New Testimonial for Breakthrough Retreats

“Looking for a port in a storm of anxiety, depression… I found Maureen Courtney’s Breakthrough Retreats at The Briers in County Down just outside Newcastle.
Enveloped in this caring place under the guidance of Maureen and her team of therapists I knew I had found the right place to heal my troubled spirit.
Maureen, who has worked with people with every kind of mental health difficulty you can imagine, creates a bespoke agenda to address your needs. With her qualifications and experience, you feel safe and at ease.
Following an operation for a physical health problem you might go to a nursing home to help your recovery. When it comes to getting over a mental health problem where do you go?
Thank you Maureen.”

Mary, May 2017

Wow, we can’t thank Jenny enough for this Testimonial…

Hi Maureen,

I just want to say the biggest and most heartfelt thank you for my literally life-changing four days at Breakthrough Retreats!

Finding the website, funds, and courage to fly over alone to get well and strong was the best thing I’ve ever done.

The combination of one-to-one therapy with Maureen, the daily walks / hikes with Fiona, the relaxing ‘me time’ of massage and reflexology, the sessions of BodyTalk with Finola and hypnotherapy with Jacqui, all made for a truly unique and incredible few days.

It’s so difficult pinpointing a favourite activity or experience, but I have to say the Bodytalk and hypnotherapy sessions I had have completely changed my outlook in the most amazing way. It wasn’t just the actual therapies, but more so the people I trusted with me, and the relationships built in such a short space of time.

Even without the various therapies, this sort of retreat would do anyone good just for the feeling of self-development, discovery, and being totally spoilt by Maureen’s wonderful company the entire trip! I couldn’t have been made to feel more looked after or special.

I felt completely at home at the Retreat Centre within my first few hours of arriving!

I tried not to have too many expectations before I arrived, and was very open to any treatments and experiences that would help me. All I had was excitement and anticipation! I’m so glad I did, because I was overwhelmed by the whole experience, and can say that a month after returning home to ‘normality’, I’m even stronger and my well being is still on the improve and flourishing.

There are no words big enough to thank all you ladies, especially Maureen, for helping me change my life. As cheesy as that sounds, the whole experience is completely priceless, I owe you all so much, and will always treasure every moment I spent at Breakthrough Retreats.

Can’t wait to see you all again very soon!

Jenny x

The UK must invest in mental health help

With the publication of the spending review on Wednesday (Report, 24 November), it’s imperative the government invests in psychological therapies. Failure to address mental health issues, including anxiety and depression, devastates lives, puts a huge strain on the government budget and undermines economic productivity. Psychological health problems have a worse impact on people’s happiness and life satisfaction than physical health problems. In financial terms, the cost of mental ill health in England has been estimated to be £105bn per year.

Fortunately, a number of evidence-based psychological therapies exist and are effective. Investment in psychological therapies to date has been a success, but it is a success that could be multiplied. The improving access to psychological therapies programme is only funded to reach “at least 15%” of the people who need it, and retention and recovery rates could be improved. Everyone with a need for psychological therapy should be able to access it within 28 days. We urge more research funding to show which therapies work best for which people. And we advocate training to ensure the NHS workforce can deliver in practice the full range of evidence-based therapies that it offers in theory. We believe this would go a long way towards improving the wellbeing of the nation and the state of the public finances.

Original article here.

Welcome to Breakthrough Retreats at The Briers

Build your confidence and move forward in your life with our personal development and self help retreats

Breakthrough Retreats specialises in 5 and 7 day Personal Development Retreats in a secluded countryside location. We will help you examine your life in detail by working individually and in a group, using techniques such as visualisations, bodywork, NLP, hypnosis, family taboo and anger release work.

We also offer shorter retreats to suit most budgets, including a one day “Intro-Retreat” or a 2-day weekend Retreat. Our clients include individuals, groups and corporate.

With our help, you can trace the origins and consequences of your behaviour patterns and take these learnings forward into your life now. This is a unique, life-changing opportunity to expand your life and let go of damaging past experiences that stop you being the person you want to be.

Make the best of your retreat. Choose a Professional Psychotherapist

Our retreats are led by Maureen Courtney, a professional Psychotherapist who is registered with UKCP (UK Council For Psychotherapy). As well as holding Diplomas in Counselling and Psychotherapy, Maureen is also a Master Practitioner of NeuroLinguistic Programming, Master in Ericksonian Hypnosis, Master Results Coach, Performance Consultant, Advanced Neurological Repatterning, and holds a Level 3 Award in Workplace Coaching for Team Leaders and First Line Managers, under the “Institute of Leadership & Management” (ILM).

2014 in Review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,800 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 30 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

The Importance of making a Will

balance loveFrom October 2014 the estates of people who die intestate, or without a will, are to be divided differently.

Rules of Intestacy; determine what happens to a person’s estate if they die without a will.

The major change is if a person who is married or in a civil partnership dies intestate (without a will), their entire estate will now automatically pass to their direct family.

However, couples who aren’t married or in a civil partnership and who don’t have a will still don’t automatically receive anything from their partner or spouse’s estate.

There are several key changes to the rules.

Couples with no children

Previously, in the case of couples with no children, the spouse or partner would inherit the first £450,000 of the estate plus interest, half of any remaining value and the deceased person’s personal property, known as chattels. The remainder would then go to any surviving blood relatives such as parents or siblings. Now the entire estate passes to the surviving spouse or civil partner.

Couples with children

In the case of couples with children, previously the spouse or civil partner would take the first £250,000 of the estate and all the deceased’s chattels. They would also have what’s known as a ‘life interest’ in half of any remaining balance, where they are entitled to use a property or use an income for their rest of their life. The children would take the other half. Now, the spouse or civil partner receives the half of any remaining amount as a cash sum upfront, with the rest still going to the children.

Personal property or chattels

As these laws haven’t been revised since 1925, there are plenty of archaic descriptions of what chattels might be included, such as carriages and scientific instruments.

The new laws now define chattels as “anything that is not monetary, business assets or held as an investment”. Experts say the latter definition is too ambiguous and could lead to arguments among families as to what is an investment.

Adopted children

A child can still inherit part of an estate via intestacy, even if he/she is then adopted. And a person who is “treated as a child of the family” is also able to make a claim.

The amount that can be inherited by the spouse or partner

Previously, the amount the surviving spouse or partner received when someone died intestate was fixed at either £450,000 or £250,000 depending on whether or not they had children. This is known as the statutory legacy. Now this amount will be reviewed every five years in line with the Consumer Prices Index measure of inflation and rounded up to the nearest £1,000.

The importance of making a will

While these changes are an improvement, they still don’t eliminate the need to make a will if you want to ensure your estate goes to certain people. This is obviously especially true if you’re not married or in a civil partnership or if you have partners or children from other relationships.

Making a will also means your family isn’t left dealing with paperwork of intestacy after your death, trying to second-guess your wishes. In addition there’s the prospect of your loved ones paying inheritance tax on your estate if you haven’t planned properly.

Nearly two-thirds of people do not have a will, according to new research by the Co-operative Legal Services.

Original article information here.

World Mental Health Day 2014

wmhd-2014Schizophrenia affects around 26 million people across the world and is the focus of World Mental Health Day this year.

Despite being a treatable disorder, more than 50% of people with schizophrenia cannot access adequate treatment, and 90% of people with untreated schizophrenia live in the developing world.
On 10 October we celebrate the most important day in the mental health calendar and shine the spotlight on “living” with schizophrenia. From those who face every day of their lives with it, to their families, friends, doctors and even society as a whole, we all have a part to play in raising awareness of schizophrenic illness.
We want to ensure that people with schizophrenia get the best possible care and support to manage their illness and to help them recover.
What is schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia affects how a person thinks, feels, and acts but it’s actually a word that describes a number of symptoms that psychiatry has labelled a disorder. Not everyone with schizophrenia has the same symptoms and the definition of the disorder is wide, including a number of combinations of different things.
Schizophrenia may make it hard for people to judge reality and key features of early psychosis include:

  • Sleep disturbance
  • Appetite disturbance
  • Marked unusual behaviour
  • Feelings that are flat or seem inconsistent to others
  • Speech that is difficult to follow
  • Marked preoccupation with unusual ideas
  • Ideas of reference – thinking unrelated things have a special meaning, ie people on television talking to you
  • Persistent feelings of unreality
  • Changes in the way things appear, sound or smell

Schizophrenia can occur in anyone but it’s a treatable disorder. Long term medication may be necessary for some people but talking therapies and self-help groups can also be effective.

If you’re dealing with Schizophrenia, depression, seeking treatment for abuse or having problems conquering other personal issues and would like to learn more about how hypnotherapy and other similar treatments available at our bespoke health retreats could benefit you, visit www.breakthrough-retreats.co.uk. There you’ll be able to claim your free copy of my new guide, “Unlocking your full potential: An introduction to the incredible impact of personal development retreats”, packed with information on everything from what a spiritual retreat looks like to the benefits of getting away from it all.

I’ve tried other types of therapy healing that weren’t enormously effective – can hypnotherapy help me?

Although hypnotherapy can help to resolve any number of different issues, it is particularly effective for clients dealing with depression, weight issues, addictions, stress, panic attacks and anxiety.

Like transpersonal psychotherapy (which you will also enjoy the benefits of on your health retreat), a large part of hypnotherapy involves tracing your current behaviours and attitudes back to their root. Generally this will go right back to childhood. Once you are there, your hypnotherapist will then help you to release whatever memories or associations are holding you back in order to enable you to move on with your life.

When it comes to addictions, the impressionable state a client enters during a hypnotherapy session will allow the hypnotherapist to input ideas in order to ensure the client begins to view their addiction in a negative light. For example, if the client was a smoker, it might be worthwhile to connect the feel of a cigarette to previously held fears or simply help them to associate the taste with the many health risks associated with smoking.

Despite what some people might think, therapy healing such as this is extremely effective, and is increasingly gaining recognition within the medical community.

If you’re dealing with depression, seeking treatment for abuse or having problems conquering other personal issues and would like to learn more about how hypnotherapy and other similar treatments available at our bespoke health retreats could benefit you, visit www.breakthrough-retreats.co.uk. There you’ll be able to claim your free copy of my new guide, “Unlocking your full potential: An introduction to the incredible impact of personal development retreats”, packed with information on everything from what a spiritual retreat looks like to the benefits of getting away from it all.

Discovering Reiki: an underappreciated form of therapy healing

Reiki (meaning ‘wheel’ in Japanese) involves looking at the 7 energy centres, or ‘chakras’, in your body.

If you’ve suffered a trauma or accident – this can be anything from a miscarriage to a shunt in your car – your chakras may well have become misaligned. Once they are out of sync, this can have a distinctly negative impact on the way you feel.

During a Reiki session (which will usually last about an hour), your practitioner will place their hands over your body whilst channelling energy through a higher source in order to realign your chakras so they can work in harmony once more. Don’t worry – you will remain fully clothed throughout!

Often clients will require more healing in one part of their body than in another. For example, if you have particularly low self esteem and self confidence, meaning that you find it difficult to cope with conference calls and speeches, your treatment might focus largely on the throat and neck.

What you experience will be unique to you and may vary from session to session. Some people experience heat coming from my hands, others may experience a tingling sensation, and some nothing more than a deep sense of absolute calm and relaxation. Despite the physical nature of this treatment it is very much a mental therapy too, and can be remarkably effective.

Although this type of treatment can often meet with a certain amount of cynicism from some clients, it can be incredibly effective, especially for those struggling with self esteem and self confidence. For example, I was recently working with a woman who had been diagnosed with a severe blood condition and after only four sessions she returned for a check-up to find that her blood was completely clear!

Suffice to say, the healing power of the mind should never be underestimated.

If you’re dealing with depression, seeking treatment for abuse or having problems conquering other personal issues and would like to learn more about other treatments available on our spiritual retreats, visit www.breakthrough-retreats.co.uk. There you’ll be able to claim your free copy of my new guide, “Unlocking your full potential: An introduction to the incredible impact of personal development retreats”, packed with information on everything from what a spiritual retreat looks like to the benefits of getting away from it all.