Cape Cod, June 8-11, 2023




You are invited on a 3 days/nights immersion for an unforgettable healing retreat to explore the profound effects of religious trauma and to experience new possibilities for health, healing, and self-transformation. Join Journey Free founder, author, and psychologist Dr. Marlene Winell & embodiment guide Jayme Winell for an incredible weekend of workshops, exercises, sharing, and yes – fun!

The Religious Trauma Recovery Retreat will be a unique blend of psychoeducational work and somatic healing. From embodiment practices to trauma-informed learning, you will be guided through an experience that encourages exploration, recalibration, self-trust and a return to your own inner wisdom.

Discover a self free from the fears and doubts of fundamentalist belief, all in a beautiful and serene ocean-front setting in Cape Cod.

After registration, you will get more information and a questionnaire to complete.

Space is limited, register here!

Religion teaches us that we are bad, unworthy of love and basic care, and that we deserve to be punished for our humanity. 

Indoctrination instills in us the endless strive to be perfect and make the “right” decisions. 

The consequences for feeling or thinking anything outside the rigid guidelines taught to us are abuse, ostracization from loved ones, and even death.

For those of us raised with these coercive beliefs, Religious Trauma Syndrome can contribute to anxiety, depression, fear-based thinking, and Complex-PTSD.

Join us for this healing retreat, which will not only give you the opportunity to share, unburden yourself, and experience relief from religious trauma, but also to cultivate connection, nervous system regulation, and learn  practical tools to uncover freedom, joy, self-trust, and love for yourself.

At this retreat, all ethnicities, sexualities, and genders are welcome.

Together we:

  • Examine the effects of religious indoctrination.
  • Discuss the process of recovery and take important first steps.
  • Support each other in releasing toxic beliefs and reclaiming our lives.
  • Learn strategies for dealing with religious family and friends.
  • Share personal stories.
  • Make new friends and build lasting connections.
  • Enjoy meals, music, and fun in a safe, relaxed atmosphere.

Retreat Schedule:

Day 1 – Thursday Evening

  • Welcome check-in
  • Dinner
  • Intro Session (overview, introductions, group discussion)
  • Appreciating our strengths; post-traumatic growth
  • Free time to journal, socialize, walk on the beach.

Day 2 – Friday

  • Breakfast
  • Optional walk in surrounding natural environment.
  • Being in our Bodies: embodiment session led by Jayme Winell.
  • Understanding religious trauma
  • Story-telling, part 1.
  • Parts of “Self” the Inner Child and the Inner Adult
  • Lunch
  • Beach time
  • Story-telling, Part 2. 
  • Dinner
  • Free time: Music, art, walks, write in your journal. Check in with your buddy.
  • Non-demand “talent show”

          Day 3 – Saturday

          • Breakfast
          • Check-in.
          • Trust walk.
          • Emotional do-overs: group activity.
          • Lunch
          • Beach time
          • The “idea monster”
          • From reaction to intention
          • Future vision: group activity.
          • Dinner
          • Free time: Enjoy relaxation activities and write in your journal.
          • Group Sing-a-long

                Day 4 – Sunday

                • Breakfast
                • Check-in.
                • Intimacy-Integrity tension.
                • Lunch
                • The magic of getting real.
                • Farewells, program evaluations, what’s next.

                    For more details on the workshops and sessions, see the full agenda here.

                    Meet your retreat facilitators

                    Dr. Marlene Winell, Ph.D., founder of Journey Free, was born and raised by missionary parents and immersed in fundamentalist Christianity from childhood. In 1994 she published Leaving the Fold: a Guide for Former Fundamentalists and Others Leaving their Religion which has become a leading self-help book in the field of religious recovery. She practices individual consultation, facilitates groups, teaches, and trains professionals in the field of religious trauma. Longer bio here.

                    Jayme Winell (she/they) is a community organizer and dance educator at the public charter school Pioneer Valley Performing Arts in South Hadley, Massachusetts. After attending San Francisco School of the Arts and majoring in dance, Jayme attended Hampshire College in Amherst, MA, and designed an undergraduate major in dance and theater for community building. Jayme’s segments in the retreat help people relax, connect with others, have fun, appreciate their bodies and use physical means to promote healing and growth through exercises, games, and dance to get participants out of their heads and into their bodies with ease and joy.

                    How to Attend

                    In order to make this as widely available as possible, we offer the retreat on a sliding scale, based on household annual income:

                    • Less than $50K: $700
                    • $50K  – $99K: $1100
                    • $100K – $199K: $1500
                    • $200K+: $1900

                    In addition, the food and lodging is a set fee of $385. This is for 3 nights of lodging and 9 delicious meals. Sleeping arrangements are in shared rooms with individual beds.  We are in a spacious retreat center in a beautiful setting by the beach. For total cost, add the program fee for your income level plus $385.

                    A $100 deposit will secure a space. Make your deposit here.

                    Retreat group outside

                    To register, fill out the registration form here, and make an initial deposit here. Details, a questionnaire, and final invoice will be sent shortly after.

                    Retreat FAQ

                    Photos from the actual retreat center we will be at in June: