Treasure Maps to the Soul


Do you long for life to change but keep getting tangled up when you try?

Does what you want for your life seem impossible?

It sounds like you might have a Tangle…

Treasure Maps is a six-day retreat for untangling your Tangles and turning your life around – so that what was impossible becomes possible.

About the Course

In the Treasure Maps retreat you can expect to:

  • Feel a fresh sense of freedom and space even before the issue starts to change. 
  • Experience your own strong calm center even in the midst of turmoil and confusion.
  • Let your unique strengths grow and flourish as you step away from patterns of self-blame.
  • Create relationships with the various parts in your Tangle so they can finally heal in the way they have been longing for.
  • Shift the level at which you have been holding your Tangle so that it doesn’t have to keep repeating… and something really new can happen.

At A Glance

Who If you long for your own fuller life but your energy is bound up in fear, shame, confusion, self-criticism.
What Barbara McGavin and Ann Weiser Cornell, the creators of Treasure Maps, teach and guide their transformational method in a life-changing 6-day retreat.
Where Each Treasure Maps retreat is held at a retreat center a beautiful place in the world. See specific retreats for details below.
Why You would love to live your bigger, freer, untangled life… finally!

We Know, We’ve Been There…

Ann Weiser Cornell & Barbara McGavin

It all started in 1994 when we happened to be confronted with our own most challenging life issues (addiction to alcohol and suicidal depression) just as we were about to teach three workshops together. We were both professional Focusing teachers… but years of Focusing (as we knew it then) had not helped us with our toughest issues – which seemed impossible to shift.

Somehow the urgency of it and the combination of our unique strengths resulted in our developing a new form of Focusing that did work to bring change in those most challenging, tangled life issues.

We thought our new discoveries could be kept to ourselves until we got a lot more sure about them. But the questions that people asked us about their own problems and issues kept calling for answers out of our newest learnings. We found we had to share what we were discovering, raw as it was. People loved it, and wanted more.

Yes, our own life issues shifted. But we found there is so much more to life than just not being addicted or not being depressed! That’s why we began to talk about finding a treasure map — because we found that the very places where life feels most painful and hard are the maps to more ease, flow, and connection… to fresh new possibilities that just weren’t there before.

What We’ve Discovered is…

Inside a Tangle, no road leads to freedom. There are dead ends everywhere. Resolution is literally impossible at that level. Everything you try just keeps you even more stuck. But there is a way to shift outside of the Tangle so that new possibilities open up. 

There is some kind of trauma underneath – Underlying any Tangle is a “stoppage” of life forward energy – in other words, a trauma. Transformation and resolution come when you can be present to the stopped energy (and the pain of it) without falling in. When you can do this, you begin to get back your own life direction and your own resources.

Exiled parts play key roles  –  The key player in the Tangle may be an exiled part of you that you can’t feel or hear. All the Focusing in the world doesn’t help until you invite the missing player. Having a “map” lets you know what missing part to invite… so your inner work is effective and brings real change.

You are not your Tangle – Inside a Tangle, it’s hard to access your full, aware, freely acting Self. But you are not your Tangle. You are a resourceful, resilient, flexible Self who can be in Presence with every aspect and part. Wouldn’t it be great to really experience that? You can!

This is What We Want for You

  • That in the places in your life where you feel most stuck and despairing, real hope dawns, because what was impossible becomes possible.
  • That repetitive painful patterns no longer repeat and instead begin to shift, because you can shift levels and be with your Tangle without being in it.
  • That you can move forward with your life with energy, curiosity, ease, and connection with others – in ways that felt out of the question before.


What You Can Expect From This Program

  • A living, flexible “map” of your tangled issue with the different parts separated out  
  • A new way to understand your stuckness – not as something permanently wrong with you or your life, but as a “stoppage” of life energy that can resume and flow again
  • A powerful way to get underneath the repetitive patterns to what is really driving them… and give the stuck parts what they’ve always needed… at last


The Program

Treasure Maps is a six-day retreat led by both Ann Weiser Cornell and Barbara McGavin. We offer it a few times a year in beautiful places in the world. Our schedule includes times to rest, relax, regenerate, and play… and go deep.

The group gathers on the first night to connect with each other and share our hopes and intentions. Over the next five days, we go on a journey of inner exploration that begins with Getting to Know Your Tangle… and then one by one we show you the Four Powers and how to apply each one to your own Tangle.

We teach through stories from our own lives and demonstrations, and we give you specific paired exercises that you do with each other… and then come back to the group with your sharing and questions.

The spirit of the retreat is respect and safety for every part of yourself. Expect to feel deeply understood and accepted… even for those parts of yourself that you don’t accept (yet).

At the end of the week

  • You have learned to use four “Powers” which are a kind of road map to transformational change
  • You can identify three types of Parts in your Tangle, each with its own feelings, and what each needs in order to heal and change
  • You have learned about the four Territories of Action Blocks, Addictions, Depression/Despair, and Unfulfilled Desire… and how they show up in your own personal Tangles
  • You have support and help to go forward with the process beyond the week, through partnerships and your own Focusing


What Else? You’ll Also Receive:

  • A beautifully designed Workbook to follow through the week that gives you the details and specific language of every exercise
  • A leaflet that tells you where you are in the process at each step of the retreat
  • 63 pages of Workshop Handouts that go into detail about the process and the theory behind it… available before the retreat so you can read in advance if you want to


This Program May Be For You If…

  • You have a deep commitment to your own transformation and growth, and a determination to find something that brings real change
  • You are not a beginner to Focusing – you have at least two Levels of training with practice in Focusing partnership
  • You have a longing to experience your life in a new way, free of what has been holding you back


What Now?

Explore our upcoming retreats below or…are you still deciding whether this program is right for you? We welcome you to schedule a chat with Ann to set up a conversation by phone or Skype.

Upcoming Retreats

Mark Your Calendar! Registration will be opening soon for the following retreats:


  • August 5-11; Mill Valley, California; Regular Retreat
  • August 13-19; Mill Valley, California; Advanced Retreat
  • September 19-25; Stoneville, North Carolina, USA; Regular Retreat

We now offer Treasure Maps work by phone as well. The online course that is an introduction to Treasure Maps is called Untangling. If you’ve already gone to a Treasure Maps retreat, you can take Navigating the Edge. Click to see when our next course will be offered by Zoom.

What People Are Saying

  • Georgia Simone
    "I came to Treasure Maps hoping to untangle a life-long, debilitating self-doubt and fear of public speaking. No one (as in not one single person) has been able to support me in overcoming the intense nervous energy I sometimes experience when speaking in public or sharing in groups. This left me feeling confused and like there was something wrong with me. Treasure Maps handed me the keys to not only begin to untangle this nervous knot but also to gain great insight into what has prevented me from fulfilling my potential. After Treasure Maps, I feel different in ways that are difficult to articulate - as if the very foundation that has been holding this whole tangle together has been weakened beyond repair. I've spoken twice in public since the retreat and both times felt so different. There was some nervous energy, but unlike other times, it did not take over. I was able to stay in presence without being consumed by it, and I was able to speak from my heart authentically and powerfully. This is huge! Furthermore, I simply feel more confident - in a natural and quiet kind of way, like I don't need to prove or defend myself. I feel more myself. And it feels good. Really good."
  • Marie Sherry McDonald
    "For me, Treasure Maps is a spiritual adventure. When I cultivate unconditional presence for all that arises in me, I feel peaceful and I can be myself. As a result, I have better relationships, feel longer periods of calm, and appreciate most of my life experiences."
  • Bie D.
    "Before Treasure Maps, I was always trying to understand and change my relationship with the world in order to find a better place for me "out there." Now, I often spend more time with myself. It's easier to be alone. I'm more in the here and now, so I enjoy life more."
  • Terri Thayer Micene
    Terri Thayer Micene photo"My life has changed since Treasure Maps. I no longer spend several hours a day playing games on my phone. What was once an irresistible siren call was shut off just like a water tap. My eating habits (my main tangle) are no longer a problem. My stomach is behaving as it should and I don’t fight off cravings or the desire to eat foods that don’t agree with me. Eating has become an easeful process for me, for the first time in my life."
  • Stéphanie RS
    "All my life, I've suffered from low self-esteem, lack of self-confidence, and impostor syndrome. Focusing already helped me tremendously, but I still felt stuck. I love the Treasure Maps framework of Untangling a Tangle. For a long time, I felt like I bumped into the same invisible wall, without the ability to really see it. Now, I feel changed. It's subtle, but I definitely made a step forward. After Treasure Maps, I feel more compassion toward myself, more patience, more ability to hold it all. And I have a clear process/map to keep working on my Tangle."
  • John Juskiewicz
    "I'm a long time Focuser and I found that Treasure Maps provided a whole array of new tools that greatly deepened my Focusing ability. I can now more effectively work with stubborn issues that were difficult to work with in the past. My only regret is that I hadn't taken Treasure Maps much sooner."
  • Wendy P, Philadelphia PA
    "The week with Ann and Barbara learning the Untangling process of Focusing was truly a magical, life-transformative experience. Both of these wise women are truly pioneers on the frontier of human evolution. They have mapped out the journey of our inner world enabling one to truly find healing and peace as well as a new vitality and purpose for living.  I'm deeply grateful to Ann and Barbara for articulating this process based on Eugene Gendlin's philosophical model of being and am so glad I went.  If you are thinking of participating in a Treasure Maps Retreat, I highly recommend that you don't put it off any longer.  Your body and soul will thank you!"
  • Karen DeHart, M. AmSAT
    karendehart-small"Treasure Maps to the Soul ranks with the best, most transformational courses I have ever attended. Ann and Barbara presented a clear step-by-step method for working with challenging problems, and I am happy to say that by the third day I had made significant steps forward in addressing my own Tangle. Still, I was unprepared for the deep and profound revealing of grace I discovered in the last two days, and am even now filled with wonder. I am grateful for all that was made possible in this wonderful retreat."
  • Sudamani Muth, Zürich, Switzerland
    "I can't even express how much I enjoy Ann and Barbara's Treasure Maps work. It's expanding perfection without ever getting trapped in concepts. They should get a Nobel Prize for it."
  • Helen Bower, Stroud, England
    HelenBower"I genuinely consider the Treasure Maps approach to be a collective work of genius. It is powerful. It works. It reaches the parts I find other approaches don’t. Nothing else has so kindly and enjoyably allowed me to recognize and turn towards parts of myself I never imagined I could. It is not easy, of course. However, it has a simple model and a clear, flexible approach. I have done the course twice now and would happily do it again. Unending depth. It is fascinating, fun and skilfully delivered. What treasures Ann and Barbara are!"
  • Nora Wayman, LCSW, Bend, OR
    Nora Wayman LCSW, Bend, OR "I'm still smiling when I think of Treasure Maps.  I came to the week with a tangle about self doubt, second guessing myself, not acting, staying stuck in overworking--feeling like a truck with gas pedal to the floor, wheels spinning, in deep mud, going absolutely nowhere, with lots of effort to show for it.  And now I do feel more sure of myself, more trusting of myself, less giving a hoot about some things; I move more freely, dragging less ball and chains, like more of me is going in the same direction. I find myself doing new things, like eating less chocolate for no reason, organizing little rats nests that have accumulated around me, going through my same old morning routine and having no idea how I have ended up getting to work a half hour earlier. I find I no longer spend so much time wandering around wondering whether to be or not to be, or whether that's the question. I find I'm resting in a deeper trust that little birds go from egg to chick to bird with wings, and strong protected seeds know to break out of their husks and sprout and grow and bloom, and that we are something like that. And I feel a more settled sure sweet sense of self. There is no greater gift than that."
  • Nina Joy Lawrence, Focusing Coordinator, Corvallis, OR

    Nina Joy Lawrence Focusing Coordinator Corvallis, OR"Treasure Maps to the Soul is a tool kit for the rest of our lives."


When does the retreat actually start and end?

The workshop starts on the evening of the first day, after dinner, and ends just before lunch on the last day. Dinner on the first day and lunch on the last day are included.

What is the schedule?

We meet as a group for three hours each morning and three hours each afternoon. Paired practice is included in those three hours. In the evenings, participants are free to take quiet time or join others for shared activities like singing, dancing, storytelling, improv games. The days normally run from 9am – 6pm, beginning with breakfast. Dinner is at 6:30pm.

Is there Focusing time every day?

Yes, you will be Focusing in partnership each day, for longer times each day, as you gain the resources you’ll need to be with the deep places.

How much Focusing experience do I really need as a prerequisite?

Although more is better, at a minimum you need to be able to be a Focusing partner, able to direct your own Focusing process and accompany someone else. We have found that people need at least two Levels of Focusing training (or the equivalent) to feel sufficiently relaxed and confident with Focusing so that they can concentrate on the subtleties of the Treasure Maps work.

I'd like to reserve a shared room but I don't know anyone else to bring with me.

Feel free to reserve a shared room even if you are coming by yourself; we’ll be happy to assign you a roommate.

I'm concerned about money…

We want our retreats to be available to people who may have difficulty paying them all at once, so we offer an installment option (minimal processing fees apply). Workshop Fees can be paid in installments to spread them out over a period of 6 consecutive months. Installment details are listed for each workshop and can be selected during your registration process. Please note: Installment options do not include (and are not available for) Room and Board fees and are only available during our early registration period.

Is there a cancellation policy?

Yes. Treasure Maps payments are non-refundable except in the event of unavoidable emergency.

Can I get CEUs for the retreat?

Most retreats meet the qualifications for 35 hours of continuing education credit for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and/or LEPs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. PCE#62524

Eligibility for CE units requires 100% live attendance. If you miss any hours of instruction, you are ineligible for CE units.

There is a $25 administrative fee for CE units. Course completion certificates are awarded at the end of the course upon completion of all requirements and the course evaluation. (If you don’t want CE units but would like a completion certificate, the $25 fee does still apply.)

How does the Treasure Maps retreat compare to the Untangling course?

After 20+ years of teaching our method only in the 6-day retreat form, we wanted to get it out to even more people, so we created the Untangling online seminar. The online seminar with its 10 hours of instruction is much less than we can offer in the 6-day retreat. That’s why we call it “An Introduction to Treasure Maps.” It can get you started but it doesn’t include everything that is possible in the retreat… both in terms of curriculum and also in terms of the power of immersing oneself in the process in a supportive community.

Our recommendation: Take the 6-day retreat if possible. If not, the Untangling course can give you a lot.