How counselling from The Grove turned my life around...

What people say about our desert journeys

 

“Even though I had primary purpose in going to Siwa nobody could have prepared me for the peace and beauty of it.

For me it was a different culture, religion way of life which added in many ways to its magic.

Where I was staying was on the edge of the desert, another new experience for me enhanced by the opportunity to travel on a camel into the desert and view the sunset.

For me therapy is always daunting, intense ,painful and emotional and to say the least scary. The intensity of the therapy over the five day period helped me to focus my thoughts on what was most troubling me and stopping me moving on. I always took the lead but this was assisted and facilitated by Ben.

This intensity allowed for me a building up of trust which in my view enabled me to gain an honesty and openness in the sessions.

The environment I was living in gave me the space and peace to reflect on that days work, also to write down my thoughts for future reference.

The whole experience of Siwa was calming and peaceful helping to assist the process of intense therapy. This will always remain with me, I know that I will return .

I went into the unknown quite closed but now feel an opening up of myself to new experiences.”

Social worker, Brighton.

“Having sought support in therapy and working with Ben, I was able to stabilise myself in a number of ways, but the real breakthrough came in November 2009 during the week that I spent in Siwa Oasis. In short, the result of the work and experience has given me the tools that I already possessed to be able to improve and support my quality of life.

Now that I look back, in addition to finding the ‘right’ therapist for you at the time, I also realise that when this is combined with the ‘right’ location and enough amount of time, then the progression that can be made is huge. Aside from my personal view about how good Ben is as a therapist/ person, it is also worth highlighting just how special a place Siwa is, and what makes it seem so suited to these kinds of trips. The 10 hour drive from Cairo into open space and desert is where I began to really appreciate the concept of space, and given that I am used to living in a crowded city, this in itself was an experience, and I began start the journey of opening my mind. When finally entering Siwa I began to realise what a unique place it was, and it almost had a spiritual feeling, but equally importantly it felt a very safe and friendly place to be. Everyone’s experience in Siwa will be different, as will their needs, wants, and aims from such a trip are, however, I do think there are a number of generalisations that can be made about this kind of trip/ journey.

My trip consisted of spending a set amount of time each day with Ben, but importantly for me, within that period we were flexible with regard to where we worked, what we were going to do, and what issues I wanted to work on. My experience with therapy before hand was particularly structured at one session per week, and whilst I see the merits and logic for that, having a more intense period of time in a completely different environment enabled me to relax more, go deeper into my issues and myself, and enabled me develop an understanding of my mind, and how the mind works in general. The flexibility and unique environment of Siwa firstly enabled me to get this deeper understanding of my personal issues, but we also carried out more intense and specific exercises and work focused on what my particular problems were. Before Siwa I didn’t feel comfortable to undertake such exercises, and feared delving too deep into such areas, but there was something about the unique surroundings, and having such a concentrated and focused period of therapy. I felt able to take risks with my emotions, and have seen the rewards this can create. Without going into detail, instead of avoiding and ignoring certain core problems (which I had been doing for years), the Siwa experience provided me the time and space (with Ben’s support) to be able to really work through my issues. I realised that this is not always an easy process, and I would not have made the progress I have since Siwa without the work and support from Ben I received in that week.

In addition to the environment, it is also worth mentioning the hospitality of the places that I stayed during my Siwa trip. The accommodation was truly unbelievable, with the specific hotel I was staying at (Tala Ranch) being run by two of the most accommodating, interesting, and caring hotel owners I have ever come across. In short, for anyone that feels like there are barriers that they cannot get through in the normal one session per week, or that they really need to take some time for themselves, then I would whole heartedly recommend Siwa. In addition to this, it goes without saying how much of an amazing person and therapist Ben is. Spending time working with Ben has changed my life, and I am beginning to now see the future in a completely different and more optimistic way.”

Hedge fund manager, London.

“The desert is an extraordinary place to clear your head, be in connection with your self and live the present. It brought me peace, light and hope and I am grateful to Ben for having given me the opportunity to live this unforgettable experience”

Finance manager, London

“I’ve now been to Siwa two times, and both have been valuable experiences helping me implement material change in my life… If ever you feel in need of space and time to yourself to process, then Siwa provides this but in a very special and unique way. It is a place with a unique energy that facilitates and supports the process of looking inward and focusing on supporting yourself”

Hedge fund manager, London.