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Press Coverage

Read some of the latest features about The bridge Retreat. From broadsheets to bloggers…

  • The grief counselling retreat that finally helped me mourn for my mum

    Everyone grieves a loved one’s death differently. Emma Whitehair shares her journey to a grief counselling retreat that helped her overcome the death of her alcoholic mother 20 years ago

    My mother died more than 20 years ago. Cause of death: alcoholic cirrhosis. I had lost her way before this though. In fact, when I heard she had died, I felt relief. She had been a chronic alcoholic for as long as I can remember. All those years of blocking her out of my heart were finally over. So I stood stony faced at her funeral. Numb.

    For the next decade (my 20s) I continued to numb out with the help of, ironically, alcohol. Luckily, unlike my mother, I got sober 11 years ago this month, while still in my early 30s. However, I still continued numbing out in other ways. And, although my compulsions were indicating I still had an insatiable hunger for comfort, I wasn’t actively looking for healing when synchronicity led me to Donna Lancaster, who booked me onto her next Bridge retreat.

    Read the full article over on Healthista.

  • The New Year fireside ritual that’s more effective than resolutions

    The secret is in deciding what you want to take into 2018 and burning the things you want to see the back of. Brigid Moss tries it out.

    We have each written the things we want to leave behind in 2017 on scraps of paper. Two of the adults want to stop shouting, one “unnecessary shouting” and one “shouting at the dog”. Another is getting rid of “enjoying moaning”. I write down that I’m leaving behind “feeling not enough”. The teenager won’t tell hers. “It’s things I’m not proud of,” she says. Fair enough.

    We throw our pieces of paper on to the burning logs in the fireplace, to symbolically say goodbye to those things forever.

    This year, I’m welcoming in 2018 with an anti-resolution, aka a ritual. It’s been created by Donna Lancaster, a relationship and life coach who uses ritual as part of her emotional-detox residential retreat, The Bridge. She believes resolutions, at root, often come from a negative or harsh view of ourselves. “They’re usually set up in the way that, somehow, we are not enough,” she says, ie they’re based on the fact we need to look different or be better in some way.

    Read the full article over on The Pool.

  • On a powerful emotional detox with The Bridge therapy retreat in the UK

    Sharon Walker reviews therapy retreat The Bridge and finds that, in the terms of therapy or healing work, it was the single most effective thing she’s ever done

    I went to The Bridge hoping to heal the sadness I was feeling after my divorce, but it was only when I got there that I started to understand how emotional my life was still hanging under the big cloud of my mum’s death when I was a child, age 9.

    Donna’s attitude is that, if you don’t let go of losses, they won’t let go of you and, in her experience, unexpressed grief is often mistaken for depression, with a knock-on effect that makes any future loss much harder to bear. This certainly rang true for me and I spent much of the week immersed in feelings stemming from my mother’s death. It was tough, but also a huge relief, as a weight lifted.

    Read the full article on Queen of Retreats.


  • The Getaway That Changed My Life

    How five days on a French retreat taught us to let go and live fully

    Can spending a week with strangers in the French countryside heal your past, future-proof your relationships and and rebuild your self-esteem? We sent mother of three Kelly Cowin to find out

     “As a mother to three young boys, juggling marital, parental and domestic responsibilities with part-time work and a full social life, I was feeling trapped and overwhelmed. Self-development books, podcasts and counselling had helped me to understand my self-limiting behaviours on an intellectual level – in particular, the work of Brené Brown had helped me identify that I was a perfectionist, and that setting the bar high for myself and those around me had resulted in waves of self-pity and resentment. In my eyes, I wasn’t a good enough Mum (especially to my ‘spirited’ first born) and no matter how many parenting books and blog posts I read (and I read A LOT) I would often resort to shouting – and feel hugely guilty afterwards. Work was just as bad. Hours spent obsessively researching my industry peers had done little for my self-esteem, and both my anxiety levels and my need to control everything around me were sky high – something my counsellor linked back to my Dad’s sudden death 13 years ago. But although I knew what I had to address (or so I thought) I didn’t know how to go about making any actual changes.

    Read the full article on Red Online.


  • Good Grief

    Nirpal Dhaliwal is the product of an embittered arranged marriage and a traumatic childhood. Could a therapeutic retreat help him process his emotions?

    I thought I had depression for 20 years,” said Donna Lancaster, accepting me onto the Bridge, a week-long grief retreat she runs, “but then I realised it was unprocessed emotion. Grief, in particular. I haven’t had depression since.”

    Since Christmas 2011, I’ve had depression. It destroyed my relationship with the woman I’ve loved most and left me unable to work. Two years ago, aged 39, I boomeranged back to my parents’ home, where I still am. For a year, I’ve had weekly therapy with an amazing counsellor who has helped untangle my emotions enough that I don’t Google suicide methods anymore.

    Read the full article over on The Times.


  • Jordan Stephens From Rizzle Kicks On The Benefits Of Attending A Retreat

    Stephens spent six days at The Bridge Retreat, which he calls a life-changing experience

    Even if you’re aware of the importance of discussing your emotions and mental health, it is still a big step to actually open up and start talking. Attending a retreat dedicated to help you connect with your underlying emotions, then, is likely to feel like a huge step, but it’s a commitment to improving your mental health that can be life-changing.

    Jordan Stephens of hip-hop duo Rizzle Kicks accepted a complimentary place at The Bridge Retreat to help him open up about his emotions and past trauma, something he thinks can be tough for men because of the pressure society places upon them.

    Read the full article on COACH.

  • ‘I was suffering for 20 YEARS’: How an intensive emotional detox retreat forced a woman to finally face her harrowing family secret

    Jane Alexander uncovers her depression as unprocessed grief

    She opens up to those who’ve hurt her in the past for an emotional detox

    She speaks to her abusive grandfather, her parents and ex-husband

    The moment I walk into the mellow Somerset farmhouse, it’s clear this is no ordinary retreat. A morning run is out of bounds. Yoga and meditation are forbidden. And there’s homemade cake and chocolate on offer.

    I am asked to surrender my phone and laptop. For five days, I will be completely unplugged. There must be no distractions. I won’t even have a book to read.

    We’ve all heard of physical detoxing; we’ve swigged back the kale juice and wallowed in Epsom salt baths. But what about emotional detoxing?

    I am at The Bridge, an intensive retreat that aims to clear the backlog of unprocessed emotions from our systems.

    One of its biggest fans is actress Thandie Newton: ‘It might just be the best time, effort and money you will ever spend,’ she gushes in its promotional blurb.

    But is emotional detoxing necessary? Apparently so. While scientists readily pour scorn on physical detoxing (our bodies can handle most toxins perfectly well by themselves), a broad range of research indicates we’re not so adept at coping with our emotional debris.


    Read the full article on the Mail Online.
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