How important is the form you send requiring our personal details?

The 'Personal Details' form is the essential starting point for your retreat. By answering these specifically designed questions you give us a clear picture of the issues you wish to resolve and your goals and objectives. As we do not follow the normal pattern of a 'one size fits all' therapy programme, each retreat is designed to address your individual and unique needs. You need be assured that all details are held securely under the required conditions of our ICO (Information Commissioner's Office) registration [ZA203342]

How do your clients deal with their initial apprehension at the start of the retreat?

It is perfectly natural and understandable that there is some 'fear of the unknown' at the start of a programme which is going to deal with your emotions and personal issues. Our evidence is that clients quickly and easily settle into the way we work and usually report an increased sense of confidence and hope by the end of the first session. Questions can be asked at any time and any concerns are quickly answered in order that clients feel reassured and comfortable.

Who takes the retreats?

At present I do, David Keighley. Other therapists are in training for some programmes. Associate staff contribute to the programme content.

Where do the therapy sessions take place?

At the venue; I come to you.

What is the daily itinerary?

Each programme is unique to the needs of each client or couple. It is not a ‘one size fits all approach’. The programme develops as we work together using appropriate approaches and techniques accordingly. It is not possible to give an hour by hour breakdown because of our approach.

Can you give an idea of the daily content?

Each day there is an intense 1-2-1 session of approx. 2-3 hours. Couples are seen together. Extra sessions are added as required. In addition there are a range of exercises and homework for clients to practice and master. There may be some reading involved. A ‘Therapy Diary’ is kept as part of the process of cognitive change. Time is allowed for the meditative exercises. As this is a retreat away from your normal daily routine time is also allowed for reflection on the issues being resolved, some peace and quiet, some time to explore local places of interest and some ‘together time’ for couples. Our method of intense, cognitive change programmes obviates the need for the usual hour after hour content of most approaches. The content of the 1-2-1 sessions are sufficient to obtain the required results.

How do you offer therapies which do not focus on the past as most clients must have a history of their problem?

Our past childhood conditioning and adult experience do indeed predispose us to perpetuate the damaging vicious circle of suffering. Our programmes show how vicious circles, patterns of behaviour and ingrained habits can not only be broken but replaced with new patterns of thought, behaviour and feelings. This is possible through our approach which includes techniques from the biological, psychological and neurological sciences. Our unique Instant Image Therapy (IIT) programme gives clear directions on moving on from the past, into the present and onto a changed future. It is never too late to become the new you or have a renewed relationship.

What happens if clients arrive anxious, upset, and apprehensive?

Most of our clients arrive in this state. We understand this. The new is always a little unsettling especially if emotions are involved. We find the early stages of the programme reassures and allows clients to relax and take full advantage of the work we are doing together.

Why do some clients say they have changed so dramatically after such a short retreat and after having had past therapy?

Our philosophy is that no one should suffer a day longer than they need, and that people have the ability to recover when they know how. Our therapeutic approach is rapid cognitive change to achieve resolution of the issues. Our results show that we offer a programme that is more effective than other couple counselling or individual approaches. Most of our clients have had previous, unsuccessful attempts at therapy. We see many ‘last resort’ clients and are quite used to this.

Are there any conditions you do not accept for a retreat?

We are unable to offer retreats for clients with an on-going alcohol or recreational drug dependency. These conditions require specialist attention to resolve. They also impact on our techniques for cognitive change. We are also unable to accept couple therapy where there is on-going physical abuse. This also requires specialist attention prior to any of our programmes.

I note you have a Christian theological background. Does there have to be a religious input to the retreats?

No. My own personal faith background can be seen on my website CV. My position is individual to me and is not imposed on any retreat programme unless clients specifically ask for a religious input. I see clients from many faith backgrounds and none.

Do you find husbands, boyfriends and male partners are sceptical and suspicious of couple therapy?

This can indeed be a common initial reaction. Men are usually more sensitive about sharing personal issues. As we operate a ‘no blame – no shame’ therapy policy, based on sound biological / psychological principles, we rarely encounter any resistance to our programmes during the early session. There is no need for them to feel any sense of being blamed for past misdemeanours but rather a sense of taking responsibility for an improved future relationship. Likewise, female clients can be likewise reassured.

What about if there have been affairs in the past?

We are used to facing relationships where there is a massive trust issue over past infidelity, from both sides. We do not find this counterproductive to a future harmonious and trusting relationship. The past is not always a predictor of future behaviour and we show how to overcome fears that things may happen again.

Can you guarantee results?

The programmes we offer and the therapies we use are designed to ensure that the client’s problematic behaviour and thoughts are resolved; that the changes required take place and that the changes are maintained. Our ‘guarantee’ is that if you put our programme into practice, it will work. Our Testimonials speak to past clients responses to their retreat.

Is there any follow up after the retreat to help progress?

Yes. Clients keep in touch and update me as to progress and any pitfalls which I then advise how to overcome. There is also a Maintenance Contract available which provides more structured support for the month following the retreat, if needed.

Can I bring work with me or use my IT equipment for relaxation?

Bringing work is not encouraged as we are here to focus on the issues under resolution. There is little time for additional personal work tasks. The excessive use of IT has been shown to bring it’s own problems to relationships and individuals. Many of our couples are on retreat because of the impact of IT on their relationship. We do not advise using your iPhone, Ipad or computer during your retreat. Some rural venues have poor connections.

What are the differences between hotel, B&B, self-catering and spa venues?

Hotel facilities are those offered by a normal 24hr hotel’s resources. Our B&B venues offer breakfast but no catering facilities; clients travel to local eating places (of which there is a good choice). Self-catering venues allow clients to cook and eat at the venue if they wish as well as eat out. All venues offer inclusive breakfast. All venues are available for clients use 24hrs. Our spa venue, Champneys Forest Mere, offers full 5* spa facilities. All venues are selected for clients comfort, confidentiality and are in rural locations in Hampshire.

What do the venue staff know about your clients?

All our venues staff are experienced in looking after our clients and are discreet and friendly. They have no information about clients except names and home area. They will happily talk or leave you totally alone if you wish. Many clients chat generally to our hosts and we always get good reports about them from clients.

Hosts may be contacted in advance to ask any questions if clients wish to make contact first.

Your confidentiality is protected under our registration with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) Ref: ZA203342 and the Data Protection Act (DPA).

How do we pay for the retreat and accommodation?

During the confirmation of a retreat process the full costs of the retreat are known. A deposit is paid on booking and the balance paid two weeks prior to the retreat start date. Payment is made by going to our MAKE A PAYMENT page in the OUR RETREATS drop-down and entering your card details. You may also pay direct by BACS. Accommodation costs are paid direct to the host venue. Hotel and spa fees are always paid direct to the venue. Our BACS bank details allow for international payments.

Do I need to be mobile?

Ideally, yes. Although you could travel by public transport our venues are in rural locations with limited facilities within walking distance. Most overseas clients hire a car from the airport. Otherwise taxis would be required.

What is your cancellation policy?

Deposits are usually non-refundable as venues and therapist time have to be booked. If there is over a month to the retreat start date we are usually able to fill the retreat and refund all fees paid including deposits, less an administration charge and possibly the venue charge if this can not be filled in time. Less than two weeks notice of a cancellation will incur the loss of venue fees and possibly retreat fee. We are always sympathetic to reasons for cancellations and try to return fees which do not incur a loss. Retreats can be postponed to a later date with no loss of fees if we have sufficient notice.

Can I bring pets or children to a retreat?

Unfortunately we do not accept pets at our retreats as some venues are not suitable and we have found that pet care can interfere with the daily programme. We do not have the facilities for childcare at our retreats.

What sort of analysis do you undertake concerning a clients / couples past history?

Our retreat programmes are renowned for not putting an undue emphasis on past problems. Most couples have had quite enough of being taken back to past, painful experiences in their relationship. This is a common feature of much individual and couple counselling, but it is not ours. Our approach is to look forward. We do explore briefly significant times where emotional reactions and behaviours may have developed, e.g. childhood, schooling, early relationships, but only to help us determine possible causes of current issues and their resolution.

Find out more about David Keighley here


The Therapy Retreats team supporting David includes a university faculty psychologist, a consultant medical advisor, a clinical psychologist and a social worker, as well as a small group supporting the team and concerned with administration, venues and I.T.