Boot camp for the soul
Emotional detoxes are becoming more sought after than good old spa breaks, says Sharon Walker
Why emotional detoxes are on the up
When I was 19, my boyfriend of three years stopped calling. His rejection reverberated through my life for longer than it should have, and it was only 30 years later, in front of a group of strangers on an intense healing retreat, that I finally figured out why. Unresolved grief over the death of my mother – 10 years before the break-up – had been triggered by the subsequent loss in a way I hadn’t entirely understood at the time – but do now.
I’m not the only one who’s aired their emotional laundry on a retreat. The DJ Goldie has based much of an upcoming album on his experience of The Hoffman Process, a week-long residential course, while Sienna Miller and Thandie Newton have also raved about ‘The Process’. For soul searchers like me, the days of holistic massages in upscale spas are over – instead, we’re spending our cash on emotional catharsis via a curated patchwork of psychological therapies from Gestalt to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, at Hoffman, The Bridge, The Landmark Forum and The Arrigo Programme. Indeed, The Hoffman is booked solid for the next five courses, and if you were in any doubt the collective desire for an emotional audit is on the rise, observe the trickle-down effect. Weight-loss and wellbeing residential The Body Retreat now features mindfulness and hypnosis alongside juicing and interval training (Thebody retreat.co.uk), and even Champneys, the archetypal fluffy-robeand-slippers spa, is returning to its holistic roots, with workshop and seminar-led courses such as It’s Your Life, It’s Your Future, which launches this year (Champneys.com). So if you’ve ever wondered how much further a retreat can go beyond aromatherapy, see page 91 for our review of The
Bridge, and right for three more.
Follow one Red writer’s experience of The Hoffman at REDONLINE.CO.UK