Home > Weekends of Recovery > 2009 Weekends of Recovery: Hope Springs

MaleSurvivor Level I Weekend of Recovery
"Dare to Dream"
Join us for a beautiful fall weekend at
Hope Springs Institute
October 23-25, 2009

Quick Navigation:
Goals of the Level I Weekend of Recovery
Facilitator Team
Is this for me? How can I prepare for the weekend?
Survivors with perpetration history
Registration Costs
Other Information About Hope Springs
Getting to Hope Springs
When to Arrive and Depart - Making Plane Reservations
Arrival Policy
Departure Policy
Therapist Recommendation Letter
Any Questions?


MaleSurvivor Weekends of Recovery are open to any man, 18 or older, who has been sexually victimized as a child and/or as an adult. Hope Springs Institute is the location of our October Level I Weekend of Recovery. Hope Springs is located in the solitude of the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in the small rural southwestern Ohio town of Peebles. Hope Springs offers a combination of colorful, very comfortable housing and 130 rolling acres of ridges, ravines, wooded acres and meadows, including two ponds, walking trails, wildflowers, wildlife, a campfire circle and a labyrinth. Hope Springs offers groups a chance for discovery and practice, for privacy and company, for safety and challenges. The Institute's priorities are to offer you personal comfort and a challenge to grow utilizing the Land, your Body and your Spirit as primary teachers and caretakers. While at Hope Springs, you will take part in delicious, healthy food, warm, inviting accommodations and exquisite grounds. The vision of the Hope Springs Institute fits perfectly with the mission of MaleSurvivor: "The Center was established to ignite spirit and bring balance to lives. Our vision is of a world family in which people cherish each person's uniqueness. We encourage dialogues across differences, creative resolution of conflict and nurturing of mind, body and spirit. Hope Spring honors and welcomes people of all faiths, cultures, races, ages, sexual orientations and abilities." You can visit their website at www.hopespringsinstitute.com

A variety of accommodations will be available, and we'll have space for 28 men for this weekend.

Goals of the Level I Weekend of Recovery

  1. To provide an opportunity to experience a safe environment in which participants can discover they are no longer alone in their recovery;
  2. To provide an opportunity to co-create and experience safety with other survivors as they explore further aspects of their healing journey;
  3. To provide an opportunity where survivors can share their inner pain, strength and hope with others who have been abused;
  4. To provide an opportunity for survivors to give a voice to their experiences as a survivor;
  5. To provide a safe way for participants to share the story of their abuse with others who will understand and offer support;
  6. To provide a safe place for participants to experiment with letting go, opening up and being vulnerable, and practice asking for the support they need;
  7. To provide an opportunity for participants to explore safe ways of going beyond their comfort zones, and to find ways to get beyond their blocks to move beyond their abuse to experience a greater sense of freedom in their minds, bodies, and spirits; and
  8. 1) To provide a safe place where participants can experience a sense of community, brotherhood and joy.

Facilitator Team:
Weekends of Recovery are facilitated by trained psychotherapists, utilizing the same clinical boundaries and code of ethics as adopted by the American Psychological Association. The weekends are adjuncts to participants' ongoing recovery work with individual and/or group psychotherapy, twelve step programs, and individual spiritual work, and are not meant to substitute for the participants' local support systems that are consistent with their own recovery. Dr. Howard Fradkin, a Psychologist with 30 years of experience working with male survivors, chairs the facilitator team. The team of facilitators includes other Psychologists, Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists, and Mental Health Counselors. Biographies of all staff members for this weekend can be found on the MaleSurvivor website at www.malesurvivor.org The rest of the team includes: Joanna Colrain, Andy Dishman, Sandra Forti, Don Laufersweiler, Paul Linden, Mikele Rauch, and Jim Struve. MaleSurvivor reserves the right to make changes to the staff depending on enrollment.

For those working with professionals, we recommend you discuss your planned participation in this weekend to get their feedback and suggestions for how you can benefit as much as possible from the experience while keeping yourself as safe as you need to be. All participants must be able to safely and appropriately engage in structured group activities. After receiving confirmation of your registration, if you are in therapy, please go the website and download the form for your therapist to complete which confirms you and your therapist agree you are prepared for the weekend. If you have an already established support system of friends/family members/significant others, we also encourage you to talk with them about your participation so they can be available both before and after the weekend as needed to help you prepare and process your experiences.

If you are not in therapy, and/or do not yet have a support network, we encourage you to consider setting up an appointment with a therapist either before you come to the retreat, or as soon as possible after your return, and/or encourage you to explore what types of self-help groups and resources are available in your community or near by. This way you can follow up on some of the experiences and skills you learn that will help the weekend's learning stay fresh in your mind and help you apply what skills and awareness would most help your continuing recovery.

One of our staff members will be contacting you by phone within two weeks of when we receive your application to talk with you about your needs for the weekend and your readiness to participate. All participants must be able to safely and appropriately engage in structured group activities. If we have any concerns about you participating, we may suggest some steps you can take to enhance your readiness for this weekend or we may ask you to wait for a future weekend while you take some additional steps we believe would be important for you to benefit from the experience. Please do not schedule your travel arrangements until after your interview is completed and you have been told you have been accepted as a participant. The facilitator team will make every effort to complete that process as quickly as possible. The earlier you register, the more possible that will be (which of course could help you save money on transportation and by getting an early registration discount).

You can read comments from other participants on our web page (see the testimonials section under the tab Weekends of Recovery). Many participants have told us that the weekend is a very intense and rewarding experience, and at the same time sometimes it is quite uncomfortable. We recognize that one of the challenges male survivors have is feeling comfortable enough to ask for help, especially when they are feeling most in need of the help. For participants who are aware they have a problem with dissociation, this can be an especially difficult challenge. We would encourage you to practice asking for help before the weekend, perhaps with your own therapist, as well as with friends and significant others, and to assess for yourself what gets in your way of asking for the help you need so you can let us know when we contact you prior to the retreat. The facilitators are all very skilled therapists, and often times we can be sensitive and intuitive enough to know you need help even when you are not asking. However, we will clearly need your help and ask you to take the risk to articulate your needs during the retreat. To the extent you can help us know you are needing some extra help at any time during the weekend, this will help you to have an even safer and hopefully more beneficial experience.

During the weekend, we'll invite you to participate in a number of different types of activities. We'll spend some time helping each of you to feel as safe as possible. We'll take our time getting to know each other by sharing a little at a time. Frequently during the weekend we will meet in small groups, where you can have more individual time to talk and share your feelings and observations.

Everyone will be given some opportunities to choose how to tell your story - through words, through art, through movement, and/or through music. We'll also introduce you to some different types of relaxation and visualization exercises you may choose to do at home to increase your abilities to cope and manage life stresses. We'll also give you time to wander the beautiful retreat grounds alone or with some of your fellow participants.

Survivors with perpetration history:
Any person who has been adjudicated (found guilty) of sexual perpetration at any time in their life is not eligible for participation in the weekends. Because many survivors have sexually acted out in childhood, adolescence or even young adulthood, we do not wish to automatically exclude them from a Weekend of Recovery. However, to assess each participant on a case-by-case basis, we want to be able to discuss their perpetration history with them and their therapist. This means that in order to assure other participants that we have their safety in mind, we want to be able to screen anyone with such a history to determine if attending a weekend is in their best interest and the best interest of all participants. In such cases, an interview with the Weekends of Recovery Chairperson will be required before you will be accepted. In addition, if you have such a history, we require that you are currently in therapy and we require that in addition to speaking with you, you will also need to give your consent for us to consult with your therapist before approving you for the weekend. We encourage all potential participants to be honest when we call you about any such incidents(ces) in your past because some participants may be unable to deal with people with such histories.

Registration Costs
Registration includes the costs of the facilitated Weekend of Recovery program, with our 8 skilled facilitators from the MaleSurvivor Weekend of Recovery Facilitator Team, plus lodging, 7 meals, and snacks. Bottled water, juices, tea and coffee will be available throughout the weekend. We have a variety of accommodations in the lodge and cabins. Limited numbers of each type of accommodation are available, and will be distributed on a first come, first served basis. If you register and pay for a Category D Single room, you will be assigned for now to a category B or C double room (depending on availability) and will not be given a Category D room unless we do not fill the weekend. You can also save $75 more by registering early!

All prices quoted below are for Early Registration (by September 19th)

Category Description Price
A Studio Triple w/private bath - MaleSurvivor Member $600.00
A Studio Triple w/private bath - Non-Member $650.00
(12 studio beds available: this is also the building where all large group sessions are held)
B Farmhouse Double w/shared bath - MaleSurvivor Member $650.00
B Farmhouse Double w/shared bath - Non-Member $700.00
(14 farmhouse beds are available)
C Cottage, Double w/private bath - MaleSurvivor Member $675.00
C Cottage, Double w/private bath - Non-member $725.00
(only 2 beds available in the cottage; the opposite side is the safe room for the weekend)
D Single Room, shared bath (may NOT be available) - MaleSurvivor Member $750.00
D Single Room, shared bath (may NOT be available) - Non-Member $800.00

Registration after September 19th: Add $75.00

If you are not a MaleSurvivor member, we encourage you to join the organization and become a dues-paying member prior to registration both to secure a significant discount ($50 off) and to help support the work of MaleSurvivor. (NOTE: This is not the same as registering for website use with a log-in name; this is free; we recommend all participants register and create a log-in name and password) Limited numbers of each type of accommodation are available, and will be distributed on a first come, first served basis. If you register and pay by September 19th, you'll get $75 off; plus $50 off if you are a dues paying member of MaleSurvivor.

To register for the weekend, we ask that you complete an online registration at www.malesurvivor.org and/or mail in a registration form. To hold your spot for the weekend, we are requesting at least $150 deposit with your registration. You will have the choice on the registration form to either prepay your registration in full at the time of registration or opt for a payment plan. If you want to take advantage of the early registration discount, your total registration must be paid by September 19th. When you register and pay only a deposit, our system will inform you of when additional payments will be charged to your credit card, with all payments arranged by September 19th. You may also mail in checks to be received by September 19th.

All registration fees must be paid by October 9th. Holding your registration will be contingent on receipt of your additional registration fees on these dates. Any registration which is not paid in full by October 9th is subject to cancellation and a $50 cancellation fee. Any cancellation after October 9th will be subject to the loss of all monies paid, unless we can find a replacement for your space in the weekend.

Registration will remain open until October 16th, provided there is space available. Anyone who registers after September 19th must pay the full amount of the participant fees at the time of registration.

Dependent on MaleSurvivor's scholarship fund balance, a limited number of partial scholarships will be available for this weekend. All applicants who receive scholarships must also agree to become a dues paying member of MaleSurvivor in order to be awarded the scholarship. Membership is on a sliding fee scale based on your income. Only partial scholarships are available, so we ask each applicant to commit to paying some portion of the registration yourself (or ask others to assist you in your support group). This enables MaleSurvivor to make more scholarships available to more participants. We can only provide assistance with registration costs, and cannot at this time provide any assistance with transportation costs. If you need a scholarship, please do not register for the weekend. Instead, go to our website and apply for a scholarship first. We encourage all who need a scholarship to apply by September 19th so that decisions can be made in time for participants to also arrange transportation. If you have a need for a scholarship, please go to the website, log in, then click on "Join MaleSurvivor"; you'll see a box to check there that says "Apply for event scholarship". Check that box, and you'll be directed to a form to complete. On that form, it is very important that you indicate how much money you are requesting as a scholarship from MaleSurvivor. We ask that scholarship recipients agree to accept assignment to a triple room. To allow us to provide more scholarship aid, by agreeing to accept a triple room you will allow us to spread our limited funds further. The form will ask you how much of a scholarship you want; since triple rooms are $600 for members, please calculate how much you can pay and subtract that from the cost of the room (for example, if you can pay $400 and you are a dues paying member of MaleSurvivor, you'd apply for a $200 scholarship 600-400=200). MaleSurvivor will email your completed form to Howard Fradkin, Weekend Chairperson. Once your scholarship request has been granted, Howard will email you back with authorization to register. Just a reminder if you are not a dues paying member of MaleSurvivor, please join MaleSurvivor first. Then, when you register for the weekend, you will notice when you get to the payment page, you will receive a credit in the amount of the scholarship you have been granted. It will be your responsibility to pay the balance of your fee by.

If you are in a position to assist with our scholarship fund, you can contribute through the MaleSurvivor website by donating to the Memorial Fund or on the registration form. Thanks for any help you can provide.

The meals at Hope Springs are delicious, vegetarian cuisine. Previous participants who have been used to eating other diets have found the food at Hope Springs to be a refreshing change in their eating habits and have been surprised at the quality of the food choices! Other special dietary restrictions or needs must be indicated on your registration form. Bottled water, juices, coffee and tea, half and half and soy milk will be supplied all weekend long for you.


  • Hope Springs has a no shoes policy in all buildings, so bring shoes that are easy to slip on and off. You're welcome to bring indoor slippers or shoes. Slipper socks and indoor slippers can be found in each bedroom.
  • No alcohol or un-prescribed drugs may be brought to the weekend. There is also a no smoking policy in the buildings. There is one designated smoking area on the patio behind the farmhouse.
  • Cell phones do not work here. There are two phone lines you can use and there are 60 minute phone cards for sale for $2.
  • The walking trail goes through the woods, so bring socks, long pants, long sleeve shirts, bug protection and shoes that support you on rough terrain and are waterproof. Flashlights are provided.
  • All bedding, towels, hair dryers, shampoo and shower gel are provided. Robes are also provided for each participant.
  • The facility is wheelchair accessible, and walkways and ramps allow easy access. If you need a scooter to get around, let us know.

MaleSurvivor will coordinate transportation to the center once you provide us information. Once you register, we will send you a form to fill out, and then we will do our best to provide free transportation to the center. There are also several drivers who work with Hope Springs to provide transportation. We anticipate a number of Ohio participants will be attending, and some we anticipate will be willing to share transportation from local airports. Cincinnati airport (which is actually in Kentucky) is about 75 miles away; Columbus airport is about 100 miles away, but you may find cheaper fares here (travel time is roughly 2 hours). If we cannot find you a free ride, it would be best for us to coordinate rides, as we likely can save you significant travel costs (1-3 persons from Columbus is $75 each way, or $25 each for 3); Cincinnati will cost roughly $60 for 1-3 passengers ($20 per person if 3 people are transported).

Driving directions are available on the Hope Springs website, and will be sent to you on request (we'll send you a transportation form once you register).

Please do not schedule your travel arrangements until after your interview is completed and you have been told you have been accepted as a participant. The facilitator team will make every effort to complete that process as quickly as possible. The earlier you register, the more possible that will be (which of course could help you save money on transportation and by getting an early registration discount).

The weekend begins at 12 noon on Friday, and ends Sunday at 3 pm. Please pay particular attention to the arrival policy and the departure policies below before making your travel plans. Given travel time, we recommend all participants plan to arrive on Friday no later than 9:30 am depending on the airport ; and plan to depart on Sunday no earlier than 6 pm from Cincinnati and 6:30 pm from Columbus. If you cannot accommodate your schedule to arrive and depart at these times, you should not register for this weekend unless you can arrange overnight accommodations the night before on Thursday or the night after on Sunday as necessary. We will be happy to assist you in finding hotels to fit your budget. If you find that the only airline reservations you can find will require an overnight stay on either Thursday or Sunday, we are sorry, but we cannot provide overnight accommodations on Thursday or Sunday evening at Hope Springs. If you need information about accommodations near either airport, please indicate this on your transportation form.

Arrival Policy
Safety for all participants is our utmost concern. Therefore, it is a requirement that in order to participate in the weekend, participants must arrive at the beginning of the weekend, by 12 noon on Friday. In planning your trip, you are expected to take into consideration the unpredictable delays that may accompany your travel. While we understand you may encounter delays for many reasons, we are unable to allow anyone to begin the weekend if your delay is greater than 2 hours. In other words, you cannot be admitted to the weekend after 2 pm for any reason. If you are experiencing a delay, we request you to call us to inform us of your arrival status. It is important to understand that in the event of your inability to attend due to late arrival, you will forfeit all monies paid for your registration. One strategy to avoid this situation is to arrive in the city of the weekend the night before, or a city near the airport. MaleSurvivor will provide you with information about budget hotels near the facility to help facilitate your stay. Your consideration of this policy will help strengthen the feeling of safety for all participants and help us to build a community.

Departure Policy
Safety concerns and respect for the needs of all participants for adequate time to have closure also have encouraged us to develop a departure policy as well. The weekend is structured so that all participants will have sufficient time on Sunday to plan for their transition back home, to reflect on what they have learned during the weekend, and have an opportunity to say goodbye and express appreciation to the new community of men they have joined. To accomplish these goals, it is necessary that all participants stay until the weekend ends at 3 pm. Below you will see information about travel time to the airports, so that you can be certain to allow sufficient time after our 3 pm closing to travel to the airport, check in and check baggage and get through security. Completing a Level One Weekend is a requirement to attend any Advanced Weekends of Recovery. Any participant who leaves a weekend prior to 3 pm will be ineligible to attend an Advanced weekend until he completes a Level One weekend. We also suggest you read our Informed Consent Form on the website (you'll find it on the Weekends of Recovery tab) which also addresses early departure from the weekend.

Therapist Recommendation Letter:
When you register online, you will notice a link to a therapist recommendation letter on the tab on the website labeled Weekends of Recovery. We ask that all participants who are currently in therapy bring this letter to your therapist prior to the weekend, and ask them to complete it with you and send it back to us by October 21st. The information in this letter will help us to provide for any additional needs you may have for safety. It is our intention to use this letter to help ensure your safety, and in no way is it intended to disempower you or cast doubt on your own judgment about your readiness to participate in the weekend.

Questions can be directed to Howard Fradkin at 614-445-8277, ext. 11, or emailed to hfradkin@malesurvivor.org ; or to Trisha Massa, MaleSurvivor Administrative Assistant, at 800-738-4181, or emailed to admin@malesurvivor.org

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