The Bridge Retreat unfolds over three phrases. Each of these three phases merge seamlessly together, using a powerful mixture of silence, catharsis, meditation, visualisation, witnessing, ritual, expressive breath and bodywork, movement, dance, touch and the healing power of love.
Donna is one of the Co-founders and facilitators of The Bridge Retreat and has been working with individuals, couples and groups for over twenty-five years. She originally trained as a social worker, specialising in child protection and worked extensively within this and related fields for ten years.
Donna is an experienced group facilitator and trained in Advanced Facilitation. She has designed and delivered numerous accredited courses on a range of subjects and delivered these courses internationally in a wide variety of environments including women’s refuges, schools and prisons.
In 2007 Donna qualified as a Hoffman Teacher with the Hoffman Institute UK and became a Supervising Hoffman Teacher in 2009. She then went on to become their Head of Teaching between 2011–2013.
Donna completed the Imago Relationship Clinical Training Programme in 2009 and also trained with the Centre for Systemic Constellations in 2014 to support her work in appreciating and honouring the ancestral influences and dynamics. Her work is heavily influenced by the teachings of David Richo and Sobonfu Some.
Donna is passionate about the subject of grief and the grieving process which she believes offers the missing link for many in their search for wholeness. This interest stemmed from her own very personal experience of ‘depression’ which she suffered from for many years and now knows to have in fact been unprocessed grief.
On The Bridge, Donna uses a variety of approaches including ancient ritual practices to support people to grieve and move on from their losses. These losses can include bereavements, divorce and separation, loss of innocence, betrayals of trust, identity, empty nest syndrome and lost opportunities.
‘Through allowing and supporting the natural order of the grieving process to flow, people find themselves remembering who they really are and living from this true place. When there is ‘unfinished business’ in our lives, it is very hard to move on and engage with life fully. Grieving allows us to cross the bridge from past hurts and sorrow into a place of lightness and joy.’
– Donna Lancaster
Fréderique is a facilitator of The Bridge Retreat and has over fifteen years experience in the therapeutic world. She graduated from The University of Amsterdam with a Masters in Clinical Psychology.
Fréderique worked at the Priory Hospital in London gaining extensive experience in anxiety and depressive disorders and addictions working both on a 1:1 and group work basis. Frederique has a special interest in the areas of depression, anxiety, addictions and stress prevention.
She has studied many additional therapeutic approaches including positive psychology, CBT, mindfulness and hypnotherapy and combines these to support clients for effective long-term change.
In 2007 Fréderique spent six months in India studying the philosophy of yoga and different meditation techniques. She was inspired by their approaches to healing. Since then she’s been integrating western psychology with Eastern wisdom, with great results in her thriving practice in Amsterdam. During the course of her career, Fréderique has facilitated different retreats and workshops supporting people to find their way back to wholeness.
“I truly believe that life is all about movement. Where there are blockages in life energy, emotions or thought processes, people become very stuck. The key to success is to break through these blockages and recreate flow. It takes courage to let go of the old and a curious mind to embrace the new. My passion is to guide people through this process of self-study, approaching it as a worthwhile adventure of life. Are you ready?!”
– Fréderique Bicker
Find out more about Fréderique
Gabi is one of the Co-founders and facilitators of The Bridge Retreat and looks back at 20 years of work in the field of self-development and healing. She is a ITEC quallified Holistic Therapist with a history of Energy Healing and Aromatherapy. She also studied Transpersonal Psychology with IAPP, Düsseldorf, Germany and holds a qualification as an Advanced Counsellor with IAPP with a strong focus on Jungian Psychology, body based approaches of Wilhelm Reich and Bioenergetics by Alexander Lowen.
During her years of living in Singapore, she was fortunate to study and practise variBuddhisthist approaches and was a student at Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery. From 2000 until 2005 she ran her own coaching practice in Bahrain, her place of residency at the time. During this time Gabi especially enjoyed organising and delivering lectures and hosting workshops on various transpersonal topics, eg. East meets West, understanding our being through ancient Chakra philosophies and western psychology, sacred contracts, archetypes, meditation, vibrational medicine, etc.
Upon her return to Europe in 2006 she trained and worked as a Hoffman teacher in the UK and the Middle East. She was promoted to Supervising Teacher in 2012. Gabi has also received training in the following modalities: Imago Therapy, NVC by Marshal Rosenberg, Trauma Training Peter Levine, NLP and more. Her work has been inspired by the work of Angeles Arrien PhD, cultural anthropologist, Carolyn Myss and David Richo just to name a few.
“In my work, I often wondered why it was so difficult to change and heal in order to find purpose and lasting happiness. Over the years I came to believe that what we most long for is to find and integrate our spiritual identity. It is my interest and passion to give people a broader understanding of the overall human experience and especially our mystical nature so that we can than view life´s struggles as a temporary transformational crisis leading us into authenticity and wholeness. On The Bridge, we enter into this dialogue to allow your spirit to reveal the true story of your life!”
– Gabi Krueger
In order to fully inhabit the present moment, you go back in time to complete unfinished business, such as unresolved family and ancestral wounding, negative school experiences, missed life opportunities and significant losses. You are safely supported to fully grieve, let go and move beyond your negative past.
In this phase you address powerful internal blocks, defence strategies and self-limiting beliefs that prevent you from moving forward. These blocks may be related to your self-worth, relationships, career, money, boundaries or life purpose and you will explore your capacity to give and receive love. You are skillfully guided to become wholly present to your life.
Through fresh-eyes you allow a new way to be present to yourself and your life. With a fully open heart you feel able to access your inner wisdom and trust in Universal support. This phase focuses on integration, gratitude and being in service. You leave unencumbered by the myth of thoughts; embodying a place of trust, truth and love.
Participants are lovingly guided through a beautifully choreographed series of experiences, with the aim of processing deeply-held emotions, in order to remove unconscious blocks that prevent us from living an authentically joyful life. You are asked to leave your mobile phones, computers, and handheld devices with us, and use these six days as a digital detox to assist with your healing work.
Each day begins with a body-based experience using movement and music to support you to drop deeply into your senses. We focus on feeling rather than thinking, experiencing rather than analysing. You will then work in the group to explore and share on subjects including grief, loss, childhood wounding, unmet needs, intimacy and love, spirituality and service.
In the afternoons, you are given time for personal reflection, rest, and enquiry. Silence, meditation, and written work support this process. Late afternoons offer the opportunity to be witnessed in your group which is a key part of the healing process; to be seen, heard, validated, and understood. These sessions then prepare you for the evening rituals which are varied and hold an element of surprise. They can include chanting, fire, movement, and touch. All rituals have a specific purpose to support deep-healing.
Throughout each day you will be supported by the highly-experienced The Bridge facilitators. They will guide you through your own journey, gently nudging and encouraging you to confront and heal the parts of yourself that may have remained unconscious.
This combination of individual, group, and body work alongside profound ancient ritual practices provides you with a safe healing space to go deeper than you imagined possible. You will return to your True Self, your inherent nature, and experience your authentic source of peace, love and freedom.
People who recognise they have unprocessed emotions holding them back in life.
People who have experienced loss of any kind including divorce and separation, bereavements, loss of innocence, betrayals of trust, identity, health, empty nest syndrome and missed opportunities.
Anyone who feels they are not living their life’s true purpose.
Those who feel blocked or hijacked by their life experiences and conditioning.
Those for whom life feels out of balance and yearn for something more.
Those who are ready and willing to work deeply for their own healing.
People who believe there is a bigger picture to life and existence.
People who have already done some therapeutic work and have a sense of a spiritual connection.
People who wish to end the searching and recognise that peace comes from within.
It is possible to share The Bridge experience together with a significant other. Examples of this can be partners, mother and daughter, father and son, friends and siblings. To share such a deeply emotional experience together can be incredibly healing for all types of intimate relationships.
Whether you are experiencing stress, burn out, depression, anxiety, grief, overwork, joylessness, low energy, lack of direction or blocks to your creativity, The Bridge has something to offer you.
These may include:
Identifying and releasing the conscious and unconscious blocks that have prevented you knowing and reaching your full potential in life.
A safe space to grieve and move on from life’s losses as a route to unwrapping your true positive self.
Time for yourself to slow down, rest, reflect and launch the life changes that you desire.
The healing power of community and how to bring this connection into your everyday life.
Understand love in all of its facets; embodying love, living in love and being truly open to giving and receiving love.
Breaking free from the myth of thoughts and explore living from a true and authentic place.
Integration of the ‘wounded’ parts of yourself together with your own wise, intuitive and loving self.
Remembering the bigger picture of existence and recognise the gifts within your life experiences.
Returning to your true self and be able to live authentically, in peace and love.
“The journey towards crossing The Bridge is such a gentle, considered and compassionate one that it almost took me by surprise. Compassion is such a powerful force when it is put to good use and Donna and Gabi make use of this force like no other.”
“The Bridge was a completely new and surprising experience. It was a challenging, revealing, soothing and healing break from normal life. I experienced many emotions and explored countless thoughts, beliefs and feelings. I felt guided, supported, loved and safe throughout. At the end of the week, I felt cleansed from the inside out … The Bridge has given me a wonderful sense of self-acceptance, including acceptance of my issues and ‘broken’ bits, which I find very liberating.”
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