EHI Experiential Retreat Training Program

EHI Director of Clinical Training: Troy Piwowarski, PsyD
Co-author of a chapter in Handbook of Humanistic Psychology.

EHI now offers a program for those primarily interested in joining the experiential training that we offer as part of the Foundations Certificate Program.

The skill-development part focuses on learning to: (a) identify meaning-making processes unfolding in the present moment, (b) illuminate these "actual but often unrecognized" processes by cultivating intrapsychic and interpersonal presence, (c) develop a safe and intimate therapeutic relationship, (d) recognize and work with existential life issues which may be present but disguised, and (e) recognize and work with transference and counter transference issues within an existential framework.

Once formally accepted into the program, participants register to attend the two experientials, and may also opt to participate in video or in-person consultations with our faculty. The Experiential Retreat Training Program is an opportunity for EHI to provide our experiential training to students who are not enrolled in a certificate program. Students may always opt into the certificate track if they so desire.

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Program Description

An Existential-Humanistic Training Retreat That Includes Thirty-Three Hours of Experiential Training

  1. Existential-Humanistic Therapy: Experiential Retreat
  2. This mandatory six-day/five-night residential course offers 32.5 hours of skill development training* (with a total of 45 hours of programming) is held in Sonoma May 26, 2020 to May 31, 2020.

    Schneider and Krug's APA textbook, Existential-Humanistic Therapy, will be a core resource. Additional readings of Rollo May, James Bugental and Irvin Yalom will be included.

    For the course description/training schedule with learning objectives please visit the Course Description page.

Program Specifics

As an Experiential Retreat Training Program attendee you will be able to participate in the experiential training module and you may register for the optional video/in-person consult module. When accepted into the Experiential Retreat Training Program you will join a cohort and attend the training in May, 2020. You may also choose to participate in a video or in-person group consultation module which consists of five 2-hour group consults, which will take place after the Experiential where you will consult on applying the training in your real world client work. The video consultations are priced separately so you have the option to take part in the consultations depending on your particular learning needs.

"The retreat is an opportunity to be part of a community where we can think together using the themes of E-H. We can apply theories to cases, watch the work of our mentors and each other. By living together we experience an intimacy that creates an environment that reduces barriers and the ensuing connections foster a greater capacity for learning."
~ Gloria

The Experiential Residential Retreat - The Core of EHI Programs

The 6-day, 5-night experiential residential retreat is the core of EHI's hands-on unique training. It allows licensed professionals and graduate students in psychology or counseling to come together in a safe environment, get to know one another intimately, and experience how E-H therapy is practiced up close and personally.

EHI Faculty, all noted leaders in the field, emphasize the key ingredients of the E-H approach, including empathy, acceptance, and genuineness, to model how trainees can create safe, collaborative and life-changing therapeutic encounters. They demonstrate how the therapeutic relationship, in and of itself is a vehicle for healing and change and how therapeutic "presence" cultivates sensitivity and appropriate responsiveness to clients emotions, relational patterns and inner worlds.These two essential principles: building the therapeutic relationship and working in the "here and now" are the foundational blocks of E-H therapy and EHI training.

The residential involves a combination of relationship-building, learning of theoretical foundations, and first-hand experiences wherein theory comes to life. At times, this may involve faculty members demonstrating their way of working with clients and inviting commentary; at other times, participants work in dyads with each other, and receive direct feedback from a faculty member as they work.

These various ways of experiential learning give participants a deeper, more embodied sense of what E-H therapy has to offer. The experiential training also provides participants a way of personally understanding how work on themselves mirrors their ability to work with clients.

2020 Experiential Dates

  • EHI Experiential Retreat: May 26th, 2020 - May 31st, 2020
  • The residential training starts at 10:00 am on the first day and ends at 1:00pm on the final day. Because of the early start time the morning of May 26th we encourage attendees to arrive in the Bay Area at least 1 day prior to the start of the retreat.

Travel Notes & Suggestions

Getting to Sonoma: When planning travel to Westerbeke Ranch please note that EHI does not provide transportation up to Westerbeke Ranch, though we do encourage carpooling and initiate it with an email to all attendees prior to the retreat.

Planning Your Arrival in the Bay Area: We recommend arriving in the area a day early so you can arrive to the first session at 9:30 am, on the first day. The first day is a full day of sessions (appx 6.5 hrs of class time). Because the curriculum starts in the AM we don't recommend flying in on the same day. The team ask that everyone is on time to prevent an interruption to the training. On the morning of the retreat, if you are driving up from areas south of Sonoma, like the city of San Francisco or the Airport area, you might want to leave by 7:30 AM to negotiate the traffic. Staying North of San Francisco the night before has worked well for attendees.

Program Costs1

  • Experiential Module* Tuition: $2,150.00
  • Optional Group Consult Module: Tuition: $400.00 (includes five, 2-hour video group consultations, meeting once a month). $50.00 consult group discount now available to enrolled program attendees.

  • NEW! Summer Enrollment "Early-Bird" Tuition Discount Available: Save up to $250.00! $200 Early-bird Experiential Training Retreat Discount and an optional $50 Combo Discount - for enrolling in both the combined Experiential Training Module and the Consultation Module.

Separate Additional Experiential Retreat Food and Lodging Costs: Spring 2020 cost is anticipated to be approximately $1085.00 per person.
This is for 6 days food and the 5 nights lodging. Due to contractual obligations many months in advance this fee is both non-refundable and non-transferable. We hold our experientials at a wonderful retreat center, Westerbeke Ranch, in the heart of Sonoma County. The cost includes modern, cabin-style shared lodging, superb family style meals and the use of all the facilities at Westerbeke such as the pool, hot tub and walking trails.

Westerbeke Ranch as a retreat center has historic significance for our community, as it was the meeting place for many of the seminal writers in E-H theory and practice such as Rollo May and James Bugental. Please visit our Travel/Lodging page for a description of this beautiful retreat center.

*Please note: coursework and tuition may be subject to change when necessary. Fees and tuition are non-refundable but can be credited -please email us for details about payment options. Text books, travel costs to Sonoma, retreat food/lodging costs, and any applicable Continuing Education fees are not included in the tuition fee. The program is covered by our Grievance Policy. Please write the Continuing Education program administrator at program[@] for more details.


It is the policy of EHI to make every reasonable effort to provide qualified students with disabilities with the opportunity to take full advantage of its programs.

If you have a disability, please contact us ahead of time so we can work with you to arrange the learning in our program to meet needs. Please contact either our Admin, Michelle at Program[@] or our Clinical Director, Troy, at Info[@] to make arrangements.



How do I apply to the program?

  • 1. Get the Experiential Program Application [WORD]

    Download the Application Here!

  • 2. Fill out the application -select the Program you are applying to. Please do not send scanned images of the filled out application. If unable to fill out in Word please contact our Admin, Michelle and she can arrange another option.
  • 3. Email the completed application as an attachment to our admin, Michelle: program[@]
  • 4. Submit the non-refundable $100.00 application fee.

  • Contact Michelle at Program[@] if you have any questions!

What is the deadline for applying?

The cohort are filled based on student deposits paid. When all 19 spaces at the residential retreat are filled the year will close out and applicants can go on the waitlist for 2021. It is recommended that prospective applicants apply the Fall prior to the next Spring's cohort[Apply Summer/Fall of 2019 for Spring 2020 program start]. Applications will be accepted year-round. Formal acceptance into the program with payment of deposit will hold your space for the cohort. Apply as soon as possible to secure a position in the program and to have the most payment plan options. Please email the admin, Michelle, if you have any questions regarding the application process or the payment options. Email her at

What happens after I apply?

Once received, your application will be reviewed by faculty members and responded to within a 2-week period(maximum). Once accepted a letter of formal acceptance will be sent to you. Then both Roby, the Clinical Training Coordinator and Michelle, the Admin Assistant, will work with you to complete your enrollment!

Registration process:

Once accepted you will be enrolled in the program by completing the payment agreement form outlining the payment schedule and your deposit and/or tuition is submitted. Tuition fees and Lodging costs are invoiced and you can pay these online securely. Michelle, the Admin Assistant, will assist in enrollment and can answer enrollment questions, at Program[@]

Contact Us with your Questions!

If you have any questions or need further assistance, please feel free to contact us. We look forward to talking with you more about the program!

Troy Piwowarski, PsyD
EHI Director of Clinical Training

Roby Shamas, LMFT
EHI Clinical Training Coordinator