Beaver Lake Retreat Programs and Philosophy
Your Host Programs Humanistic
Sense of Place
Host Dr. Vince Savage, owner of Beaver Lake Retreat, is a humanistic
psychologist who has been a gestalt therapist, avid naturalist, artist
and writer for more than 30 years in multi-cultural and international
settings. He started the retreat in this splendid landscape as a small
group training center with the awareness that certain exceptional places
(apart from highly personalized learning and growth processes) are,
in themselves healing and fulfilling to simply abide in and experience.
Much of what ails modern culture is the lack of awareness that human
beings removed from wilderness are human beings trying to live outside
of their most authentic fluid context. Vince is fond of saying, "Grids
are prisons for the heart and soul. Bureaucracy is mostly 'bureau-crazy.'
In this environment, nature does much of the teaching and healing in
the programs that I and other trainers offer here at Beaver Lake Retreat."
We encourage other trainers and group leaders of intense and private
processes to inquire about use of the retreat for the trainings they
Programs at the retreat
are of two basic categories: 1) Humanistic approaches to clinical or
organizational psychological processes offered by Dr. Savage or staff,
and 2) Healing arts or creative arts programs led by other teachers
or group leaders at Beaver Lake Retreat's facility. E-mail us for current
season's program schedule.
Programs and services offered,
both on-site and off-site by Dr. Savage or Human Development Resources,
Individual, group and family psychotherapy
Organizational Development Interventions and Consultation
Mediation Services for Civil, Civic and Marital Disputes.
Specialized Intensive Training Workshops in Group Dynamics, Clinical
Psychotherapy, Gestalt Therapy, Conflict Resolution, Leadership/Team-building
and other human resource development processes.
Guided Aesthetic Appreciation experiences of the free and natural world
Other trainers programs held at the retreat include:
Tai Chi and Integrative Body Movement
Esalen Massage for Couples
Iyengar Yoga Retreats
Kriya Meditation Retreats
Landscape Painting Seminars
Inuit Stone and Bone Sculpture Workshop
Structural Integration (Rolfing)
Psychology supports all experience that is naturally and holistically
healing and human. But as Sidney Jourard said to me back in 1969, "The
problem is that everything depends on what you believe humans are like.
If you assume that persons are like machines, that assumption is, in
a way, not an assumption alone. It is sort of an invitation and a prescription
to persons to be in the world in ways that mimic machines. Now, if you
assume that persons are beings like monkeys or pigeons or computers,
then that too is a kind of 'invitation to mimic' which a person might
accept." Humanistic psychology is concerned with the implications for
living and doing healing when I assume that a person is human, and hence
more like me than like a machine, monkey, pigeon or computer. One implication
of this assumption is that, as I learn something about myself, I will
have learned a certain amount about you. When I assume that you are
a being something like me, this will greatly influence the way I interact
with you when you are a friend, family member, my student or my patient.
Combining Humanism with environmental awareness leads to a credo of
empowering persons within a context of world community and harmony with
nature, not "empowering" individuals as mere profit-making machines
or power-mongering over others persons and the environment. In largely
man-made surroundings, it is too easy to ignore or forget our connection
to the world community and the rhythms of the earth that ultimately
benefit us more than does short term material gain. This retreat place,
amidst Rocky Mountain wilderness is here to support programs that are
meant to nurture knowledge and skills which are natural, whole and free.
A Sense of Place as a nest or incubator,
away from the mechanistic matrix that often distracts one from deeper
learning of simpler truths, is what Beaver Lake Retreat offers small
groups with compatible agendas. Several years ago I faced the practical
decision of whether to continue residing in a mechanistic, schedule-bound
grid of existence and seek the natural world through short visits to
wilderness, or to live with mountains, clean air and natural rhythms
and visit the un-real world when need be. I chose the background sounds
of hummingbirds and waterfalls over the white noise of traffic and television.
I want to continue sharing this place regularly with those of kindred
spirit, from all walks of life. I must tell other group leaders that
the environment here does much of the teaching, learning and growing
for participants. Whether you see yourself as a facilitator, change
agent, therapist, consultant or guru of one sort or another, I invite
you to share Beaver Lake Retreat's sense of place for your next retreat.
Events to be listed soon! Please check back.