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Cultivating the Joy of Sexuality & Intimacy: a Ketamine Assisted Retreat for Couples

October 19 - October 22, 2023

Jayne Gumpel, LCSW

David Gumpel M.A

Sylvia Rosenfeld LCSW

Tammy Nelson, Ph.D.

Matthias von Reusner, MD

Irina Linetskaya, MD

Welcome to Cultivating Joy
This is a safe, structured retreat led by a staff of licensed and highly experienced therapists and physicians in the beautiful Catskill Mountains at MENLA Retreat and Spa.
~Meet at the intersection of science and spirituality~This couples retreat is rooted in fostering effective communication . This immersive experience empowers couples to explore the nuances of their relationship, understand each other's needs, and navigate challenges together. It's about cultivating an intimate bond through shared understanding and open dialogue, that we call noble comunication. We believe that clear and compassionate communication forms the foundation of healthy relationships. By honing these skills, couples can enhance their partnership, leading to increased pleasure, shared joy, and a profound sense of connection.This retreat utilizes ketamine as a conduit to delve into the depths of our existence, facilitating a safe and loving communication of the sexual and intimate needs and experiences in your relationship with your partner. Sexual energy is the fundamental energy of our being; when it's impeded, we are unable to attain our full potential. As sexual energy flows, life follows suit, influencing not only our sexuality, but also our health and happiness.We invite you to break old patterns and habits by discovering your own impediments to joy and well being in spite of ongoing stresses and distractions of everyday life, and by the accumulated weight of trauma, alienation and cultural forces which can impede our access to joy, pleasure, presence and connection. Ketamine assisted sessions may help you open the doors of the mind, heart and body to what lies within, however lost or disengaged you may feel from these parts of yourself. Ketamine is an effective and safe medicine that can assist you to become aware in a new, clearer way, often with reduced defensiveness and increased insight and self acceptance. Mindfulness and meditation practices are taught and practiced throughout this retreat; these are skills we need for improved self regulation of emotions and thoughts, and can support the ability to meet each moment with equanimity and grace.The retreat is structured to help individuals to step into realms of deep personal and interpersonal connection in a group setting with like-minded others. Participants who have, or wish to develop skillful means to navigate non-ordinary states of consciousness and a commitment to depth psychological/embodied work in a group setting are invited to apply for this retreat. No experience with psychedelic medicines or Ketamine is necessary for admission. All applications begin with a screening call to determine if this retreat is a good fit for you.Combining Ketamine with mindfulness and meditative practices offers a deep dive into a more conscious and purposeful life. These guided practices are designed to bring you home to yourself and to bring safety, resilience and aliveness into your life experience. Regardless of what is unfolding moment to moment, we each have an innate capacity and inner wisdom to choose to be present, to practice compassion and kindness with ourselves and recognize the healing power of pleasure and joy in our lives.As noted, participation in this retreat begins with an initial screening interview (conducted by Jayne Gumpel), followed by a more extensive conversation and application process.Safety is a core priority, including the exploration of what safety means for each individual. We strive to be certain that every individual attending has the readiness to be in a group setting and to experience Ketamine in a safe and constructive manner. Please note: this retreat is not a brief residential treatment. It is not meant for anyone suffering from an acute mental health crisis, nor is it for those with severe and persistent psychiatric conditions.‍Steps to join:Step 1. Fill out the initial registration form and we will contact you for the phone or Zoom screening call. This 15 minute screening call is designed to determine if this retreat is a good fit for you, to answer questions you might have, and so forth.Step 2. If the phone or Zoom screening results in a sense that there is a good fit (mutually decided, of course) you will be asked to make a deposit of 50% of the retreat fee (not room and board).Step 3. After a successful screening you will be assigned to one of the physicians attending the retreat for a medical interview. This interview is 60 minutes. There is a $500 fee for this couples medical interview paid directly to the medical provider. This fee includes the cost of prescribing the ketamine to you, which is done on an individual basis. This medical assessment is essential and may include our speaking with your psychotherapist or prescribing psychopharmacologist.Step 4. After your deposit is received, a zoom preparation session will follow, with one of the group facilitators. The purpose of the preparation session is for us to get to know you better and provide education to you regarding the retreat. We will assign the session after receiving your deposit.Step 5. When the steps above are completed, you will need to reserve your room accommodations (private or semi-private room) and board (delicious vegetarian and vegan meals) at Frontdesk@MENLA.org. You will be provided a code to register.Step 6. You will be asked to sign a confidentiality agreement that delineates our request that you hold the names/identities of other participants as confidential. There will also be an Informed Consent document which we ask you to read carefully and sign. This process (Informed Consent) describes risks inherent in participation in retreats such as this one. Additionally we will be requiring you to sign a standard indemnity release form, which is required by the Menla Retreat guidelines.

ScheduleThursday, October 19
  • 3 - 6 pm Arrival & Check-in
  • 6 - 7 pm Dinner
  • 7 pm Formal Program Begins
Friday, October 20
  • 7:15 am Meditation NO BREAKFAST
  • 8:15 am Morning Program and First Dosing Session: Meet the medicine
  • 12:30 - 1:30 pm Lunch
  • 1:30 - 3 pm Free Time for Relaxation or Spa
    • Optional Meditation or Yoga Class
  • 3 pm Afternoon Program
  • 6 - 7 pm Dinner
  • 7 - 9 pm Evening Program
  • 9 pm Optional Program for Play, Bonfire, etc
Saturday, October 21
  • 7:15 am Meditation/Yoga NO BREAKFAST
  • 8:15 am Integration and Small Groups
  • 10 am Dosing Session
  • 12:30 - 1:30 pm Lunch
  • 1:30 - 3 pm Free Time for Relaxation or Spa
    • Optional Meditation, Movement, Creative writing class
  • 3 pm Afternoon Program
  • 6 - 7 pm Dinner
  • 7 Evening Event
Sunday, October 22
  • 7:15 am Meditation/Yoga NO BREAKFAST
  • 8:15 am Integration and Small Groups
  • 10 am Dosing. (a time for spa or hike if not dosing)
  • 12:30 - 1:30 Lunch All Together
  • 1  Afternoon Program
  • 3 - 5 pm Check-out of Rooms
*Please note that the schedule is subject to change at any time. 

ABOUT THE TEACHERs

Jayne Gumpel, LCSW

Jayne Gumpel, LCSW (she/her/hers) is a psychotherapist, trainer, and teacher with 30 years of experience working with couples, individuals, and groups in New York City and Woodstock, NY. Jayne is a professional clinical trainer in Psychedelic Integration Psychotherapy, is a membe...

David Gumpel M.A

David Gumpel is an Integral Master Coach and a qualified teacher of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) through UMASS medical school. David is the co-founder of Access Mindfulness and a study coordinator for the MAPS sponsored MDMA-Assisted Therapy for the treatment of post...

Sylvia Rosenfeld LCSW

Sylvia Rosenfeld LCSW is an Imago trained, AASECT certified Sex Therapist, with more than 40 years of experience working with couples and individuals who want to enhance their sexual and emotional connection. Her passion with her clients and in her own life is to cultivate mutual...

Tammy Nelson, Ph.D.

Tammy Nelson, Ph.D., is a renowned expert in the field of sex and couples therapy. She is a TEDx speaker, the host of the podcast The Trouble with Sex, and the author of six books, including Getting the Sex You Want and Open Monogamy: A Guide to Co-Creating Your Ideal Relationsh...

Matthias von Reusner, MD

Matthias von Reusner, MD (he/him/his) is a board-certified Family Physician with an active practice in the Hudson Valley. Matthias received training in Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy at the prestigious Ketamine Training Institute and is a team member of the KAP team at the Woods...

Irina Linetskaya, MD

Irina is a board certified Internal Medicine physician and LGBTQ+ health and HIV specialist whose integrative medicine practice, Contemplative Medicine, focuses at the intersection of physical illness, emotional trauma, and spirituality. Irina has supplemented her rigorous medica...

UPCOMING EVENTS

MENLA

375 Pantherkill Road, P.O. Box 70 Phoenicia, NY 12464
frontdesk@menla.org