colorful painted artwork with eyes
  • GilChrist Retreat Center
  • Retreat
  • Southwest Michigan
  • Spiritual Formation
  • Workplace / Life

This retreat is fully booked. To inquire about being added to the waiting list, please reach out to the facilitator using the contact information below.

This retreat is for couples who hope to:

  • Reconnect with their beloved through meaningful, transformative, and healing exchanges
  • Revitalize day-to-day interactions with intentional practices that focus on the partnership
  • Rekindle their intimate bond and explore sex as a fulfilling experience

Couple dynamics present daily invitations toward a heightened sense of self-awareness, true empathy development, and compassionate practices. Stepping away from daily demands to engage in a fun, experiential, and yet deeply contemplative weekend is the kind of practice that models the importance of the dyad self-care. The ripple effects of this love-focused experience can reach wide across community circles, potentially impacting the collective in a transformative way.

*This offering is meant for couples who are currently experiencing a relationship where all people feel safe emotionally and physically.

About the Facilitator

Alessandra (she, her, hers) is a psychotherapist, facilitator, consultant, and visual artist managing a private practice in Kalamazoo, MI, the unceded territory of the Potawatomi people. Originally from São Paulo, Brazil, Alessandra’s identity is foundationally multifaceted with Indigenous, West African and European roots. Her upbringing held much of this multiplicity, especially in terms of cultural and spiritual practices. To this day, her personal and professional work reflect this medley of experiences. Although a significant portion of Alessandra's work is to hold space for her psychotherapy clients, she also dedicates her time to many other roles. She is the Founder of the newly established Chrysalis Institute for Emerging Artists, which aims to nourish the creative journey of emerging artists of underrepresented identities. She is also a member of the 2021 cohort of the Center for Psychedelic Studies and Research, and plans to collaborate in psychedelic research and facilitate psychedelic therapy for individuals and groups once FDA approval is achieved.

Retreat Schedule (tentative)

DEEP INTIMACY: sex, to-do lists, and everything in between


Friday, February 11
6:00-7:00 p.m. - Light snacks, go over facilities & logistics
7:00-9:00 p.m. - Circle Sharing with Ally (Reconnect "Heart Wisdom" Intro)

Saturday, February 12
Reconnect “Heart Wisdom”
9:00-10:00 a.m. - Circle Sharing with Ally
10:00-11:00 a.m. - Envisioning through Art with Ally
11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. - Moving Dialogue
12:30-2:00 p.m. - LUNCH BREAK
Rekindle “Body Wisdom”
2:00-2:30 p.m. - Meditation
2:30-3:30 p.m. - Thai Massage/Yoga
3:30-5:30 p.m. - Circle Sharing with Ally (Rekindle: Body Wisdom Intro)
Independent time: Explore grounds, cabin contemplative practices, create couple’s altar with Vision Board, journaling, YIN time...

Sunday, February 13
Rekindle “Body Wisdom”
9:00-11:00 a.m. - Circle Sharing with Ally
11:00-11:30 a.m. - Mindful Awareness exercise with Ally

Registration and Lodging Details

First, e-mail Alessandra to register for the retreat. Early bird registration for the retreat program is $500; on December 1, the cost increases to $525. Space is limited.

Once you have registered and paid for the program with the facilitator, contact GilChrist to reserve your cabin using the online registration form or by calling the main office at (269) 244-1130.

Note: all group participants are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.


GilChrist retreat center logo with white pine sprig

GilChrist is the public retreat center of the Fetzer Institute. We support the Institute’s mission of helping build the spiritual foundation for a loving world by preserving a contemplative environment for healing self, society, and the natural world. We warmly welcome both groups and individuals and people of all faiths and affiliations.


GilChrist Retreat Center

Three Rivers , MI 56265 Day Rd