Free Retreats for Women Vets         




To be eligible for these retreats, women veterans must:

  • Have been deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan during OIF or OEF
  • Have been in counseling at a Vet Center or VA for at least three months
About the OEF/OIF Women Veterans’ Retreats


These 6-day retreats are a powerful, energizing way for women who have experienced the human impact of being in a war zone to recover their personal strength and vitality. Participants may use this retreat to recover from whatever way they feel that the war has personally affected them, whether that is healing from combat stress, PTSD or MST, re-adjusting to civilian life, addressing other personal issues, or gaining practical everyday skills like financial know-how or enjoying the company of others who have been in similar circumstances.                   
In the aftermath of military service, many women find that their ‘comfort zone’ in the civilian world has become smaller, and that their lives have become constricted in one way or another. One’s range of activities, self-expression, and ways of being with others and one’s self can narrow in an effort to ensure safety and predictability. As a result, confidence in one’s ability to negotiate relationships and unfamiliar situations can drop. These retreats provide an open and affirming forum for women to take steps toward the fuller life that they envision for themselves. The nourishing natural environment, and the support of others on a similar path, gives women on the recovery retreat a series of opportunities to recognize their strength and capabilities, and to practice new ways of managing unfamiliar situations and relationships.  Each woman will bring unique issues, needs, and challenges to the retreat, and all participants will share the intention to stretch themselves in ways that are appropriate for them, and the intention to support others on a similar journey.                                          
The path to growth and recovery almost always involves stretching outside of one’s comfort zone, and it can sometimes feel awkward or uncomfortable. This ‘stretch’ will be different for each woman, but common themes that may emerge include trust, setting boundaries, asking for support, finding one’s strength and competence, practicing positive ‘self-talk’, and staying present in the presence of fear. We feel strongly that each woman needs to be fully in charge of the degree of stretch that is appropriate for her.  You will have complete choice about whether you participate in any activity, and to what degree. Your facilitators will help you explore your options, and provide education about how to make self-affirming choices. You will be asked to always follow safety protocols, but aside from that, you can trust that your facilitators will always support your choices, and that you will never be pressured into doing something that does not feel right to you.
Are these retreats right for me?


First, you must meet the eligibility requirements listed above. It is also important that you have your own personal reason for coming, and some understanding of how your deployment is affecting you at this point in time. A desire to move forward, a willingness to stretch in order to do so, and an interest in connecting with other women veterans are also important. If you are unsure about why you want to come, it may be helpful to first talk to your counselor to identify the issues you are working on.

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