The Retreat

On Retreat in Tuscany

Imagine yourself on an experiential Retreat with us...

A glimpse of the gorgeous Restart Retreat setting in the heart of the Maremma region of Tuscany. The setting’s unpretentious beauty lends itself to opening your heart and mind, rooted in your own personal truth.

The Retreat

Embracing our Authentic Joy

Uncover your soul’s true happiness on this life-changing Tuscan Retreat

Creating authentic joy in your life starts with understanding your deeper self. When you take time to dig deep beneath the surface and truly examine your own values, you allow your raw, authentic happiness to grow in abundance.

This five-day and four-night workshop in Magliano-in-Toscana, Italy will help you transform your life and find true fulfillment. In a safe, open environment, you will use creative arts exercises, psychodrama, and vision mapping to help bring to the surface your inner self. Restorative yoga and optional massage will further assist you in the deep healing and release that our program offers. Restart Retreats extends the opportunity to stop self-damaging behaviors and break the cycle of complacency in a curative environment. No prior experience with experiential techniques, psychodrama or creative arts is required.

We are accepting registration for a limited group number so that we can give each participant the maximum attention and support during the weekend. To sign up for a payment plan, please book with us before July 30, 2018.

To learn about the location, lodging, dining and pricing, please check out the Logistics page.

In order to give love, we must connect to our true essence and love ourselves first. Each day of this eye-opening retreat is designed to help you bring authentic joy to your everyday actions even in the face of struggle. Led by one of the top psychodramatists in New York City, Valerie Simon, LCSW, PAT, and artist Claudia Palmira, you will work to uncover a life of true fulfillment.

Restart Retreats is not a quick fix to solving problems. It is a journey helping you truly delve into the building blocks of your authenticity, and guiding you to forgiveness, self-empowerment, and practical life applications.

Psychodrama will help you release the fears and roadblocks that hold you back in your life, and embark on a journey of honesty between yourself and your daily actions. You will leave with a new roadmap for your truly authentic life.

This creative exercise is a complete immersion into the core of who you are. We cannot grow or move forward if we cannot face where we have been. Giving your inner demons a voice will allow you to understand them so you can release and open up your life to change. True joy isn’t found when we are surrounded with happiness, but when we can learn to find light even in the most difficult of struggles.

We will look at how the personal choices you make each day – the people you befriend, the career you choose, the romantic relationships you develop – can create and add to a fully realized life of happiness.

We also will utilize guided imagery, meditation, vision mapping, and other creative arts exercises to enhance our journeys.

For those in 12-step recovery programs, we will offer an optional space for meetings during the weekend. For anyone seeking to overcome an addiction to chaos, suffering, relationships or co-dependent patterns, Embracing Our Authentic Joy provides concrete guidance and clarity using spiritual principles. It is not necessary that you are in a 12-step program to attend this Retreat – all are welcome!

This retreat is for anyone who:

  • desires to make authentic choices in life and stick to them
  • wants to live joyfully, but finds themselves repetitively overextending themselves in work and relationships
  • feels undeserving of goodness, abundance, love
  • might be “addicted” to drama, pain, chaos or suffering
  • wants to create intimacy in love or familial relationships
  • wants to get to the “next level”, but can’t figure out how to get there
  • feels unfulfilled in relationships, career or spirituality
  • feels that their enthusiasm, creativity or joie di vivre is lacking
  • feels stuck, or has reached a plateau in their recovery or creativity
  • desires to experience unique healing in the gorgeousness of Tuscany
  • would like to feel connected to like-minded seekers


Who is it not for?

This Retreat is not for anyone who:

  • Is afraid to try something new
  • Wants to stay safe
  • Doesn’t like to travel
  • Has no room for growth
  • Is truly incapable of change
  • Objects to personal growth
  • Is incapable of change
  • Cannot legally visit Italy

Restart Retreats is the gift of experience to yourself long after you have left the Tuscan farmhouse. It is a promise of authentic joy in self and life. Each Retreat offers an undercurrent of freedom that enables every participant to shed the materialistic search and find the realization of inner truth. To put into viable action the vision we have curated for ourselves. It is the daily manifestation you will find outside of who you once thought you were in the strength of honest understanding.


Embracing Our Authentic Joy is designed to uncover honest, sober happiness to your everyday life. If you surrender to the format of the retreat and our gentle guidelines for the experience, you will receive these benefits:

The beautiful, safe, and private setting of this exclusive Tuscan location will help you find inspiration and solace

Creative arts therapy, which utilizes all aspects of the imagination, has the potent effect of “adult playtime.” It has been proven to rewire and reconfigure the limbic system like no other form of therapy by providing adults with something they often tell themselves should be left behind in childhood: play

Psychodrama is a proven, effective method that can powerfully and positively “rewire” your approach to a situation or relationship in a limited amount of time

Our creative arts workshop will remind you of your creativity and gives you a tangible, handmade image to remind you of your true desires

Restorative yoga, deep relaxation and optional “dance breaks” allow the body to find itself and integrate with the spirit

Removing yourself from your daily routine and from the stresses of everyday living will help you unclutter your mind and find the clarity to make new and fresh decisions

Deep relaxation and harmony with nature will clear your mind and refocus your priorities

Optional back and neck massages onsite with a trained massage therapist will further release those stored traumas and buried emotions that can often result in chronic aches and pains

Often in adult life, laughter and playfulness are forgotten about and replaced by stresses and anxieties. Creative arts exercises and psychodrama help you to discover new things about yourself and make fresher, freer decisions about your future from your authentic self.

Small group formats have been proven to be a fast method to resolve trauma. In only four days, you will make leaps and bounds in your recovery

By facing some of the things you might be afraid of, you can emerge with greater sense of purpose and live the life you want and dream of.

A spiritual wake-up call no matter what your beliefs

Inner healing with long-term positive effects

We invite you to join us.

“The willingness to grow is the essence of all spiritual development.”

Bill Wilson

view more inspirational quotes from Restart Retreats

Our Approach

Valerie Simon and Claudia Palmira co-created the Restart Retreats to provide a high quality, healing experience in a European setting. Tuscany’s ancient landscapes have inspired artists and seekers for centuries, making it an ideal location to host this workshop about authenticity and our higher selves.

Even in our daily lives our mission is bring beauty to self-realization. Our work outside of Restart Retreats sets forth a mentality of truth for improvement which brought on the coalition of Restart Retreats.

We intend to help each of the participants on the retreat uncover how their mindsets can learn to feed into daily actions and manifest an authentic lifestyle. We have designed four intense days where, depending on your willingness and courage, we invite you to dive deep into the healing process fully. We are available throughout the retreat to support you.

A bit about psychodrama

Created by psychiatrist Jacob L. Moreno in Vienna almost 100 years ago, psychodrama is all about the healing power of the therapeutic stage.

Participants use improvisation, role-playing, and props to heal incidents from their past or externalize uncertainties about their future. These experiences are often described as “cathartic” and “liberating.”

It is important to note that this is not group therapy, but a healing workshop where the group can act as an auxiliary to help you express yourself more thoroughly. We ensure a safe, private, anonymous and closed environment for this work.

Psychodrama frees trapped emotions, uncertainties, and bad memories that are keeping you from living at full potential, and has been proven to give you a new perspective on your life. It helps rewire the brain by reintegrating trauma and creating new neural pathways, the key to changing negative patterns.

“The goal of spiritual practice is full recovery,
and the only thing you need to recover from is a fractured sense of self.”

Marianne Williamson

view more inspirational quotes from Restart Retreats


This is the format of the Restart Retreat: Actualizing the Authentic Self. Part of the effectiveness of this retreat involves participation in all the activities. We ask that you prepare to arrive and leave at the recommended times and that, barring illness or extreme circumstances, you plan on attending each group gathering. A partial experience will yield only partial results!


  • Wednesday 9/30

    2:30 p.m. Shuttle from Grosseto

    4:00 – 6:00 p.m. Registration

    7:00 p.m. Dinner served

    8:30 p.m. Introductory Group Session

  • Thursday 10/5

    8:00 a.m. Breakfast

    9:30 a.m. Group Workshop

    12:00 p.m. Break

    12:30 p.m. Lunch

    2:00 p.m. Break

    3:00 p.m. Group Workshop

    5:00 p.m. Group Sunset Walk

    8:00 p.m. Dinner

    9:00 p.m. 12-step meeting (optional)

  • Friday 10/6

    8:00 a.m. Breakfast

    9:30 a.m. Group Workshop

    12:00 p.m. Break

    12:30 p.m. Lunch

    2:00 p.m. Break

    3:00 p.m. Restorative Yoga

    5:00 p.m. Break

    8:15 p.m. Dinner

  • Saturday 10/7

    8:00 a.m. Breakfast

    9:30 a.m. Morning Group Workshop

    12:00 p.m. Break

    12:30 p.m. Lunch

    3:00 p.m. Creative Arts Session

    6:00 p.m. Break

    8:15 p.m. Dinner

  • Sunday 10/8

    8:00 a.m. Breakfast

    9:30 a.m. Closing

    12:00 p.m. Lunch

    2:30 p.m. Shuttle departs for Grosseto Train Station


“When we finally give up the struggle to find fulfillment “out there,” we have nowhere to go but within. It is at this moment of total surrender that a new light begins to dawn.”

Shakti Gawain

view more inspirational quotes from Restart Retreats


Valerie Simon, LCSW

Valerie Simon, LCSW, PAT has a psychotherapy practice focusing on healing trauma, addiction and co-dependency on the Upper West Side in New York City. She sees individuals, couples, and families and runs psychodrama groups, monthly psychodrama workshops, intensives. Valerie is a regular leader of intensives at Onsite Workshops in Tennessee. Her mentor in psychodrama was Tian Dayton, PhD., author and co-founder of the renowned Breakthrough Program at the Caron Foundation.

Claudia Palmira

Claudia Palmira is a Rome-based exhibited artist and designer. She leads groups in Vision Mapping, Desires 101, Creativity, and Marketing. Besides co-founding Restart Retreats and directing her international design studio, she unites teachers and seekers in Rome through her company Open City experiences.

“Once your past no longer has the power to define you, your future is, quite literally, yours for the taking. Every single beautiful thing you could possibly want or imagine will be yours.”

– Dan Pearce

view more inspirational quotes from Restart Retreats

About the Area

Embracing Our Authentic Joy takes place in a small hillside town called Magliano-in-Toscana. This ethereal landscape is located in the heart of the renowned Maremma area of Tuscany, two hours north of Rome. La Capitana is a 20-minute drive to the beautiful coast of Argentario and the destination towns of Orbetello, Porto Ercole and Porto Santo Stefano. Just a short drive from Talamone, a windsurfing destination and the Maremma National Park. Thirty minutes by car will take you to the Parco Naturale dell’Uccellina, the ideal place for walks in nature. A 40-minute drive will take you to enchanting places such as the Terme di Saturnia (thermal hot springs) and the villages of Sorana, Sovana, Pitigliano, and Manciano. No matter where you travel the scenery will create a sense of relaxation and beauty down every curve.

Join us for our Third Annual Restart Retreat

Embracing Our Authentic Joy

September 26 – 30, 2018
Wednesday evening – Sunday midday
Magliano-in-Toscana, Tuscany (IT)

Inner Work, Outer Splendor