Evoking Wholeness: Addiction Recovery

& the Natural World

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A retreat exploring ways to cultivate the resources to meet our ambivalence and avoidance from the wholeness within and around us.

In the beautiful setting of The Hearth Retreat, South Devon, we will have deep time together in an intimate group to explore our understanding of the avoidant, addictive aspects of self, and how they can be held by a broader state of wholeness that is always available within and around us, mirrored throughout the natural world. The verdant sixteen acre site supports this enquiry, with mature woodland, a brook, an abandoned quarry and open meadowland available to roam.

There will be a combination of teaching, sharing and experiential immersion to help us tap into this potential and discover ways to cultivate these resources within the human psyche and the surrounding environment. The group will have a maximum of 12 participants, held by two experienced psychotherapists and nature-based practitioners. 

All activities take place outdoors, with raincover when needed, to support nature connection and enable safe COVID distances to be maintained.*

Price includes camping and full-board catering of wholesome, organic, vegetarian food.* There is the option to upgrade to the Wildflower Cabin or Apple Wagon. Or, if preferred, to stay elsewhere.

Our time together, beyond a very warm welcome, will include:

An introduction to the benefits of nature-based practice and concepts of wholeness.

Exploration of your connection to wholeness and ways to strengthen this resource.

Exploration of the particular ways in which your patterns of avoidance and ambivalence are showing up at this time.

Working with the transformative potential of bringing these aspects of self together

Self-lead reflective nature-based practice time.

Opportunity to share in an atmosphere of mutual support, receive mirroring and connect with other like-minded souls.


Who is this retreat for? This workshop is for those with some familiarity of their personal addictive patterns and underlying dynamics, who want to explore how to deepen their recovery. Sadly in this limited context we cannot support those in the process of ending a chronic substance addiction. We would be happy to signpost you towards a service that can. If you are uncertain if this event would be suitable for you please feel free to contact us.

We are limited in the financial support we can offer but would be very happy to talk to you if you feel called to be with us and money is prohibitive of you being able to do so. Please contact Rhonda at info@naturalacademy.org

Practical details:

* Timings: 6pm Wednesday 26th August - 4.30pm Friday 28th August. Please arrive early to get settled and be ready to eat for 6pm. 

* The retreat will be held entirely in outdoor spaces, but with rain cover if needed. 

* Hot outdoor showers under the stars and compost loos are provided. Tents and bedding are not. If you're interested in booking our accomodation or want recommendations contact Freddy: info@freddyweaver.co.uk

* Hot drinks are permanently available, as will be a warm fire. 

* If you have significant dietary restrictions sadly we may not be able to accomodate them, but it will be possible to bring and prepare your own food with a full catering cost reduction. Please contact Freddy if you have questions: info@freddyweaver.co.uk

* The Hearth Retreat is situated 15mins drive from Totnes mainline railway station - taxis available.

* Although there is the possibility of a new flare up of Corona Virus leading to further restrictions, our outdoor setting is likely to be permitted under safety guidelines. However should there be a new lockdown we will refund all tickets.


Rhonda Brandrick is a nature based practitioner, supervisor, therapist, teacher and guide. She has many years experience of both harm reduction & the abstinence based worlds of recovery and has been, in more recent years, bringing a wealth of experience and deep curiosity to our human-nature reciprocal relationship and our ongoing personal and collective development within this. She has grown to realise that our fullest recovery is in the remembering of our place in the web of all life. For over 5 years she has apprenticed with Animas Valley Institute. She has worked with individuals, couples and groups for over 25 years. She is dedicated to making a difference to human health and the health of the Earth by bringing individuals, communities and culture back to an Earth based way of living. Rhonda loves dancing, Samba drumming, dream working and is a Mother and Grandmother.

Freddy Weaver has been working as an Integrative Counsellor since he completed his Masters in Addiction Psychology & Counselling over a decade ago. As his professional and personal experience has grown so has his curiosity about what it means to recover from addictive ways of being within the context of our culture which, it could be argued, is showing many hallmarks of addiction in its attitude towards resource consumption and the natural world - the ground of its own wellbeing. This interest, coupled with his own quest for wholeness, has lead him to study indigenous wisdom at Schumacher College, ecopsychology at the Natural Academy and Animas Valley Institute. 

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