Home > Weekends of Recovery > 2013 Weekends of Recovery: Alta Level 1

"Dare to Dream"

Male Survivor Level 1 Weekend of Recovery
Join us for a beautiful fall weekend at Alta Lodge

Alta Lodge - Alta, Utah (near Salt Lake City, Utah)

September 20-22, 2013


MaleSurvivor Weekends of Recovery are open to any man, 18 or older, who have been sexually victimized as a child and/or assaulted or raped as an adult.

This will be our 12th visit to Alta Lodge, which tells you how much we love the facility, its extremely supportive and nurturing staff, and the gorgeous surroundings. Alta Lodge is located at 8,600 feet (2,700 meters) at the base of the Alta Ski Area in Utah's Wasatch Mountains. Alta Lodge, nestled in a quaint alpine setting at the top of Little Cottonwood Canyon, offers spectacular mountain views. During September, the cottonwood and aspen trees are usually in the prime of their fall yellow plumage, adding to the beauty of this setting. Alta Lodge is part of a rare tradition of country inns where the attentiveness and warmth of family hoteliers is combined with the pleasures of excellent dining and comfortable surroundings. The atmosphere of the Alta Lodge is relaxed, intimate and informal. There will be space for up to 28 men on this weekend.

Goals of the Level I Weekend of Recovery:
The facilitator team invites you to:

  • Dare to dream you can leave your isolation behind you at this weekend;
  • Dare to dream you can make real connections with the participants and facilitators at the weekend;
  • Dare to dream you can co-create and experience a sense of real safety and mindfulness;
  • Dare to dream you can claim your right to use your voice to become a powerful male survivor who is sensitive to his own feelings and experiences and those of other survivors here;
  • Dare to dream you can tell your story this time and be understood, believed and supported like you have always deserved;
  • Dare to dream you can experiment with being more creative, more vulnerable and letting go and still feel safe enough;
  • Dare to dream you can connect with the spontaneous part of you so you can learn to play safely and enjoy the experience;

Dare to dream you will be able to leave Alta a freer, less burdened, and even a happier man, taking the connections you make here with you to utilize as you continue to heal and recover!

Facilitator Team:

Weekends of Recovery are facilitated by trained psychotherapists, utilizing the same clinical boundaries and code of ethics as adopted by the American Psychological Association. The weekends are adjuncts to participants' ongoing recovery work with individual and/or group psychotherapy, twelve step programs, and individual spiritual work, and are not meant to substitute for the participants' local support systems that are consistent with their own recovery. Dr. Howard Fradkin, a Psychologist with over 30 years of experience working with male survivors, co-chairs the facilitator team, along with Jim Struve, Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 35 years of experience working with male survivors. The team of facilitators includes other Psychologists, Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists, and Mental Health Counselors. Biographies of all staff members for this weekend can be found on the MaleSurvivor website at www.malesurvivor.org.

Dr. Fradkin and Mr. Struve will be coordinating the Alta facilitator team. The rest of the team for the weekend includes: Lee Beckstead; Bill Burmester; Sharon Imperato; Lisa Jameson; Don Laufersweiler, and Lynne MacDonnell.

MaleSurvivor reserves the right to make changes to the staff depending on enrollment.

The Role of Women Facilitators at the Weekends of Recovery:

One of the valuable resources at a Weekend of Recovery is the presence of women facilitators who bring a wealth of therapeutic experience with men who have had a history of sexual abuse. Women facilitators can offer the benefit of witness and exchange that may differ from what men have experienced. During the weekends, they share fully in the responsibilities and work of the team. The inclusion of women on the team offers men an opportunity to examine their reactions to women in a safe setting.

Is This For Me? How Can I Prepare for the Weekend?

For those working with professionals, we recommend you discuss your planned participation in this weekend to get their feedback and suggestions for how you can benefit as much as possible from the experience while keeping yourself as safe as you need to be. All participants must be able to safely and appropriately engage in structured group activities. After receiving confirmation of your registration, if you are in therapy, please go the website and download the form for your therapist to complete which confirms you and your therapist agree you are prepared for the weekend. If you have an already established support system of friends/family members/significant others, we also encourage you to talk with them about your participation so they can be available both before and after the weekend as needed to help you prepare and process your experiences.

If you are not in therapy, and/or do not yet have a support network, we encourage you to consider setting up an appointment with a therapist either before you come to the retreat, or as soon as possible after your return, and/or encourage you to explore what types of self-help groups and resources are available in your community or near by. This way you can follow up on some of the experiences and skills you learn that will help the weekend's learning stay fresh in your mind and help you apply what skills and awareness would most help your continuing recovery.

One of our staff members will be contacting you by phone within two weeks of when we receive your application to talk with you about your needs for the weekend and your readiness to participate. All participants must be able to safely and appropriately engage in structured group activities. If we have any concerns about you participating, we may suggest some steps you can take to enhance your readiness for this weekend or we may ask you to wait for a future weekend while you take some additional steps we believe would be important for you to benefit from the experience. Please do not schedule your travel arrangements until after your interview is completed and you have been told you have been accepted as a participant. The facilitator team will make every effort to complete that process as quickly as possible. You are encouraged to register early, as our weekends have been filling early – registering early can also help you save money on transportation and by taking advantage of the early registration discount).

Comments by participants who have attended previous Weekends are available at malesurvivor.org (see the testimonials section under the tab Weekends of Recovery). Many participants have told us that the weekend is a very intense and rewarding experience, and at the same time sometimes it is quite uncomfortable. We recognize that one of the challenges male survivors have is feeling comfortable enough to ask for help, especially when they are feeling most in need of the help. For participants who are aware they have a problem with dissociation, this can be an especially difficult challenge. We would encourage you to practice asking for help before the weekend, perhaps with your own therapist, as well as with friends and significant others, and to assess for yourself what gets in your way of asking for the help you need so you can let us know when we contact you prior to the retreat. The facilitators are all very skilled therapists, and often times we can be sensitive and intuitive enough to know you need help even when you are not asking. However, we will clearly need your help and ask you to take the risk to articulate your needs during the retreat. To the extent you can help us know you are needing some extra help at any time during the weekend, this will help you to have an even safer and hopefully more beneficial experience.

During the weekend, we'll invite you to participate in a number of different types of activities. We'll spend some time helping each of you to feel as safe as possible. We'll take our time getting to know each other by sharing a little at a time. Frequently during the weekend we will meet in small groups, where you can have more individual time to talk and share your feelings and observations.

Everyone will be given some opportunities to choose how to tell your story - through words, through art, through movement, and/or through music. We'll also introduce you to some different types of relaxation and visualization exercises you may choose to do at home to increase your abilities to cope and manage life stresses. We'll also give you time to wander the beautiful retreat grounds alone or with some of your fellow participants.

Policy Regarding Transgender and Intersex Participants

MaleSurvivor is committed to healing the sexual victimization of boys and men. However, MaleSurvivor recognizes that gender, as well as sexuality, exists on a continuum and many survivors of sexual assault may identify anywhere on this continuum, including being transgender or intersex. MaleSurvivor wants to honor this diversity while preserving the Weekends of Recovery as a space to heal in a community of men. It is our belief that the design of the Weekends of Recovery can best be utilized by individuals who currently identify as male and who want to heal in a male-identified space.

Any questions or concerns about the above policy may be directed to Howard Fradkin, PhD, or Jim Struve, LCSW, co-chairs of the Weekends of Recovery.

Survivors With A History Of Sexual Offending

Any person who has been convicted of sexual perpetration and/or has been placed on a sexual offender registry as an adult is ineligible for participation in the regularly scheduled Weekends of Recovery. If this is true for you, we recommend you do not register now, and instead, review the last paragraph in this section to learn how you may be able to attend a specially designed weekend in the future.

In instances of adjudication on sexual perpetration charges as a youth, individuals will be considered for eligibility and readiness for the Weekends of Recovery on a case-by-case basis through an interview with one of the Co-Chairpersons.
 MaleSurvivor understands that some survivors have sexually acted out in childhood, adolescence, or even adulthood, and we do not wish to automatically exclude them from a Weekend of Recovery. Therefore, all applicants to the Weekends of Recovery must complete an interview, and during that interview they will be screened for any instances of sexual offending in their history. When a history of sexual offending is disclosed, an interview with one of the Weekends of Recovery Co-Chairpersons will be required along with a consultation with their current psychotherapist to determine if they will be accepted based on consideration of their best interest and the best interest of all participants. We have an expectation that all potential participants will be honest in their screening interview and will disclose any such history or incidents in their past because some participants may experience safety concerns with people with such histories.

The MaleSurvivor Facilitator team believes that ALL survivors have a right and an ability to heal. To facilitate that goal, we will maintain a waiting list for men who are deemed inappropriate to attend one of our regularly scheduled Weekends because they have been convicted of sexual perpetration and/or have been placed on a sexual offender registry as an adult or as a youth. When we have gathered a sufficient number of names and the ability to facilitate such a weekend, it is our intention to offer a special weekend for these men to assist them to further their healing as survivors. To be placed on this waiting list, contact Howard Fradkin, PhD, Co-Chairperson, at hfradkin@malesurvivor.org and include a brief description of why you are requesting to be placed on this waiting list.

Registration Costs

Registration includes the costs of the facilitated Weekend of Recovery program, with our 8 skilled facilitators from the MaleSurvivor Weekend of Recovery Facilitator Team, plus lodging, 7 meals, and snacks. Bottled water, juices, tea and coffee will be available throughout the weekend. We have a variety of accommodations at the Lodge. If you are not a MaleSurvivor member, we encourage you to join the organization and become a dues-paying member prior to registration both to secure a significant discount ($75 off) and to help support the work of MaleSurvivor. (NOTE: This is not the same as registering for website use with a log-in name; this is free) Limited numbers of each type of accommodation are available, and will be distributed on a first come, first served basis. You can also save $50 more by registering early!

All prices quoted are for Early Registration (by August 2nd)

Category A Corner Single Deluxe Bedroom, Balcony, Fireplace - Member Rate $950
Category A Corner Single Deluxe Bedroom, Balcony, Fireplace – Non Member Rate $1025
Category B Single Bedroom, Standard King Bed - Member Rate $895
Category B Single Bedroom, Standard King Bed - Non Member Rate $895
Category C Double Deluxe Bedroom with sitting area - Member Rate $900
Category C Double Deluxe Bedroom with sitting area - Non Member Rate $975
Category D Double Bedroom, Standard King Bed - Member Rate $795
Category D Double Bedroom, Standard King Bed - Non Member Rate $870
Category E Triple/Quad Dorm Room, Shared Bath – Member Rate $695
Category E Triple/Quad Dorm Room, Shared Bath – Non Member Rate $770

Registration after August 2nd: Add $50 to costs above

To register for the weekend, we ask that you complete an online registration at www.malesurvivor.org and/or mail in a registration form. To hold your spot for the weekend, we are requesting at least $150 deposit with your registration. You will have the choice on the registration form to either prepay your registration in full at the time of registration or opt for a payment plan. If you want to take advantage of the early registration discount, your total registration must be paid by August 2nd. Your balance will automatically be charged to your credit card on August 2, and you will still receive the early registration discount. If you register after August 2nd, all payments must be made by August 26th, 2012. You can either pay the full amount at the time of registration, or you can choose the payment option, you will owe an additional $50 for regular registration, and we will bill your credit card for the $150 deposit when you register, and bill the balance of the total of the registration due based on your accepted accommodation type on August 26, 2013. If you register after August 2, the total registration fee will immediately be billed to your credit card. You may also mail in checks to be received on the above mentioned dates. Holding your registration will be contingent on receipt of your additional registration fees on these dates. Any registration which is not paid in full by August 26, 2012 will be subject to cancellation and a $50 cancellation fee. Any cancellation after August 26th will be subject to the loss of all monies paid, unless we can find a replacement for your space in the weekend.

Registration will remain open until September 11th, provided there is space available. If you register after August 26, you will be asked to pay in full at the time of registration. Please be aware that recent weekends have been filled at least one to two months in advance of the weekend.

Scholarship Availability

A limited number of partial scholarships will be available for this weekend. The number of scholarships we can offer is dependent on MaleSurvivor's Scholarship Fund balance. If you have a need for a scholarship, please do not register for the weekend. Instead, access the "Apply for a Scholarship" application via the Weekends of Recovery menu tab at the MaleSurvivor website. After you complete the Scholarship Application Form, email it to Jim Struve, Weekend Co-Chairperson, at jimstruve@malesurvivor.org.

We ask that all scholarship recipients join as a paying member of MaleSurvivor to be eligible for a scholarship. Membership is based on a sliding fee scale according to your income. You can join MaleSurvivor by clicking on the 3rd tab down on the left hand side of the website that says "Join MaleSurvivor".

Scholarship recipients are expected to accept assignment to a triple cabin. The maximum available for scholarship grants is 75% of the registration rate for a triple dorm room. If your scholarship request can be granted, Jim will contact you by email with authorization to register and directions about how to enter your scholarship into our payment system. We can only provide assistance with registration costs, and cannot at this time provide any assistance with transportation costs.

If you are in a position to make a financial contribution to our scholarship fund, you can make a donation on the registration form or through the MaleSurvivor website
Thanks for any help you can provide.

MaleSurvivor also has a designated Scholarship Fund for Men of Color, which has been funded by generous donors to MaleSurvivor. You can indicate on the scholarship application form if you are eligible for this fund.


Chef Sam Wolf has been preparing meals of exceptional quality for Alta Lodge guests for over thirty years. The outstanding cuisine will certainly be one highlight of your Weekend of Recovery. A special treat is in store on Sunday, when we'll get to visit the Alta Lodge Sunday Buffet, a grand buffet featuring gourmet breakfast and lunch and dessert items! All of your food and snacks are included in your registration fees. The Chef is prepared to provide vegetarian cuisine if you request it ahead of time. Other special dietary restrictions or needs must be indicated on your registration form. Bottled water, juices, coffee and tea, half and half and soy milk will be supplied all weekend long for you.

Other information about Alta Lodge:
No alcohol or un-prescribed drugs may be brought to the weekend.
There is also a no smoking policy anywhere in the Lodge-including guest rooms, out of consideration for other guests. Cigar and pipe smoking are also prohibited. Guests may smoke outside the Lodge on the sundeck.

Please bring a jacket, gloves, hat, & some warm clothes if you are sensitive to the cold. Temperatures may be as low as the 20's at night and should be in the 50's & 60's during the daytime. There is always the possibility of snow in September! Average high temperature is 61, and average low is 40. Remember mountain air can feel chilly once the sun sets. Sunscreen is strongly advised - remember that sunrays are considerably more intense at mountain elevations. A hat with a brim is also very helpful to protect you from the sun.

Alta Lodge is handicap accessible, however if you have any special physical needs, please let us know at the time of registration so that we can make plans to accommodate your physical abilities.

There are some spectacular hiking trails around Alta. If you plan to participate in any hiking activities, please pack hiking boots (or shoes comfortable for easy & moderate hiking trails), a hiking stick (if you use one), & a day pack.

All bedding, towels, hair dryers, shampoo and shower gel are provided.


Alta Lodge is at 8500 feet altitude. It is not uncommon for people to experience minor physical symptoms above 8000 feet. (Symptoms can include headache, loss of appetite, & fatigue.) There are no specific factors such as age, sex, or physical condition that correlate with susceptibility to the effects of altitude.

Some people get it and some people don't, and some people are simply more susceptible than others. Here's some tips for how to deal with any effects of altitude that you may experience during the retreat:

  • Stay properly hydrated. Acclimatization is often accompanied by fluid loss, so you need to drink lots of fluids to remain properly hydrated.
  • Take it easy; don't over-exert yourself when you first get up to altitude. Be prepared that tasks such as climbing stairs may require more physical exertion than you're used to for the same task at a lower elevation. Light activity during the day is better than sleeping because respiration decreases during sleep, exacerbating the symptoms.
  • Avoid tobacco and alcohol and other depressant drugs including, barbiturates, tranquilizers, and sleeping pills. These depressants further decrease the respiratory drive during sleep resulting in a worsening of the symptoms. The acclimatization process is inhibited by dehydration, over-exertion, and alcohol and other depressant drugs.
  • If you have any concerns about your susceptibility to the effects of altitude, please consult with your physician. Diamox (Acetazolamide) is a prescription medication that can moderate the side effects of altitude for most people. However, since it takes a while for Diamox to have an effect, it is advisable to start taking it 24 hours before you go to altitude.

Transportation Coordination:

After you have registered and been accepted for the weekend, your name and email address will be provided confidentially to our webmaster, who will provide you access to the MaleSurvivor Bulletin Board. On the board, the very last category is for Weekends of Recovery, and you will see a topic called Sequoia Weekend of Recovery Transportation Coordination. You will then have access once you sign in to network with others who are planning on attending the Sequoia Weekend so you can offer to share or give rides to those needing help in getting from the airport to the Centre. To protect your confidentiality, this part of the bulletin board will only be able to be accessed by those registered for the Sequoia Weekend, and by the Weekend Co-Chairs. If you share a ride, please be respectful and offer assistance with paying for gas.

The weekend begins at 12:00 pm on Friday, and ends Sunday at 3 pm. Alta Lodge is only 32 miles from the Salt Lake City International Airport, generally a 45 to 60 minute cab ride, and 40 minutes from downtown Salt Lake City. The final 8 miles of the drive is up a winding and scenic canyon road. You can arrange your transportation from Salt Lake International City Airport to the Alta Lodge through Canyon Transportation at 800-255-1841 or www.canyontransport.com/main and reservations must be made at least 24 hours in advance. The estimated cost is $58 per person round trip (not including gratuity). Price is subject to change. Rental car information is available at www.slcairport.com/transport/rentalcars. Once you register and are interviewed and accepted, you will be able to access the transportation bulletin board under the MaleSurvivor Alumni area. On that board, you can communicate with other participants regarding sharing rooms and sharing rides to and from Alta. Fifteen airlines offer service to Salt Lake City International Airport: AeroMexico, America West, America West Express, American, Atlantic Southeast, Comair, Continental, Delta, Frontier, JetBlue, Salmon Air, SkyWest, Southwest, United and United Express.

Given travel time, we recommend all participants plan to arrive on Friday no later than 10:00 am; and plan to depart on Sunday no earlier than 5:30 pm from Salt Lake City. Please be sure to review our arrival policy below before making your travel plans. If you cannot accommodate your schedule to arrive and depart at these times, please be considerate and do not register. We require all participants plan to stay until the end of the weekend on Sunday to allow you and the community sufficient time for closure.


Salt Lake City is serviced by train on Amtrak (www.amtrak.com/destinations/index.html) . Buses are provided by Greyhound (www.greyhound.com) Salt Lake City is accessed via I-80 (east-west) and I-15 (north-south)

When to Arrive and Depart – Making Travel Reservations

Please do not schedule your travel arrangements until after your interview is completed and you have been told you have been accepted as a participant. The facilitator team will make every effort to complete that process as quickly as possible. The earlier you register, the more possible that will be (which of course could help you save money on transportation and by getting an early registration discount).

MaleSurvivor will not be responsible for any fees charged by your airline if you do not follow this policy and need to change your flying times.

Arrival Policy

Safety for all participants is our utmost concern. Therefore, it is a requirement that in order to participate in the weekend, participants must arrive at the beginning of the weekend, by 12 noon on Friday. In planning your trip, you are expected to take into consideration the unpredictable delays that may accompany your travel.

While we understand you may encounter delays for many reasons, we are unable to allow anyone to begin the weekend if your delay is greater than 2 hours. In other words, you cannot expect to be admitted to the weekend after 2 pm for any reason. If you are experiencing a delay, we request you to call us to inform us of your arrival status. It is important to understand that in the event of your inability to attend due to late arrival, you will forfeit all monies paid for your registration. If you have received a scholarship and arrive too late, we will request you to refund the scholarship fund the amount of your scholarship. One strategy to avoid this situation is to arrive in the city of the weekend the night before, or a city near the airport. Your consideration of this policy will help strengthen the feeling of safety for all participants and help us to build a community.

Departure Policy

Safety concerns and respect for the needs of all participants for adequate time to have closure also have encouraged us to develop a departure policy as well. The weekend is structured so that all participants will have sufficient time on Sunday to plan for their transition back home, to reflect on what they have learned during the weekend, and have an opportunity to say goodbye and express appreciation to the new community of men they have joined. To accomplish these goals, it is necessary that all participants stay until the weekend ends at 3 pm.

Therapist Recommendation Letter:

When you register online, you will notice a link to a therapist recommendation letter on the tab on the website labeled Weekends of Recovery. We ask that all participants who are currently in therapy bring this letter to your therapist prior to the weekend, and ask them to complete it with you and send it back to us by March 23rd. The information in this letter will help us to provide for any additional needs you may have for safety. It is our intention to use this letter to help ensure your safety, and in no way is it intended to disempower you or cast doubt on your own judgment about your readiness to participate in the weekend.


Questions can be directed to Trisha Massa, Community Outreach Director and Administrative Coordinator for the Weekend of Recovery Program at tmassa@malesurvivor.org