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June 13 @ 4:00 pm - June 20 @ 12:00 pm

Please note:  Sarah is watching the COVID-19 outbreak carefully and reviewing whether in-person events will be held.  She additionally looking into alternative ways of bringing learning online if needed.  We will update events as decisions are made.  Safety and well-being are a priority.

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 first of two retreats designed to accompany the book. This Intro to Intimacy Week focuses on getting to know your default network in relationship, recognizing bids for connection, and becoming acquainted with many of the blocks and openings to intimacy. It will be very experiential, with lots of movement and sweetness. The second of these two retreats, which are available either combined or as stand-alone experiences, will run from December 1-8, 2020.  

What couples are saying about Your Resonant Self: “If someone had told us six months ago that knowledge about brain anatomy would help resolve traumatic upset, we would have wondered what they were smoking. Today, having read chapters 1-3, MT and I see that we would have been wrong. Knowing about the roles and capacities of the Amygdala and the PFC, and understanding that the Amygdala does not have date-stamp capacity, is having breakthrough impacts on our perceptions and interactions. For thirty years we have interacted impulsively, re-traumatizing each other again and again by allowing reactivity to color our interactions in the mistaken belief that we could thereby shock each other into being caring. Now, informed in this and other ways as we study Your Resonant Self, we are finding that we can bring warm, compassionate understanding to ourselves and to each other more and more often, with remarkable impact on our peace of mind and peace in our household. Thank you!” ~ MSJ and MTA

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



Price: Tuition only – early bird – $1,300 if paid by March 15, 2020 (Room & Board cost is separate and must be added for program total, for example, for double room & board ($805) & tuition the total for one week is $2105

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.

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

Room/Board/Commuter/Day Use costs shown below:



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

Scroll down to for information about the course and to register



I am willing to learn, and to support others in their learning.

I have read the book, Your Resonant Self, up until whatever point I was no longer able to read (link to order the book here)

I have listened to the recordings of the Intro to Resonant Language program and have completed and submitted the worksheets and journal pages

Or, I am experienced in the use of Nonviolent Communication to support self-warmth in internal processes and to support others who are touching their own emotional experience. Please write to Sarah to describe your experience to have this prerequisite waived.


This is a 7-day event that moves through the key concepts and exercises of the first half of Sarah’s book, Your Resonant Self, one day per chapter. This is the first week of two retreats that cover the content of YRS in full. Click here to see Week 2.

The workshop will consist of experiential explorations of the material interspersed with short presentations of the material by Sarah and other participants who would like to practice and share their presentations. This approach supports the participants to understand the concepts and have time for practice and integration.

There are evening activities on some of the days, including constellations led by Sarah, and other optional participant-organized gatherings.

Here is the plan for the week:

DAY ONE: How The Automatic Voice Affects Relationships: The Default Mode Network

  • Identifying the sound and tone of the DMN
  • How negative core beliefs reveal the DMN
  • A basic geography of the brain
  • Understanding the importance of self-warmth and warmth in relationship

DAY TWO: How Emotional Balance Affects Relationship: Healthy Self-Regulation

  • The benefits of warm accompaniment
  • Attunement
  • Resonance
  • The skills of resonant language
  • How resonance regulates us and strengthens the brain
  • Hearing the voice of the body

DAY THREE: Developing Self-Kindness and Kindness to Others: Introducing the Resonating Self-Witness

  • The Resonating Self-Witness, Linkage and Differentiation
  • Feelings vocabulary
  • Oxytocin
  • Panksepp’s circuits, particularly CARE
  • Tying these concepts into our understanding of self-regulation and connection with others

DAY FOUR: Taming the Inner Critic: Hearing the Attempt to Contribute

  • Returning to the DMN, working with the self-critical voice, learning how the critical voice affects connection
  • The hemispheres
  • Getting to know the left hemisphere and its dismissive voice
  • Needs vocabulary

DAY FIVE: Calming Anxiety: Moving Toward Trust

  • The foundations of anxiety
  • Anxiety and Panksepp’s circuits
  • Considering our prenatal life and the thermostat of anxiety
  • Building self-empathy skills
  • Time traveling into the future

DAY SIX: Time Traveling With Resonance: Healing Old Hurts 

  • Time, trauma and the brain
  • Explicit and implicit memory
  • Understanding the vagus nerve, freeze and dissociation
  • Time traveling into the past to heal trauma
  • Working with infidelity and betrayal

DAY SEVEN: Vanquishing Ancient Fears

  • Understanding fear: the FEAR circuit
  • The state of FLIGHT
  • Distinguishing between FEAR and GRIEF/PANIC
  • Panic attacks, phobias
  • Making the world a safe place


  • 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 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 date 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

About Sarah

Sarah Peyton, international constellations facilitator, Certified Trainer of Nonviolent Communication and neuroscience educator, integrates constellations, brain science and the use of resonant language to heal trauma. She is a regular contributor to The Knowing Field International Constellations Journal, and is an annual guest speaker and teacher at the ISCA Intensive in Southern Germany. She was a featured presenter at London’s 2017 Trauma Through the Systemic Constellation Lens and is the author of the book “Your Resonant Self: Guided Meditations and Exercises to Engage Your Brain’s Capacity for Healing,” published by Norton Publishing in September of 2017.

About Vanessa

Special diet requests are welcome!

Vanessa 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!


June 13 @ 4:00 pm
June 20 @ 12:00 pm
Event Category:


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