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Heart Lessons of the Journey is a Unique Workshop for Therapists

Throughout the retreat you will explore questions like:

  • How did you become a psychotherapist?

  • How can new awareness of your story deepen your work?

  • Who is listening to your story?

  • How did early family life impact your choice to be here?

  • How might your personal struggles impact your professional journey?

  • As expert listeners, have you spent enough time hearing your own voice, tending to your own heart lessons?

Life as a therapist is interesting and very rewarding. We become specialists in providing emotional support, devoting thousands of hours to this role.  Our own deepest feelings and personal storyline remain firmly in the background. Yet our life is evolving, too…

During this retreat, you will have the opportunity to join other therapists and counsellors to explore these important questions. Enjoy time for sharing, reflection, journaling, visualization exercises and laughter. We’ve found that rediscovering our story often reveals hidden strengths; sharing our sorrows and triumphs can become a roadmap to unexpected healing.

You will feel restored, with a deeper appreciation of your journey and a closer connection to the real sources of your unique wisdom.


This retreat is open to licensed therapists and/or counsellors only who are also Level 1 IFS trained. This retreat is limited to a maximum of 24 participants.


There will be 25 IFS CE credits available for IFS Certification or Recertification for all attendees of this retreat.

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A little about Cece ….

Cece Sykes, LCSW, is a consultant and senior trainer with the Internal Family Systems Institute, where she specializes in trauma and addiction and educates therapists around the world on how to apply the IFS therapy model to addictive processes.


Additionally, Cece developed the Heart Lessons of the Journey retreat for an on-going international study of the personal narratives of therapists and impact on psychotherapy practice.

She lectures, consults, and leads workshops and retreats on these and related topics, and maintains a private practice in Chicago.


She has co-authored a number of articles on treating the impact of sexual trauma in families,  authored the chapter “An IFS Lens on Addiction”  in  Innovations and Elaborations in Internal Family Systems Therapy (2017)) and co-authored Internal Family Systems Therapy for Addiction (2023).  


For more information about Cece, you can visit her website: and to buy a copy of her newly released book on addictions, please click on this link:

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Applications are currently open for this retreat in Ireland from September 30th – October 4th, 2024

Please be advised that this is not a formal training and is not intended as a formal training on how to guide this work for other people. This is strictly a retreat for your personal growth and well-being.


The retreat will take place over 5 days starting on Monday, September 30th, 2024 and concluding on Friday, October 4th, 2024

Retreat Tuition cost plus an application form will be available to you once you register your interest.

The retreat cost includes tuition, accommodation and 3 delicious meals a day to include a full breakfast, a light lunch and a delicious evening meal.

There is an afternoon off on Wednesday to allow participants to process, rest and relax with spa treatments or for those who seek a little bit of adventure, touring the most popular sightseeing venues the area has to offer. Spa treatments and sightseeing tours are optional extras.

This retreat is limited to a maximum of 24 participants and ALL participants need to have completed Level 1 IFS Training and be a licensed Therapist/Counsellor.


If you are interested in participating in this retreat, please register your interest. You will then be directed automatically to a registration form for completion. Only applicants who complete a full registration form will be considered for this retreat. Once your registration is approved we will advise you formally and it is only at this point that we will request a €500 non-refundable deposit to reserve your place on this retreat. Please do not make travel arrangements until your registration has been formally accepted.​ 

Any travel costs to the retreat location in Ireland is the sole responsibility of the participant.

IMPORTANT: Please read our FAQS page on this website for further guidelines and information on Covid, the arrangements we have in place in the unlikely event the retreat is cancelled due to Covid or in the unlikely event the retreat leader is not in a position to attend. The FAQS page also provides further general information which you may find useful when planning your trip. If after reading the FAQS page you have any further information, please feel free to email us at

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