I helped victims to learn to grow and over come their problems from being a part of their life. It was so great to see these 8 women grow and learn from the weekend. I hope it grows and can help more people effected from a crime.
I went to the retreat as an assistance. I was there to help creat the right enviroment for the victims. I was there to try to be a blessing to others, however, the blessings that I received from this retreat surpassed what I gave. I watched lives change infront of my eyes. I watched women forgive and find closure after many years of pain and bitterness. The space and enviroment that was created for these women allowed them to relax and open up to share and hear the healing words so they could start their own path of healing and closure. We were all suppose to leave on Sunday at noon. I was overwhelmed with emotions when noon rolled around and the women didn't want to leave. They wanted the retreat to continue. We stayed until around 4 that day. It spoke volumes to me and indicated what a true success the week-end had been. I am so lucky and fortunate to have been a part of this retreat and blessed to have assisted such an amazing woman as Janice. I am thanful for her dream and determination to see it through to fruition. The retreat was a huge success and far exceeded what the original goal was. I would only be lucky if I was given the opportunity to be a part of this organization in the future. All the women who attended truly touched my heart and I will remember them forever. Connections were made that week-end that will last a lifetime. Thanks Janice and PER
This was our first actual retreat and the outcomes were greater and even more affective then we could have imagined. The group of women that volunteered their time and made this all possible were all so amazing in their individual ways. They came with an open heart and soaked up as much learning and knowledge as they could. Each day was filled with love and understanding, teaching us all to search deeper into each strong soul to really see their story. The retreat was so blessed to share with these women and I can wish for nothing more but for them to have a better, more independent and profound life.
The retreat provided a unique and intimate space to foster healing. Janice did an incredible job of planning events and our schedule to help us learn about empowerment, self-care, forgiveness, and self-responsibility. The deep breathing was extremely grounding. I really enjoyed the collage for our journals - it's been years since I have created anything like that. The intimate setting allowed for trust building and sharing of our stories, our fears and our dreams. It was also comforting to have a facilitator, Janice, who is sensitive enough to allow the schedule some fluidity. Because of her flexibility, there were events that were allowed to happen which truly enhanced everyone's experience. Allowing her chiropractic friend, Patrick, to attend the retreat on short notice proved to be a life changing experience for me. All the introspection, vulnerability, and healing work we had done during the weekend made me ripe for releasing decades-old pain, which Patrick gracefully helped see me through. I cried and sobbed through hurt and pain that I didn't know how to release on my own. Everyone there held my space so powerfully without needing to "hold my hand". It was a powerful lesson to me in how we are all responsible for our own healing and need to allow everyone their own pain/experience. Sometimes when we want to "save" someone from their hurt, we are really prolonging their process and getting in the way of what they need to be doing for themselves. I am eternally grateful to Janice and all of the parties involved in making this weekend possible. I pray that Janice and PER continue to receive the funding and support needed to maintain the program. There are few programs available that help women stop the blame-game and focus on taking responsibility for their own healing, lives and happiness - I strongly believe PER has it right. I pray for PER's continued success. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
I have been divorced after 40 years, 30 of those being physically abused and mentally, the other 10 being mentally abused. I had worked a couple of programs helping me a lot but just couldn't seem to find closure. I spent a weekend on this retreat & came away with so many coping skills and a new set of women friends to draw on for strength. I feel better than I have in 15 years. More empowered!
I am very happy to have the first retreat under our belt. It has been a long time coming with lots of pitfalls along the way, but it seemed to go brilliantly. After speaking with leaders and watching the video I am proud of the accomplishment
This was the MOST amazing experience in my life. I'm a single mother of 3 children, a victim of verbal, mental and eventually physical abuse over the course of a 15 year relationship. My parents divorced when I was 8 years old, my father was an alocholic/drug addict, and when I was 14 my mother was in a car accident which left her in a coma for 3 months and permanently disabled and no longer able to care for my younger brother or myself, her own self and we had no family to help. This retreat has given me the tools I need to start building a new life for myself and my children. I learned not to dwell in the past because the past is gone forever and that if I want happiness in my life I have to create it for myself. I also learned if I let things be a problem for me or hold negative thoughts they will only bother me to the extent I allow them to. I met some amazing women during this retreat that I hope to form lasting relationships with in the future. We worked on meditation and getting in touch with our inner self. We laughed and cried together and shared meaningful conversations over some wonderful meals and sunsets. This experience was a literally a "DREAM COME TRUE FOR ME"! In March when I got my income tax return I asked my SafePlace counselor if they new of any women retreats and they tried to help me find something, we had no luck. Then by GOD'S WILL, the Wednesday before the retreat was to take place I was at my Women's Mind and Body weekly group meeting at SafePlace and at the end of our group the therapist annouced this flyer the had received for the PER retreat. I knew as they started to talk about it no matter what it took I was going to be at the retreat. Thank you Janice for having this DREAM for some many years, thank you sponsor for helping this dream become a reality, thank you to all the wonderful Staff at The Crossing in Austin, Texas and thank you to all the women that shared in this retreat with me. MY LIFE HAS JUST BEGUN AND I'M 41YEARS OLD.
Personal Expressions Retreat is a powerful concept aimed at helping women everywhere. Janice Jensen's vision is not limited to the people she can directly impact. Instead, she has envisioned showing key motivated individuals how to impact vicitims of crimes. Because of her broad perspecitive and her heart to help as many people as possible, PER (Personal Expressions Retreat) is established on a solid foundation to impact an ever widening circle of women who need empowering.
This was one of the best small retreats that I have ever had the pleasure to be part of. The participants were healing the past and creating brand new avenues of expression for their future. I would recommend this program to anyone who wishes to grow, heal and take charge of their life.
From it's conception in 2005,the concept of Personal Expressions Retreat have moved my soul. There are so many of our society that when confronted with a trauma in their lives, do not have the financial or professional assets available to them to completely get them through the healing process. Personal Expressions concept of picking up where the social service programs stop has always seemed to be such a needed program in todays society. As the our economy worsens, and stability in lives decreases, the need for a non-profit like Personal Expression Retreat becomes even more important. In working with Janice Jensen and the Board over the past years, I have gained insight into the passion that each Board member brings to the program. I urge all who are reading this to consider how they hlp be that light in the darkness that so many are desperately needing.
As president our the PER Board I have been a voice and support from the start in 2005.The weekend of May 14th-16th in one word....Beautiful. I had the honor and blessing to work with these beautiful women. They each blew me away with their strength and grace despite where they have come from and everything they have gone through. Being our first retreat and not knowing what exactly to expect, it was such and incredible feeling as the retreat came to a close on Sunday the 16th to realize how much these women taught me over the past few days. I would also like to use the word beautiful to describe the learning and most importantly healing which took place.My Mother and I have shared this dream, this vision to serve crime victims and provide them with encouragement, hope and healing, Our vision became a reality during this first retreat! The bonds that were formed and the bonds that were strengthened even more so through this were retreat was with out a doubt incredibly beautiful to witness and feel. I want to thank the beautiful women who trusted my mother, the executive director and I to provide this retreat for them, despite their reservations and fears. I was so excited for them to truly know they deserved all that and more. A big quote from the weekend was "Because I deserve it!!" It became almost a mantra, a reminder that we as women and people are strong, amazing and do matter.
I went to a Personal Expressions retreat held at the Crossings. It was one of the most healing experiences I have ever encountered. It allowed me to be with other women who actually understood my situation and gave me new ways of coping with the trauma. I can honestly say it was an atmosphere filled with love, understanding, compassion and empowerment. I have new found hope, confidence and peace. Thank you so much for all you do.
What a great service to offer the community. I doubt there is a more dedicated, committed and focused person in this field than the current Executive Director - Janice Jensen. What a pleasure to work with.
This is a quote from a email I received after our last retreat. "The benefits gained by all who attended does not come with a price tag. The opportunity for emotional, mental and psychological healing that PER shared with us was such a unique experience - words alone cannot express it’s magnitude or the gratitude I feel for having the opportunity to participate. It allowed me to reframe my thinking, make some difficult decisions and set some boundaries that I had been struggling with. After sharing our experience with our group at Safe Place, I know other women there would love the opportunity to participate when PER offers another retreat."