Treatment Centers for Intense Healing
Grief, addiction, childhood trauma, and failing relationships are all addressed at these spots. A couple are full-fledged rehabs, though all prioritize healing and support.
Esalen Institute55000 Hwy 1, Big Sur | 831.667.3000
This old school New Age destination will make all your hippie dreams come true. Book a personal enrichment workshop and bed down inside a cozy cabin on the cliffs of beautiful Big Sur and spend your days exploring or even becoming certified in a healing modality such as reiki, dance, massage, or yoga, or truly exploring new paths to wellness through mindfulness, creative writing, crafting, or art. The healing arts center is open to all and is worth a visit if you're in the area—and same goes for the hot springs, which are open to the public from 1-3 AM and require reservations weeks in advance (bathing suits not required).
Gottman InstituteSan Juan Islands | 206.313.0471
By taking a no-nonsense scientific approach to relationships, Drs. John and Julie Gottman are able to identify what works and what doesn't so that couples can create true intimacy, strong friendship, manage conflict, and support a shared vision for their future. During the Art and Science of Love weekend workshops that happen all around the country, attendees are introduced to the nine elements of healthy coupledom, which the Gottman's call the Sound Relationship House. It reads like a road map to happily ever after if you're willing to do the work. They also offer intensive workshops at their own home in the San Juan Islands—we've heard that couples arrive on the brink of divorce, and leave more in love than ever.
Hoffman Institute3100 White Sulphur Springs Rd., St. Helena | 707.963.8588
Many friends of goop credit the Hoffman Process as being the transformational experience in their life, helping them distinguish behaviors and patterns inherited from childhood with who they actually are as adults. The primary outpost is in St. Helena, California, where they offer year-round, week-long programs that are completely immersive (i.e. you check your phone when you arrive), with occasional sessions in Connecticut. This residential retreat will help you break the cycles of compulsive ways of being so that you can begin to make choices from a new place of clarity and love. You can read more about the process here. They also offer scholarships for those who can't pay the full rate.
Tassajara Zen Center39171 Tassajara Rd., Carmel Valley | 888.743.9362
Whether searching for relief from an overactive "monkey mind" or battling bigger demons, the Buddhists at this Sōtō Zen monastery—the oldest in the United States—believe meditation can be the tool that quiets the storm. Built in 1967 deep inside the Los Padres National Forest just southeast of Carmel-by-the-Sea, the center offers three and five-night retreats on topics as introductory as The Nature of Zen to as specific as Finding Equanimity in a Difficult Profession: A Retreat for Lawyers.
Vipassana68561 29 Palms Highway, Twentynine Palms | 760.362.4615
We'll happily entertain the idea of climbing mountains, month-long detoxes, and even committing to a week with the in-laws but there's just something about the idea of a ten-day silent retreat that strikes fear in our hearts. During this course, participants are immersed in Vipassana, a centuries old meditation style from India. It's a technique of self-observation that aims to increase awareness, clarity, and peace. Prepare yourself for sleep, simple meals, and lots of alone time. Think you can do it? There are centers across the world, including nine in the United States (you can see all location at Dhamma.org).