Spring Focusing Retreat: Renewing Mind, Body and Spirit – Historic Quebec City

April 30 - May 04, 2020


Focusing Initiatives invites you to a gathering of renewal and growth at Le Monastère des Augustines: a wellness haven in the historic and rich cultural setting of Old Quebec City, a UNESCO World Heritage treasure.  Connect with your mind, body and spirit through a program centered on positive psychology, spirituality, creativity, and play that enriches you and the community you are part of.  The Retreat is suited to both beginners and experienced Focusers.  Please see the Program tab for the list of offerings.

While the Retreat itself begins Thursday evening, we recommend you participate in the optional Soft Landing: a time and space to settle in, connect, attend the initial workshop, and begin to create community.

This is a wonderful opportunity to restore your winter-worn spirit among a supportive community. In addition to classes, there will be ample time to Focus every day, as well as to rest, explore and play.

Participants will share and facilitate a variety of other Focusing-oriented activities, such as yoga, dance, music-making, poetry writing, and your own creative contributions!

Our retreat center offers a safe, supportive environment with access to holistic health treatments, healthy meals based on the principles of mindful eating, and an atmosphere and accommodations that offer a peaceful oasis to nourish the inner life. Afternoons will be free to explore the history and culture of Quebec City.

In the spirit of our global community, we also encourage participants to make a donation to our scholarship fund to support our mission of making this and other Focusing Initiatives programs accessible to all.

Five internationally-known facilitators will offer the following workshops, suitable to both beginners and experienced Focusers:

Patricia Manessy:

  • Exploring Wholebody Focusing: A welcoming introduction for some, a deepening for others

Joan Klagsbrun:

  • Gathering Wisdom for the Journey Ahead
  • Pathways to Happiness: Bringing Positive Psychology Into your Daily Life
  • Stepping into the Sacred in Therapy

Marine de Fréminville:

  • Focusing and the Gifts of Dreams
  • The Transformational Power of the Background Feeling in Focusing

Julian Miller

  • Writing Stories from Your Life
  • Tai Chi for Focusers

Lynn Preston:  Focusing Encounters (a series of three; you  can take one or more):

  • Tapping into the Joy of Creative Thinking Together
  • Enlivening Connections through Focusing Conversations
  • Deepening Intimacy Through Focusing on You and Me

…along with a variety of other Focusing-oriented activities that participants will share with each other such as yoga, dance, spontaneous music-making, poetry writing, and your own creative contributions!

Pre-retreat Soft Landing, Thursday April 30

Exploring Wholebody Focusing: A welcoming introduction for some, a deepening for others with Patricia Manessy.

This optional program is for those who are new to Wholebody Focusing or who want to renew and deepen their Wholebody Focusing practice. It will consist of an all-day program, with morning and afternoon sessions .  Participants can arrive Wednesday afternoon through Thursday 9am.  This program begins at 9:30am.

Retreat – from Thursday April 30 at 5:30 (Pre-Dinner Gathering) through Monday May 4 lunch

Thursday, April 30

1:00 – 5:00pm Check-in and registration
5:30 – 6:00pm Gathering
6:00 – 7:00pm Dinner *
7:30 – 9:30pm Welcoming activities

Friday May 1 and Saturday May  2 (the same schedule each day)

7:00 – 8:00am Movement
8:00 – 8:45am Breakfast *
9:00 – 9:30am Announcements and Attunement
9:30am – 12:30pm Workshops
12:30 – 4:00pm Free time. Some suggestions:
•  lunch on your own or with others, at the Monastère or elsewhere
•  open space (spontaneous offerings)
•  rest
•  focus
•  explore
4:00 – 6:00pm Workshops
6:30 – 7:30pm Dinner *
7:30 – 9:00pm Evening activities

Sunday May 3
7:00 – 8:00pm Movement
8:00 – 8:45am Breakfast *
9:00 – 9:30am Announcements and Attunement
9:30am – 12:30pm Workshops
12:30 – 1:30pm Lunch *
1:30 – 3:00pm Free time
3:00 – 5:00pm Participant-led sessions
5:00 – 7:30pm Dinner on your own
7:30 – 9:00pm Evening activities

Monday May 4
7:00 – 8:00am Movement
8:00 – 9:00am Breakfast *
9:00 – 11:30am Participant-led sessions
11:30am – 12:30pm Closing
12:30 – 1:30pm Lunch *

* This meal is included as part of the package.

Le Monastère des Augustines

This retreat center offers a safe, supportive environment with access to holistic health treatments, healthy meals based on the principles of mindful eating, and accommodations that offer a peaceful oasis to nourish the inner life. Its restaurant serves natural, organic and local foods (when possible).  The boutique, open from 7am to 9pm, offers a delicious assortment of sandwiches, salads, beverages and healthy snacks.

Sensitively restored and redesigned, Le Monastère presents its guests with a unique experience in holistic health, and a rare opportunity to connect directly with the Augustinian Sisters’ remarkable heritage. It welcomes people of all cultures and beliefs, and has built and operates it facilities sustainably.


Old Quebec City

Le Monastère is perfectly situated to enjoy all that old Quebec City has to offer.   The city is a UNESCO World Heritage treasure, completely relaxing, enjoyable and walkable.  Restaurants, cafes, museums, art galleries, interesting neighborhoods and historical attractions are all within strolling distance of the retreat center.




The airport is 20-30 minutes away, and the train station less than a mile.


The Facilitators

Our  program will be conducted by five internationally known, experienced Focusing professionals and teachers, with a wide variety of backgrounds.  They are from Canada and the United States.

Marine de Fréminville is a clinical Psychologist in Montreal, a Certifying Coordinator of The International Focusing Institute, presenting and teaching Focusing for 30 years in Canada, Europe, and other countries. She is known for her work on the exploration of the Background Feeling in Focusing, see Tribute Folio, 2008 which allowed many Focusers to access more to their true nature. She uses Focusing-Oriented Therapy with Complex Trauma and dreams. As an EMDR practitioner, she uses Focusing with EMDR in dealing with trauma and unresolved grief.

Joan Klagsbrun

Joan Klagsbrun is a Focusing coordinator known for her warmth and clarity. As a psychologist and University teacher, she has practiced Focusing-oriented psychotherapy and taught Focusing internationally for over 30 years on six continents. She writes and teaches about the intersection of psychology, health and spirituality. Joan is passionate about teaching Focusing and enjoys teaching people from different professions and cultures. Her current interest is how Focusing crosses with positive psychology, and the ways Focusing can open the doorway to enhanced creativity, resilience, and embodied spirituality.

Patricia Manessy

Patricia Manessy is a Natural Health Practitioner in private practice in Montreal for 26 years now.  Focusing found its way into her life in 1988.  Since then it has been a grounding life-line, allowing her to experience authentic inner and outer relationships. She is a Certified Focusing Teacher (1999), a Québec Certifying Coordinator for the International Focusing Institute (2002), and has taught or presented in Québec, Ontario, the Maritimes, Switzerland and France. She passionately shares the Focusing way with all who cross her path and with her international clients. Her most recent love is Wholebody Focusing where she especially enjoys engaging in Heartfelt Conversation with groups.

Julian Miller

Julian Miller has been teaching Tai Chi and other movement arts for 30 years. Recently, he has developed a new, more accessible system for learning the practice and principles of Tai Chi. Julian is also a Focuser, writer, poet, artist, passionate swimmer, aficionado of ballroom dancing and devoté of dark chocolate. He is the author of two books, Breaking Through, Freeing Yourself From Fear, Helplessness and Depression, and Lifespan Plus, The Definitive Guide to Health and Wellbeing. He has also written I Should Praise, a book of poetry.


Lynn Preston

Lynn Preston, MA, MS, LP is a focusing-oriented relational psychotherapist, teacher and supervisor.  She is the Director of the Experiential Psychotherapy Project in New York City and has written and presented internationally on the integration of focusing and relational psychoanalysis. She has an abiding interest in the exploration of the relationship between philosophy, theory and practice.  In addition Lynn is developing a cutting edge community empowerment program which introduces focusing as a way of relating for community organizers, therapists of all kinds, religious leaders and everyone else.





(all fees are in US dollars)


Retreat and Pre-retreat: $500 until November 29, 2019. Increases  to $550 on November 30, 2019, and $650 after March 1, 2020

Retreat only: $450 until November 29, 2019. Increases to $500 on November 30, 2019, and ( $600 after March 1, 2020


There are two types of rooms: Authentic and Contemporary.

Authentic: “a unique experience in a former monastery room restored to modern standards of comfort.”

  • Private room in single or double occupancy (1 or 2 extra-long single beds)
  • Full shared bathrooms with lock for privacy
  • Sink and mirror in room
  • Solid wood wardrobe and desk
  • Ultra-comfortable, natural fiber bedding and towels

Contemporary: “a room of simple and contemporary design, in perfect harmony with this heritage site.”

  • Private room in single or double occupancy (king, queen or 2 extra-long single beds)
  • Full private bathroom
  • Integrated storage space
  • Workspace available in certain rooms (upon request)
  • Ultra-comfortable, natural fiber bedding and towels

Since the pre-retreat begins Thursday morning, please feel free to arrive early Thursday morning or Wednesday.

Retreat (with Pre-retreat):  You can arrive Wednesday and leave Sunday (four nights) or Monday (five nights)

Retreat (without Pre-retreat): You can arrive Thursday and leave Sunday (three nights) or Monday (four nights).

We are hoping you can join us from Wednesday until Monday. Even if you are not attending the pre-retreat, you can settle in, connect with old and new friends, and explore the areas.

Please use the following daily rates to determine your total accommodation charges based on how many days you plan on staying.

Authentic Contemporary
Single Double Single Double
$160 $125/person $195 $150/person

Our cancellation policy has been designed to be as compassionate as possible in case your plans change. We wish we could compensate people for unforeseen circumstances (injury, family emergency, etc), but we have costs already expended when reserving retreat centers.

If you cancel your participation in this retreat for any reason, the cancellation policy below will apply, with no exceptions.

If you cancel:

  • Before February 1, 2020, you will receive 100% of your payment, less a $100 administrative fee.
  • Between February 1, 2020 and April 1, 2020, you will receive 50% of your payment.
  • After April 1, 2020 , there will be no refund.

To cancel, you must send an email stating that you wish to cancel to: melinda@focusinginternational.org

Please note that there will be no refunds or discounts for arriving late, leaving early, flight cancellations, travel delays or illness.