Retreats

Discover a Deeper Way of Living Vallecitos Mountain Retreat Center offers a retreat for almost everyone. Our schedule carries a...
  • Casita Supporting Rate – $1,345.00
  • Casita Actual Rate – $1,065.00
  • Casita Base Rate – $960.00
  • Yurt Supporting Rate – $1,345.00
  • Yurt Actual Rate – $1,065.00
  • Yurt Base Rate – $960.00
  • Tent Cabin Supporting Rate – $1,030.00
  • Tent Cabin Actual Rate – $890.00
  • Tent Cabin Base Rate – $785.00
  • Hermitage – $1,975.00

Date & Time Details: Check-in is from 3:00-5:00 on the first day of the retreat. The retreat will close mid-morning on the last day of the retreat. (Learn more)

PRICE: We offer a sliding scale structure. Scholarships are available, see below. Prices for this retreat range from $785-$1,925 (not including teacher dana and add-on items). (Learn more)

DANA: This is a dana-based retreat. (Learn more)

SHUTTLE SERVICE: Shuttle Service is available for this retreat. (Learn more)

NOBLE SILENCE: This retreat will be held in noble silence. (Learn more)

SCHOLARSHIP: Scholarships are available on a limited basis for Hemera, BIPOC, and Needs Based. (Learn more)

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Program is fully booked

Cultivating Focused Attention: An Intensive Retreat for Mental Health Professionals

With Bill Morgan, PsyD, Susan Morgan, MSN, RN, CS and Ron Siegel, PsyD

July 2 - 9, 2024

Program is fully booked

Focused attention, or concentration (samadhi, in Pali) is the weakest link in practice for most meditators. This is no surprise given our cultural penchant for multi-tasking and the accelerating speed and quantity of sensory stimulation in which we are immersed.

Nonetheless, in many meditative traditions, concentration is seen as a prerequisite for deepening insight. It can also serve as a balm for settling our dysregulated nervous systems and a respite, refuge, and port in the stormy seas of daily life. This kind of practice is an invaluable resource for emotional regulation for both clinicians and our clients, as we walk alone together through turbulent times.

During this retreat we will explore creative methods of practicing and deepening concentration. We will identify approaches that are not helpful, leading to frustration and discouragement, as well as methods that are most effective and accessible for individuals of different personality types and cultural backgrounds.

Our teaching will be experience-near, focusing on the development of tailored mindfulness and compassion practices and their application in our clinical and human service work with others—including particularly those practices that support accurate empathy and therapeutic presence.

There will be daily mindfulness meditation instruction and three to four hours of structured practice each day, plus clinical study modules most afternoons in combination with dyadic or small group discussion, as well as ample opportunities to explore clinical and personal practice questions.

The rest of the time we will observe silence, including during meals, to facilitate the development of concentration and a deeper contemplative experience.

Throughout the course, we’ll explore how to use meditative practices ourselves to be more present and responsive in our clinical work, as well as how to share them with our clients to help them work creatively with distress while living richer, more joyous lives, even under challenging conditions.


CONTINUING EDUCATION:

Target Audience: Psychologists, Psychiatrists, Social Workers, Nurses, Licensed Mental Health Counselors, and other mental health professionals:

Psychologists: The Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Institute of Meditation and Psychotherapy maintains responsibility for the program and its content. This course offers 20 hours of credit.

Social Workers: This program is pending approval by the ASWB ACE for 20.0 continuing education contact hours.

Nurses:  This program carries 20 Contact Hours and meets the specifications of the Massachusetts Board of Registration Of Nursing (244 CMR).

Licensed Mental Health Counselors: The Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy is recognized by the National Board for Certified Counselors to sponsor continuing education for National Certified Counselors. We adhere to NBCC Continuing Education Guidelines. This course is approved for 20 contact hours, Provider #6048 and is applicable for Commonwealth of Massachusetts Counseling/Allied Mental Health and PDP accreditation.

 

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

Upon completion of the program, participants will be able to:

  1. Describe the three core components of mindfulness practice.
  2. Identify the evolutionary roots and mechanisms of compassion toward self and others.
  3. Specify how focused attention can be cultivated.
  4. Describe the use of concentration as a resource to work with painful emotions.
  5. Demonstrate an experiential understanding of mindfulness and compassion interventions through personal practice.
  6. Specify how a therapist can best choose which mindfulness exercises are most appropriate for different arousal states.
  7. Describe how to use mindful movement to release anxiety-related tension and cultivate focused attention through the body.
  8. Identify how mindfulness and compassion practices can enhance emotional regulation.
  9. Discuss ways to assist clients to integrate mindfulness and compassion practices in their lives.
  10. Describe the use of mindfulness and compassion practices to support parasympathetic activation and calm sympathetic activation.
  11. Specify contraindications for various mindfulness and compassion practices.

Course Completion Requirements: To receive CE credits, it is necessary to attend all CE sessions and indicate attendance on sign-in sheets provided.

CE Certificates: will be provided in person at the completion of the course requirements on the last day of the program.

 

TIMED AGENDA

PLEASE NOTE: The program includes many hours of meditation instruction and practice that are not part of the formal didactic clinical education hours for which CEs are being requested.

Tuesday 7/2

7:30- 9:30pm Course opening and overview. Elicit statements of interest and educational goals for participants to support group coherence and communication; outline course content and challenges inherent in learning mindfulness practices and applying them in mental health care and clinical social work practice.

Methods: Didactic presentation, structured participant interaction, Q & A. 2 CE hours.

Wednesday 7/3

9:00 – 10:00am Introduction to Focused Attention. Instruction in focused attention practices that are used as foundation of mindfulness-based mental health and clinical social work interventions.

Methods: Verbal didactic instruction. 1 CE hour.

10:00am – 12:00pm Personal mindfulness practice. Develop experiential understanding of effects of practices on cognitive and affective functioning.

2:00 – 5:00pm Clinical Applications I: Identifying clinical conditions and client populations for whom focused attention is most useful; choosing among various focused-attention practices for mental health and clinical social work interventions.

Methods: PowerPoint presentation, verbal didactic instruction, group discussion, Q & A. 3 CE hours.

7:00 – 9:00pm Personal mindfulness practice. Deepen experiential understanding of effects of practices on cognitive and affective functioning.

Thursday 7/4

9:00 – 10:00am Creating an Inner Holding Environment. Instruction in cultivating the attitude of acceptance toward inner cognitive and affective experience that forms the foundation of mindfulness-based mental health and clinical social work interventions.

Methods: Verbal didactic instruction. 1 CE hour.

10:00am – 12:00pm Personal mindfulness practice. Develop experiential understanding of cultivation of an inner holding environment.

2:00 – 5:00pm Clinical applications II: Identifying clinical conditions and client populations for whom establishing an accepting attitude toward experience is most challenging; introduction of methods for the cultivation of concentration as a resource; choosing among various acceptance practices for mental health and clinical social work interventions.

Methods: PowerPoint presentation, verbal didactic instruction, group discussion, Q & A. 3 CE hours.

7:00 – 9:00pm Personal mindfulness practice. Deepen experiential understanding of effects of practices on development of inner holding environment.

Friday 7/5

9:00 – 10:00am Introduction to Open Monitoring. Instruction in open monitoring practices that are used to develop metacognitive awareness and affect tolerance in mindfulness-based mental health and clinical social work interventions.

Methods: Verbal didactic instruction. 1 CE hour.

10:00am – 12:00pm Personal mindfulness practice. Develop experiential understanding of effects of practices on cognitive and affective functioning.

2:00 – 5:00pm Clinical Applications III: Identifying clinical conditions and client populations for whom open monitoring is most useful; choosing among various open monitoring practices for mental health and clinical social work interventions; exploring situations in which the cultivation of focused attention is contraindicated.

Methods: PowerPoint presentation, verbal didactic instruction, group discussion, Q & A. 3 CE hours.

7:00 – 9:00pm Personal mindfulness practice. Deepen experiential understanding of effects of practices on cognitive and affective functioning.

Saturday 7/6

9:00 – 10:00am Mindfulness for Clinical Attunement and Empathy. Instruction in the use of mindfulness practices to cultivate an attuned, empathic therapeutic presence that has been shown to predict positive outcomes in psychotherapeutic interventions and foster resilience; the role of cultivating joy in clinical presence.

Methods: Verbal didactic instruction. 1 CE hour.

10:00am – 12:00pm Interpersonal mindfulness practice. Develop experiential understanding of empathic attunement with interpersonal mindfulness practices.

2:00 – 5:00pm Clinical applications IV: Identifying clinical conditions and client populations with whom establishing empathic attunement is most challenging; choosing among various empathy and compassion practices for mental health and clinical social work interventions.

Methods: PowerPoint presentation, verbal didactic instruction, group discussion, Q & A. 3 CE hours.

7:00 – 9:00pm Personal mindfulness practice. Deepen experiential understanding of effects of practices on cognitive and affective functioning.

Sunday 7/7

9:00am – 12:00pm, 2:00 – 5:00pm, 6:30-8:30pm  Mindfulness instruction and practice designed to understand the effects of concentrated, sustained mindfulness practice on cognitive and affective processes, integration of affectively charged memories, and development of metacognitive awareness.

Methods: Didactic presentation, guided experiential exercises.

Monday 7/8

9:00 – 11:00am Working with challenging affective and cognitive states. Instruction in the use of mindfulness and compassion practices to work with challenging mind states that arise in more intensive practice and in response to environmental instability.

Methods: Verbal didactic instruction. 2 CE hours.

11:00am – 12:00pm, 2:00 – 5:00pm, 7:00 – 9:00pm Learning consolidation and integration. Review and integrate effects of retreat experience, plan how to apply insights from practice to personal and professional life.

Methods: Verbal didactic instruction, group discussion, Q & A.

Total CE Hours: Tuesday 2; Wednesday – Sunday 4 (4 x 4 = 16); Monday 2 = 20 Total

PLEASE NOTE: The program includes many hours of meditation instruction and practice that are not part of the formal didactic clinical education hours for which CEs are being requested.

 


COVID Safety Measures: Please review our current COVID Safety Measures, which are subject to change.

Teachers

Bill Morgan, PsyD
Bill Morgan, PsyD is a clinical psychologist who has been practicing meditation for over 35 years in both Zen and Vipassana traditions. He has participated in more than 6 years of silent retreats, and once lived in a Trappist monastery for 6 months. He has a private practice in two Boston locations. Bill is a board member of the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy, a non-profit organization in Boston, which offers seminars, courses, retreats and a certificate program for mental health professionals. He is a contributing author to Mindfulness and Psychotherapy, a best selling text in its second edition. billandsusan.org
Learn more about Bill Morgan, PsyD
Susan Morgan, MSN, RN, CS
Susan Morgan is a psychotherapist in private practice in Cambridge, MA. She consults with therapists who are interested in deepening therapeutic presence. Susan completed a 4-year silent mindfulness meditation retreat along with her partner, Bill in 2013. She has co-led retreats for psychotherapists with Bill for the past 15 years and together also lead small on-line study-practice groups or sanghas for psychotherapists. Lovingkindness and mindfulness of the body are integral to her mindfulness teaching. Susan is a board member of the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy, a non-profit organization in Boston, which offers seminars, courses, retreats and a certificate program…
Learn more about Susan Morgan, MSN, RN, CS
Ron Siegel, PsyD
Dr. Ronald D. Siegel is Assistant Professor of Psychology, part time, Harvard Medical School; serves on the Board of Directors and faculty, Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy; is author of The Extraordinary Gift of Being Ordinary: Finding Happiness Right Where You Are; The Mindfulness Solution: Everyday Practices for Everyday Problems, coauthor of Sitting Together: Essential Skills for Mindfulness-Based Psychotherapy and Back Sense; coeditor of Mindfulness and Psychotherapy and Wisdom and Compassion in Psychotherapy: Deepening Mindfulness in Clinical Practice; and professor for The Science of Mindfulness: A Research-Based Path to Well-Being produced by The Great Courses. He is also a regular…
Learn more about Ron Siegel, PsyD