Don’t let financial constraints be the only thing holding you back from attending. If you need to apply for financial assistance — either a partial sponsorship (minimum of US$150, maximum of US$345) or a pre-approved payment plan — click the Register Now button to go to the registration page, then click on “Register & Apply for Financial Assistance.”
After paying the initial US$250 deposit, how do I pay the rest of the US$590 fee, and when is it due?
Once you’ve paid the initial $250 deposit, you can pay the remaining $340 at any time (in a single payment or multiple installments), as long as you have paid the full $590 no later than 10 days before the event.
Use the same link to pay your balance due that you used to pay your initial deposit. (You’ll have to answer a few of the same questions again in the online form, but that will be quick.)
What is your refund policy?
Registration fees are fully refundable to anyone who cancels 30 days or more before the start of the Woman Who Loves weekend.
If you cancel more than 10 days but fewer than 30 days before the start of A Woman Who Loves, the minimum deposit of $250 is NOT refundable, although it may be “rolled over” and applied to registration for a future event. (Any amount pre-paid ABOVE the minimum deposit of US$250 is fully refundable.)
If you cancel 10 days or fewer before the Woman Who Loves weekend, your deposit and registration fees are NOT refundable, but we will roll over the full amount you have paid to a future Woman Who Loves weekend of your choice.
No other refunds apply, except on an exception basis approved by the director, Rich Wyler.
What if the weekend I want to attend is already full? Is there a waiting list?
If the weekend you want to attend is full, we will notify you promptly by email and ask you if you prefer to:
- be placed on a waiting list in case someone cancels and space becomes available
- transfer your deposit to another weekend that still has openings or
- receive a prompt and full refund.
When will I get detailed information on where the program will be held, travel instructions, and other details?
After you have registered, and about 4-5 weeks before the event, we will email you detailed information about the specific location of the event, making travel arrangements, what to bring, etc.
If you have questions in the meantime, you can firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 1-434-227-9346
Where exactly will the program be held?
Each Woman Who Loves event is held at a rented camp, conference center or retreat center usually within a 1- to 2-hour drive from a major airport. This type of facility gives us sufficient privacy and provides a “retreat” environment set apart from normal day-to-day life.
Accommodations are comfortable but not luxurious. Rooms are in a dorm setting. There usually are no private rooms available.
After you have paid your US$250 deposit, and about 6 weeks before the event, we will email you a letter with detailed information that will include the exact location of the program and directions on how to get there. We do not give out this specific information to anyone who has not paid the full deposit.
What time does it start? What time does it end?
We will begin at 1:30pm on Friday. Please do not arrive on site BEFORE 1:00pm. Please do not arrive on site AFTER 1:30pm.
We normally end between 4:30 and 5pm on Sunday.
Please make your travel arrangements to accommodate this schedule. If you are flying, please be sure to allow enough travel time between the airport and the weekend location.
If the letter you receive from us after you register gives a different start or end time from what is written here, please defer to that letter.
Do you provide transportation assistance?
We help to coordinate carpools among participants who may be flying in to the same airport or driving from the same direction, but ultimately you are responsible to get yourself to the camp/retreat center and back.
Along with the instruction letter, we’ll send you a link to an online travel questionnaire. If you are looking to ride share to the site, or if you live locally and are willing to offer anyone a ride from the airport, we’ll ask you to tell us that on the questionnaire. Our volunteer staff will help arrange carpools from there. Some participants may choose to rent a car together and split the cost of the rental.
Is there anything else I need to do to prepare?
YES. After you register, and about 4-5 weeks before the event, we will email you links to some documents and ask you to:
- Complete the Online Travel Questionnaire.
- Complete the Online Health/Experience Questionnaire. (This includes questions on any special dietary needs.)
- Read the Liability Release, Confidentiality & Other Agreements. Please read in advance as you’ll need to sign them when you arrive on site.
IMPORTANT! It is very important that you fill out these questionnaires, answering as honestly as possible, and submit them to us NO LATER THAN 2 WEEKS BEFORE the event.
What about confidentiality?
Confidentiality is extremely important to create a safe place to do deep emotional healing work. All participants must sign a strict confidentiality agreement.
This commitment to confidentiality is also reiterated verbally, in person, at the start and again at the end of the weekend.
What will I need to bring with me?
- Legal identification, such as a driver’s license or passport. This is to help ensure that all participants are at least 21 years old and that no one is attending under false pretenses or signing release forms under a false identity.
- Sometimes, a sleeping bag and/or blankets and a pillow. (This depends on the location. Defer to the instructions in the letter you will receive after you register.)
- Your personal effects and appropriate indoor/outdoor clothing. Rain gear is strongly recommended, but be assured that the significant majority of the time we will be indoors.
- Necessary prescribed or over-the-counter medications. If you have a history of asthma, please be sure to bring an inhaler.
- A towel, soap and any other personal care items you may require.
- Earplugs (highly recommended, in case of snoring)
- A flashlight is recommended but not required.
What NOT to bring:
- Please leave all electronic devices at home or in your car when you arrive, including watches, mobile phones and wireless handheld devices. We ask you not to use them at all during the program. (Exception: electronic devices required for your health, such as a CPAP nighttime breathing machine.)
- Usually, the sites do not allow food in the residential rooms. If you bring food, it normally needs to be kept in the kitchen. If you bring food of your own (such as kosher food), it normally must be kept in the site’s kitchen.
- No alcoholic beverages, street drugs or illicit mood-altering substances of any kind.
- Anything that may distract you or others from our healing purpose.
Can I call home or work during the weekend?
We ask you to agree not to make or receive phone calls during the weekend. This is to help everyone stay in the experience and focus on their personal work in the present, rather than to be distracted by what might be going on at home or work.
Typically the sites we rent are in somewhat remote locales and do not always have reliable wireless service anyway.
Please tell family members or anyone else who may expect to reach you by phone during the weekend that you will NOT have access to a phone from 1:30 pm Friday through 5 pm Sunday, local time.
You may wish to tell family members that you can call them when you arrive to let them know you have arrived safely, but that you will not have access to your phone after that until 5 pm Sunday.
Before the weekend, we will provide you with an emergency number at that site that you can give to family members who may need to contact you in case of emergency only.
Exceptions to this telephone policy can be discussed with the weekend leader once you arrive.
What if I feel uncomfortable participating in some of the processes?
We ask you to participate in every process, but no one will force you to do anything against your will. Anyone may choose to “pass” and not participate in a particular process. The staff may challenge you to consider the reasons behind your choice, but they will never force you or manipulate you into participating.
What if I want to leave early, or want to leave for part of the time?
We ask participants to stay on site for the full program, from arrival on Friday afternoon to departure on Sunday late afternoon. In order to maintain a sense of emotional safety among the participants, we ask that no one leave the site temporarily and return back to the program.
However, anyone is free to leave the program altogether, at any time, for any reason. Certainly, no one is required to stay who does not wish to continue with the program.
What if I have some physical limitations?
A Woman Who Loves is not a very physically rigorous program for most participants. Most of our “work” is indoors. We have always been able to accommodate the physical limitations of participants, whether due to age, weight, physical fitness or some type of disability. Of course, each woman is responsible to take care of herself physically and to communicate her physical limitations to the staff, as necessary.
What if I have special dietary needs, or if only eat kosher food?
One of the questionnaires we send you in advance will ask about any special dietary requirements. Our cooks are typically able to accommodate most common dietary restrictions. In unusual cases, you may need to bring and prepare your own food and keep it in the kitchen.
If you eat kosher food only, you will usually need to bring and prepare your own kosher food and keep it in the kitchen.
Will my religious values be respected? Will my religious practices be accommodated?
A Woman Who Loves is not an overtly religious retreat, but we do strive to create a spiritual framework for deep personal growth work where the participant’s individual religious beliefs (or non-belief) are welcomed and may be incorporated into the individual work they do.
We do teach the spiritual principle of surrender to the Divine Will, but we never intentionally challenge anyone’s religious beliefs, or lack of belief, their morals or values. We will do our best to work within a participant’s existing framework of spiritual beliefs and values.
We also make sincere efforts to accommodate requirements of Jewish Sabbath observance.
What if I have another question that wasn’t addressed here?
Contact Rich Wyler at email@example.com or 1-434-227-9346.