Understanding and healing from the limitations, liabilities, and wounds of religion and spiritual abuse through experiential and empowering spirituality.

Recovering from Religion

Recovering from religion involves exploring and understanding not just our own personal experience and hurts, but also the science, psychology, and dynamics of religious/spiritual abuse around the world.

You will get to learn and practice the holistic and healthy habits of contemplative Christian spirituality through stillness, silence, and embodied mindfulness and prayer practices.

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Religion and Spirituality

For some, religion and personal spirituality are sources of strength, resilience, compassion, and generosity.

For others, religious and/or spiritual leaders (it’s possible to have religion without spirituality, and vice versa) and institutions and have been sources of trauma and abuse, be it physical, sexual, emotional, or spiritual in nature.

Religion and religious participation have been shown to have protective and healing effects on the physical and mental health of their adherents and believers.

However, roughly 10-20% of religious devotees from 10 religious traditions around the world experience the negative effects of spiritual abuse, including physical illness, depression, anxiety, shame, and a loss of meaning, motivation, self-esteem, and hope.

If left untreated, the impact of religious-oriented coercion, manipulation, and control can lead to full symptoms of PTSD and even lead to suicide.

4 Key Elements

to the Recovering from Religion Retreat

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Learn the signs and symptoms of spiritual abuse in people and institutions through experienced and compassionate guidance.



Learn the skills and rhythms of contemplative Christian spirituality that will help you heal and grow.



Guidance, safety, and support to explore your connection to yourself and the Divine.



The time to unplug, slow down, and be present to yourself and your needs in the beauty of the outdoors.

Awareness. Healing. Growth.

Religion and spirituality have played a part in human community, meaning, and transcendence for thousands of years. In those thousands of years, it has also gotten many things wrong and countless innocent people people have been hurt along the way.

Yet, there is hope. Contemplative Christian spirituality offers a path of personal empowerment, growth, healing, and transcendence. It accomplishes this through mending the connections to ourselves, others, the world around us, and the Divine present throughout all of it.

Rest. Reflection. Renewal

Time in nature is a blessing and a privilege. This retreat will help you get the most out of time away from your normal settings. Easy rhythms, good food, informative lessons, helpful reflection activities and sharing, and guided contemplative practices like centering prayer meditation, lectio divina, and journaling.

Healthy spirituality. Empowering guidance.

It is rare to find people who understand and want to help make space for repairing the wounds inflicted by and through experiences with toxic religion and spirituality.

Brendan is a trauma survivor, seminary trained pastor with almost a decade of experience, wilderness first responder, and therapist-in-training. He has unique training and experience that have inspired him to focus on helping people discover a healthy, thriving, personal spirituality.

Openness. Freedom. Support.

If you feel like you have experienced spiritual abuse in any form, this retreat will very likely be a freeing and life-giving experience. Or, perhaps you grew up in the church and something happened that caused you to feel disillusioned or burnt out on the religious experience.

Whatever you have been through, giving voice and expression to our hurts is one of the primary ways that we begin moving through the pain, transforming it into something new and beautiful in the process.

If you feel like you need or want a space to learn more about spiritual abuse and recovering from religion, and the practices to help you or those you care about heal and grow, this is the retreat or you.

Courage. Integration. Freedom.

You will learn how to recognize if you have or are currently experiencing spiritual abuse from a toxic religious setting, and what you can do about it to protect yourself and those you care about.

You will also get the chance to understand the ways that your religious experience has shaped and impacted you. From there, I will help you learn how to move into a deeper and more personal encounter with yourself and the Divine through contemplative Christian spirituality.

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