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Saturday, February 18, 2006                                                                                       View Comments

A weekend intensive for letting go of religious indoctrination and reclaiming your life.

Led by Marlene Winell, Ph.D.

The effects of authoritarian religious training can last a long time and run deep, seriously impacting your ability to enjoy life. The process of leaving one's faith often creates intense feelings of confusion, grief, anxiety, and anger. Full recovery can be difficult if the issues are not clear and you feel alone in the struggle.

This workshop is designed to support you in this process of healing and growth. The weekend is a powerful group experience of sharing personal history, examining key issues, and exploring new liberating concepts. In addition to discussion, we will use experiential methods including art, guided visualization, movement, and role-play. There will also be time for shared meals, relaxation, and fun. Because we are staying together, we will have the chance to get acquainted and begin a lasting support system beyond the weekend. As a special bonus, we will have massage and acupuncture treatments available, and guests are welcome to stay another night.


WHERE: RIO DEL MAR, CA (east side of Santa Cruz, near the beach)
The closest airport is SAN JOSE, and we will arrange transportation together from there. The setting is a large wonderful house with hot tub, fireplace, and other amenities. See for photos

REQUIREMENTS: 1) Telephone discussion with Marlene Winell to determine appropriateness for you, 2) completion of pre-workshop written exercises.

COST: $320 for the workshop, $120 for room and board Total: $440
A deposit of $100 will secure a space, half of the remainder is due by Feb. 18 ($170), and the balance due at the workshop ($170).
Early registration discount: $20 (Full payment by Feb. 18) REBATE for completed written exercises: $40 (email or bring writings to workshop; rebates will be given at the workshop)

Workshop objectives are to help you:

Release the hold of dysfunctional religious teachings.
Reclaim your own thoughts and feelings.
Discover self-love and learn to trust yourself.
Recognize and draw from your own inner resources for wisdom and strength.
Explore new avenues for meaning in life.
Appreciate the freedom and power when you take personal responsibility for your life.
Practice enjoying life now instead of waiting for the next; reclaim your right to pleasure.

A Resource list will be available with recommended books and readings and websites.

To register, send an email to with your contact information. You will receive more details, a registration form, and written exercises.

Register soon to save a place. Group size is limited by design.
For more information, write to or call 510-649-1256. Also, if you want to take part in a weekend but this one does not work for you, please ask to be on the mailing list.

About Dr. Winell: Marlene Winell is a psychologist and Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies. She grew up in a fundamentalist missionary family, spent some years as a "born-again" Christian, and then went through her own recovery and growth process. She has worked in human services for 30 years and specializes in helping clients who are recovering from religious indoctrination. She is the author of Leaving the Fold: A Guide for Former Fundamentalists and Others Leaving Their Religion. Her private practice is in Berkeley, CA: she also consults by telephone.