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Grief Therapy

Transformational Grief Retreat


Transformational Grief Retreat


January 24-26, 2014

Ojai, California

To register send an email or call Thea Harvey at (310) 948-4727.


Transform your grief process in this three-day retreat led by author Claire Bidwell Smith, in partnership with yoga instructor and marriage and family therapist Thea Harvey.

Join Claire and Thea at the beautiful Villa Ojai resort (just 40 minutes north of Los Angeles) for a three-day, two-night experience that will reshape your grief process and introduce you to new ways of moving through loss.

Through the use of group discussion, individual check-in sessions, yoga, meditation and body work you will have the opportunity to process your loss in new and transformative ways, learning skills and methods that will benefit long into the future.


Working in a group setting provides the opportunity to share your loss in a safe space with individuals who understand is a profoundly healing experience. Although we may never truly stop grieving the loss of those we have loved, we can learn how to be in our lives again, how to find hope and acceptance for the future.

Villa Ojai offers the perfect space in which to do this work. Located on a two-acre estate this resort has clean, comfortable accommodations as well as a pool, hot soak tub, fireplaces, scenic patios and numerous hiking trails nearby. Delicious vegetarian meals will be included to complement your healing process.


This retreat is for persons who are grieving the death of a loved one and who are journeying towards healing and personal growth. Grief is a deeply personal experience, but it is also a universal one. Sharing your grief with others in this kind of setting provides opportunities for growth and inspiration. The retreat is held in a supportive and nurturing environment that respects the comfort zone of each individual.

No previous yoga experience is necessary to benefit from this retreat since the work is tailored to persons’ abilities and needs. In addition to group activities, those attending will also have private time to honor their personal process, and each attendee will have the opportunity to meet individually with Claire over the course of the weekend.

The weekend will close with a special ceremony to honor your loved one and yourself. You will emerge with newfound coping skills and the courage to begin moving forward.



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Claire Bidwell Smith is an MFT intern specializing in grief and the author of The Rules of Inheritance, a memoir about losing both of her parents at a young age. She has a masters degree in clinical psychology and has worked as a counselor for seven years, both in hospice and now in private practice in Los Angeles. The Rules of Inheritance is currently being turned into a major motion picture starring Jennifer Lawrence and Claire is working on a second book, a personal exploration of how different views of the afterlife affect the grief process. 



Thea Photo

Thea Harvey is a licensed marriage and family therapist and certified hatha and kundalini yoga instructor in private practice in Santa Monica. She also conducts relationship workshops with her husband and blogs for the Huffington Post. 

Details & Registration


Transformational Grief Retreat

Ojai, California
 Friday evening, January 24th through Sunday afternoon, January 26th


$725 by November 15
$800 after
$200 non-refundable deposit

*Pricing listed is per-person, and includes group and individual counseling, yoga, meditation, luxurious shared accommodations, organic homemade meals, and full use of the property including pool, soaking tub and nature hikes. Space is limited to 18 people.

To register send to or call Thea Harvey at (310) 948-4727.





Private Therapy

Claire Bidwell Smith offers individual and group counseling and consultations via the phone, and in person at her office in Los Angeles, California. She is supervised MFT intern.

Her areas of specialty are:

  • grief & loss
  • relationships
  • anxiety & depression
  • parenting

For more information visit Psychology Today, or email me to inquire about counseling:


Grief Resources

Grief can be an overwhelming process. When I lost my mother at 18 I didn’t feel like I had anyone to turn to. In the years that followed I suffered from severe anxiety, depression, unhealthy relationships, substance abuse issues and deafening loneliness.

It took me a long time to find my way to a healing place. But I did. And so can you. Grief isn’t an easy process. Losing someone you love isn’t something you ever get over. Rather, it’s something you learn to live with. You can exist without that person, even if the thought of living without them is, at first, unbearable.

In addition to having experienced the loss of both of my parents, one of my best friends, and several family members, I have a Master’s degree in clinical psychology and worked as a grief counselor for hospice for four years.

I truly believe that one-on-one therapy and group therapy are the most effective means of healing. However, there are also many great resources and books available to help cope with grief. Here are some I recommend.

Find a Therapist Near You

Coping with Grief & Loss Online Resource

North Shore Hospice Grief Center

Elisabeth Kubler Ross’s On Grief & Grieving

A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis

Understanding Your Grief by Alan Wolfelt