MaleSurvivor Level I Weekend of Recovery
"Dare to Dream"
Join us for a beautiful spring weekend at
Sequoia Retreat Center
March 28 - 30, 2014
MaleSurvivor Weekends of Recovery are open to any man, 18 or older, who has been sexually victimized as a child and/or assaulted or raped as an adult. The weekends are also open to any man who has witnessed or experienced exposure to sexual trauma as well.
Sequoia Retreat Center is the location of our first 2014 Level I Weekend of Recovery. Nestled amid 200 acres of majestic coastal redwoods, madrones and tan oaks, the Sequoia Retreat Center provides a beautiful setting in which each of you can take the risks necessary to make this weekend a significant one in your recovery. Sequoia, located in the Santa Cruz Mountains, is a privately owned retreat center, and the owners, Scot and Diane Myers-Lipton, want you to feel safe, comfortable and nurtured. Their philosophy is best reflected in this welcome: "Welcome to a place of reflection and dialogue. The Sequoia land has been held sacred since 1949 -- it is a place where love has been experienced, where pain has been transcended, and where hope has been born. The Sequoia Retreat Center is a place where the deepest meaning of life may be explored in an atmosphere of quiet and beauty. Our hope is that your stay here enriches your life, and the life of our earth that is our place in the universe. May you add to the spirit of love that builds and nourishes this sacred place, and return to your daily life renewed. The history of Sequoia is a history of seasons, beauty, spirit, and truth. This can never be communicated by facts or descriptions; it must be experienced first-hand. We look forward to your visit."
You can visit their website at www.sequoiaretreatcenter.com
While at Sequoia, you will take part in California style meals with an emphasis on fresh, organic, and local foods. We'll have single, double, and triple cabins available for lodging. All of the cabins have hardwood floors, have been modernized, and each has its own private bathroom. There will be space for up to 28 men on this weekend. Please be aware that Sequoia Retreat Center is not wheelchair-accessible, however all of our other sites used for Weekends of Recovery are wheelchair accessible.
Goals of the Level I Weekend of Recovery:
- To provide an opportunity to experience a safe environment in which participants can discover they are no longer alone in their recovery;
- To provide an opportunity to co-create and experience safety with other survivors as they explore further aspects of their healing journey;
- To provide an opportunity where survivors can share their inner pain, strength and hope with others who have been abused;
- To provide an opportunity for survivors to give a voice to their experiences as a survivor;
- To provide a safe way for participants to share the story of their abuse with others who will understand and offer support;
- To provide a safe place for participants to experiment with letting go, opening up and being vulnerable, and practice asking for the support they need;
- To provide an opportunity for participants to explore safe ways of going beyond their comfort zones, and to find ways to get beyond their blocks to move beyond their abuse to experience a greater sense of freedom in their minds, bodies, and spirits; and
- To provide a safe place where participants can experience a sense of community, brotherhood and joy.
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 32 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 will be coordinating the Sequoia facilitator team. The rest of the team for the weekend includes: Lee Beckstead, Peter Botteas, Bill Burmester, Sandi Forti, Don Laufersweiler, Lynne MacDonnell, and Lisa Jameson.
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. Resources for therapy and support groups are available on our website when you click on the tab, "Find Support."
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 this 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 mind-body awareness 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.
Information About 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.
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. In instances in which someone has been previously convicted of sexual offending as an adult and their legal charges have been expunged, they will also be interviewed for appropriateness to participate in a Weekend of Recovery.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and include a brief description of why you are requesting to be placed on this waiting list.
Registration CostsRegistration 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 in the cabins. 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 below are for Early Registration (by February 21, 2014)
|A||Triple - MaleSurvivor Member||$695.00|
|A||Triple - Non-Member||$770.00|
|NOTE: Triple cabins are reserved for scholarship recipients only
You may request to be placed on the wait list for a triple cabin based on availability.
|B||Double - MaleSurvivor Member||$795.00|
|B||Double - Non-Member||$870.00|
|C||Single - Member||$995.00|
|C||Single - Non-Member||$1070.00|
|Registration after February 21, 2014: 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 February 21, 2014. Your balance will automatically be charged to your credit card on February 21, 2014, and you will still receive the early registration discount. If you register after February 21, 2014, all payments must be made by March 14, 2014. You can either pay the full amount at the time of registration, or you can choose the 2 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 the balance of the total of the registration due based on your accepted accommodation type on March 14, 2014. You may also mail in checks to be received on these 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 March 14, 2014 will be subject to cancellation and a $50 cancellation fee. Any cancellation after March 14, 2014, 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 March 14, 2014, provided there is space available. If you register after March 14, 2014, you will be asked to pay in full at the time of registration.
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 email@example.com.
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 cabin. We encourage you to apply for only the amount of help you need as we seek to spread our scholarship funds to as many men as possible. 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 http://www.malesurvivor.org/memorial-fund.html 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.
The meals at Sequoia are delicious California cuisine. If you have specific food needs or specific food allergies, please indicate this on your registration form and we will do our best to accommodate any special requests. Bottled water, juices, coffee and tea, half and half and soy milk will be supplied all weekend long for you.
Other Information About Sequoia: No alcohol or un-prescribed drugs may be brought to the weekend. There is also a no smoking policy in the buildings. We will indicate to you at the time of your arrival where the designated smoking area is and ask that you respect this limit. Most cell phones do work here.
Sequoia Retreat Center is a hilly environment, and some of the hills are steep. We will be walking to and from cabins and meeting spaces through the Sequoia forest. We can arrange transportation to anyone who needs assistance up and down the hills. Please be aware, however, that Sequoia Retreat Center is NOT wheelchair-accessible, however all of our other sites used for Weekends of Recovery are wheelchair accessible.
We have several optional hikes during the weekend, including early morning meditation walks and a longer hike on Saturday afternoon. There are plenty of walking trails through the woods, so bring socks, long pants, long sleeve shirts, bug protection and shoes that support you on rough terrain and are waterproof. Please bring your own flashlights as some cabins are located a distance through the woods. A packing list is located on our website on the tab that says "Weekends of Recovery". All bedding and towels are provided.
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. Please be aware you will need to use the same log in name for the transportation board as the one you used when you registered.
The center is located 10 miles north of Santa Cruz, so San Jose airport will be your closest airport (1 hour away). However, some folks may find better airline costs arriving into Oakland or San Francisco (1 ½ hours away).
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.
The weekend begins at 12 noon on Friday, and ends Sunday at 3 pm. Please pay particular attention to the arrival policy below before making your travel plans. Given travel time, we recommend all participants plan to arrive on Friday no later than 10 am depending on the airport ; and plan to depart on Sunday no earlier than 5:30 pm ( Please see the important arrival policy below. ) If you cannot accommodate your schedule to arrive and depart at these times, please be considerate and do not register. Late arrivals would miss important orientation information, and we ask that all participants plan to stay until the end of the weekend on Sunday to allow you sufficient time for closure. If you find that the only airline reservations you can find will require an overnight stay on either Thursday or Sunday, we are sorry, but we cannot provide overnight accommodations on Thursday or Sunday evening at Sequoia. There are several recommended hotels below.
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.
Remember you can visit the website of Sequoia website to obtain driving directions at
The Sequoia Retreat Center
11445 Alba Road, Ben Lomond, CA 95005
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. Below you will see information about travel time to the airports, so that you can be certain to allow sufficient time after our 3 pm closing to travel to the airport, check in and check baggage and get through security. San Francisco and Oakland are roughly 1 ½ hours away; San Jose is less than an hour. Completing a Level One Weekend is a requirement to attend any Advanced Weekends of Recovery. Any participant who leaves a weekend prior to 3 pm will be ineligible to attend an Advanced weekend until he completes a Level One weekend. We also suggest you read our Informed Consent Form on the website (you'll find it on the Weekends of Recovery tab) which also addresses early departure from the weekend.
A Hotel near the airport on North 1st St.:
Each of these companies has provided transportation for our guests.
American Express Shuttle Service
Coastal Express Transportation
831-464-1969 or 831-818-5295
Early Bird Airport Shuttle
SLV Taxi & Airporter
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 25, 2014. 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 Howard Fradkin at 614-445-8277, ext. 11, or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org ; or to Trisha Massa, MaleSurvivor Administrative Assistant, at email@example.com