AN UNTANGLING™ RETREAT
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…
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
If you long for your own fuller life but your energy is bound up in fear, shame, confusion, self-criticism.
Barbara McGavin and Ann Weiser Cornell, the creators of Treasure Maps, teach and guide their transformational method in a life-changing 6-day retreat.
Each Treasure Maps retreat is held at a retreat center a beautiful place in the world. See specific retreats for details below.
You would love to live your bigger, freer, untangled life… finally!
We Know, We’ve Been There…
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 IS a Tangle, Anyway?
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
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
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.
Did you know that we also offer Advanced Treasure Maps retreats?
We offer retreats a couple times a year that start where our “regular” Treasure Maps retreats leave off.
- November 16-20 in Hong Kong, Regular retreat. Registration information is available here (PDF).
In 2021 (registration information coming soon):
- May 23-28 in Plön, Germany: Regular Retreat
- June 20-26 in Vitznau, Switzerland: Advanced Retreat
- August 12-18 (Regular) and August 20-26 (Advanced) at Sunrise Ranch in Loveland, CO
- 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."
- F.C.S."What's different about Focusing? I found, and still find, something new and curious every time I venture into the Focusing space. That surprises me and I love it. After Treasure Maps, I know there's something undeniably important about Focusing that I must and deeply want to pursue. I now have a connection to the wider community of Focusers, including some I hope I can continue the journey with."
- Terri Thayer Micene"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."
- C.W."Before Treasure Maps, my biggest challenge was being anxious and panicked around other people. During the retreat, I realized it's not about other people. It's about turning toward the conflict in myself that I've chose to ignore, suppress or run away from - out of fear or pain. The retreat was invaluable. Watching Ann and Barbara Focus twice a day was extremely useful. After the retreat and all that I learned, I feel more grounded and hopeful about my future."
- 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."
- K.B."For a long time, I knew my fitness was declining. Returning home from Treasure Maps, I was able to take the next step. I found a personal trainer and started working out. I've noticed the benefits to my health and stamina. Now, I get off the bus a couple of stops earlier and walk farther to get to my office. I'm not dragging my heels around working out with my trainer or working out at home between appointments. There's just this natural 'doingness' about this seemingly small action. Focusing every day at the retreat helped me bring it more into everyday life and start a regular practice."
- 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."
- Vicki Thomas"Before Treasure Maps I was dealing with some very painful tangled stuff that left me feeling a lot of despair and hopelessness. Treasure Maps gave me a lot more understanding. I feel more patience and empathy for myself and this Tangle inside. And I learned so many great tools to help me with my process. I can now start anywhere in my Tangle and it leads me where I need to go. I found Treasure Maps to be one of the richest, deepest retreats I've ever done. "
- Heather Rogers"I gained a profound sense of transformation and healing from my childhood. There were things there, in the past, that felt like a dark shadow with deep longings. They needed compassionate, nurturing attention and they found it in Treasure Maps. I now know how to be aware of and present with two conflicting aspects of myself without taking sides. I have tools to work with states of depression, shame and despair, procrastination, addictive behaviors, and obsession in my work with others. This workshop - the immediacy, depth of respect for one another, and profound wisdom of the body - is an experience I will always treasure."
- Lynette T."Treasure Maps offers a comprehensive process that enables one to really do deeper work in a continuous way so you don't lose the thread of the issues you're working through. You really have the space to get to the heart of all that's needed to make lasting change. After the retreat, I feel freer to just be me and go with my own flow. I don't feel the same pressure to be something I'm not or to perform to the standards of others. What really matters now is that I feel satisfied and fulfilled by my actions. I keep learning and growing, experiencing life in whatever way feels right for me at the time."
- Sandy Prashama"I came into this course desperate for help to be able to move forward. I was physically getting sicker and sicker, had left my job, and could barely function. I ended up in bed sleeping or playing games into the wee hours trying to cope. Parts of me had totally taken over, a battle was raging inside that left me non-functional except basics. The worse it got, the worse I felt. At the Treasure Maps retreat, I got support being Self-in-Presence (a kind of gentle self-accepting state) and I noticed that I'd become deeply identified with some of my parts. Ann and Barbara gave me amazingly clear and 'count-on-able' tools that helped me have many deeply healing and often spiritual experiences. Now, I'm much more functional. When parts come up (which they have), I recognize them and use the skills I learned so I can be with them. I recommend this course to anyone dealing with something inside that feels confusing and beyond reach or if they're in a situation that makes it feel hard to move forward. It really works. The tools are simple, yet powerful. And they're easy to use on your own so you can keep experiencing changes after the course too."
- Paul Fitzgerald, DMin"I'd done a great deal of work before taking Treasure Maps. I knew how my tangle limited me...cutting me off from deep feelings, needing to be so overly-responsible and taking everything so seriously. Knowing and analyzing these details was informative, but not transformative. The Treasure Maps experience was like a dissolving of an old way of seeing life and having new eyes to engage life with more freedom. I'd highly encourage anyone interested in deepening their Focusing to take this course. The information offered by Ann and Barbara, their real-live and vulnerable demonstrations, their very perceptive and empathic support of participants created a rich learning environment. The structure of the Focusing/Companioning sessions was invaluable as well as the connections to continue Focusing with participants after the class ended."
- Jennifer Edwards"Treasure Maps was absolutely amazing in content, the way it was organized, the experiential work we did. Even down to the way the course was delivered. It's clear that Ann and Barbara have developed this work over many years and are teaching from their personal experience. Halfway through the retreat, I was confident that whatever happens in my life from now on, I have a way of being with that in a compassionate, nonjudgmental way. My inner world feels more friendly now. I have more "space" inside - more peace. I discovered I really can be the environment for change. It's like being given a priceless gift. I am so grateful to Ann and Barbara for their work."
- Mariko M."Before discovering Focusing, my biggest challenge was that I always seemed to need to do something to justify who I was. I was the biggest judge and critic of myself and it made me feel like I had to justify my existence by always being and doing good. Through Focusing and the Treasure Maps work, I discovered there are different parts of me that have developed different perspectives. I've found it's important to listen to those different experiences because they represent and make up the whole me."
- 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."
- D.B."Before Treasure Maps, I couldn't shake the feeling of being 'lost.' I'd write things out so I'd do them, but it was hard work getting through my list. I was tired and nothing helped (at least not for long). Now, I've dropped some of the heavy weight dragging me down and I've even found a more playful energy to move with as I go about my day. There's nothing like a room full of people who can hold a space of openness and non-judgment to help me become a more complete version of myself."
- S.S."I came to Treasure Maps with an intention to find a method to help me be with difficult feelings in intimate relationships, and as a tool to facilitate deeper connections for my patients. Other methods I'd tried before left me feeling like I needed to be fixed or changed, but Focusing wasn't like that. Instead of "managing" myself, I developed an appreciation of my experiences that allowed acceptance and compassion. As a result, my relationships (with myself and others) feel more connected, loving and warm. I knew this course was making a difference when I noticed that I felt more settled when difficult feelings came. I began to "be with" them and give them space instead of resisting the experiences that activated them. It made all the difference. Now, I have a more solid sense of trust in myself (and others). I know I will move forward, confident that I can and will take good care of myself (and others) as a result."
- Sylvie M."Before Treasure Maps, I was often merged with parts of me and there was a feeling of being blocked...always at the same place. During the workshop, I started to notice a lot of what I was experiencing in my body and was shown a bigger picture of the situation. I found I could understand more deeply, without judging. I learned a lot about my issues. I'm now more able to welcome my inner critics. And sometimes it's like there's silence inside. I feel like I'm better able to show up to the process of Focusing, especially as a companion."
- Gaye B."Treasure Maps gave me the tools to bring about transformative, sustainable change. When I returned home and found I wasn't irritable (like I used to be) and didn't even have to try to be open and loving, I felt free. It's been a dynamic and effective transformation."
- 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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
Feel free to reserve a shared room even if you are coming by yourself; we’ll be happy to assign you a roommate.
Yes. Treasure Maps payments are non-refundable except in the event of unavoidable emergency.
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.)
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.