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December 1 @ 4:00 pm - December 8 @ 12:00 pm

Do you have the sense that your relationships with others – with partners, friends, parents or children — are shadows of what they could be? Do you have a hard time being in joyful contact with others? Is it hard for both you and your others to exist and have needs at the same time? Perhaps you’ve been practicing self-compassion meditations and reading self-help books for years, but still struggle to be warm and accepting towards yourself and others in relationship?

Participants are welcome to attend in pairs, singly, or in other configurations.

Based on the book Your Resonant Self, (Norton Publishing, September 2017), this retreat will take you through the foundational understandings, skills and steps needed to nurture a practice of self-warmth and to bring it to life in your relational connections.

This will be the second of two retreats (Week One here) designed to accompany the book. It will be very experiential, with lots of movement and sweetness. The first of these two retreats, which are available either combined or as stand-alone experiences, will run from June 13-20, 2020.

If you wish to purchase the program as a combination for a discount please visit the week one description for pricing information.

This workshop includes a special hearing assistance system from Listen Technologies with individual headphones for any participant that desires to use them.


See below to calculate your cost (tuition + room and board):  

Cancellation policy – $500 of the payment is non-refundable – the rest is refundable 40 days in advance of program start date – no refunds after 40 days in advance, as I depend on registration to run programs, and have to prepay the retreat center for reservations.


Special diet requests welcome, see below for more information about the Chef, Vanessa!


  • In order to secure the early-bird rates, you must register and pay by the dates above.

  • $500 of your tuition payment is non-refundable and non-transferrable. Payments (minus the non-refundable deposit) are refundable up to 40 days before the program start date.

  • Room and board payments are due 45 days before the program start and are only refundable up to 32 days before the program start date.

  • If paying by PayPal, please add 3% to cover PayPal fees. Write Sarah at sarahpeyton@empathybrain.com to pay by check.

  • For people registering for retreats less than two weeks in advance of the start of the retreat, the Alton Collins Retreat Center cannot guarantee that they can support special diet requests.

  • Final Deadline for Registration: 7 Days Before the Start of the Program


To register please fill out this form to send an email to Sarah.

Here is the plan for the week:

DAY ONE: Claiming Anger’s Creative Gifts

  • Understanding anger: the RAGE circuit
  • The state of FIGHT
  • Detoxing anger
  • Expression skills

DAY TWO: Returning from Dissociation

  • The two kinds of dissociation
  • Dissociation and the immobilization effect in the vagus nerve
  • The enteric nervous system
  • Empathy for dissociation
  • Practicing gentleness
  • Understanding shame

DAY THREE: How Brains Respond to Accompaniment: Attachment

  • The importance of our earliest relationships
  • The transgenerational transmission of attachment patterns, relational timing, and patterns of regulation and dysregulation
  • The microscale of attachment and mirror neurons
  • The family vagus nerve and the family heart
  • Healing attachment wounds
  • Earned secure attachment

DAY FOUR: Healing Self-Hate and Disorganized Attachment

  • The impact of trauma on the savage DMN
  • Windows of welcome/windows of tolerance
  • Self-hate as a tragic attempt at self-regulation
  • Understanding disorganized/traumatic attachment

DAY FIVE: Gently Healing Depression

  • Depression, anxiety and negative self-talk
  • Depression and loneliness
  • Warmth for depression
  • Bringing in resources from outside the self

DAY SIX: Leaving Behind Addictions and Compulsions: The Contributions of Self-Understanding and Resonance

  • Identifying and transforming negative self-talk in addictions/compulsions
  • Transgenerational trauma, lightening the load we carry from parents/grandparents, and working with nervous system contracts

DAY SEVEN: Joy, Community, and Our Outside Voice: Bringing Our Resonating Self-Witness to Others

  • Understanding and experiencing the effect of resonant language with excitement, delight and joy
  • Contracts that reduce joy to ensure belonging

About Food At Collins: 

Special diet requests are welcome!

Vanessa, the lead chef at Collins Retreat Center, is a Gourmet Natural Foods Chef & healthy living educator with more than 20 years of professional experience throughout the USA & Europe. She is a graduate of the Natural Gourmet Institute of NYC & has studied International Food Law throughout the EU.

She graduated from Rutgers University Cum Laude, with a B.S. in Agriculture, Biodiversity & Global Sustainability and a minor in Environmental & Business Economics. She is an advocate for the Non-GMO movement, supports Organic Agriculture and is adept at many styles of nutritional cooking that both nourish the body and redefine what healthy cooking can taste like.

Vanessa is now living in the Mt. Hood area where she offers her globally inspired culinary creations at Alton L. Collins Retreat Center in Eagle Creek, OR. Where she is the Executive Chef. She leads a teaching kitchen, training many people in culinary alchemy from high school students to soccer moms to grandparents. She and her team create from a colorful pallet of local Oregon grown, seasonal fruits & vegetables and emphasizing using non-GMO & organic animal products. These ingredients are utilized to create nutrient-dense delights that cater to a wide variety of dietary needs. Collins Retreat Center strives to always deliver gracious hospitality. Vanessa and her team deliver this hospitality by providing delicious and healthy meals made with love.

Through her work at Collins Retreat Center, Vanessa raises awareness about healthy living and creating a sustainable future for humanity. Due to popular demand, is working on a cookbook to highlight delicious health-oriented globally inspired cuisine and plans to also offer cooking classes at Collins starting in 2020. As a shared vision, Collins plans to further increase the onsite agricultural production in the coming years and create a sustainable farm that supplies the retreat center guests with a farm to table experience!


December 1 @ 4:00 pm
December 8 @ 12:00 pm
Event Category:


Alton L. Collins Retreat Center
32867 OR-211
Eagle Creek, OR 97022 United States
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