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.

Actualizing the Authentic Self

Manifest your Soul’s Desires on this Experiential Tuscan Retreat

Aligning your values with your everyday actions begins by understanding who you are. By manifesting your authentic self, Restart Retreats offers the opportunity for you to bring congruity between your vision and their outward expression in your life.

This four-day and three-night workshop in Magliano-in-Toscana, Italy uses creative arts exercises, psychodrama and vision mapping to help your life externalize your soul. 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 receive the best rate, book before May 31, 2017.

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


Every single day our actions and decisions reflect who we are to the world. Whether we realize it or not, all of our actions are intentional and speak to the authentic nature of our beings. This retreat will work to ensure that your everyday actions are in sync with your soul. Led by one of the top psychodramatists in New York City, Valerie Simon, LCSW, PAT, you will work to uncover a life lived purposefully.

Restart Retreats delves into the building blocks of authenticity – forgiveness, self-empowerment and genuine decision-making – to uncover a deeper understanding of who you are. 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.

Psychodrama and complete immersion into the core mechanisms that drive us is how we grow. Giving your inner demons a voice will allow you to interact and understand them so that you may release and open up space for you to change. It is not only about finding the authentic self but also the authentic vision. It is not enough to only awaken who we are, it is learning how to put each aspect of ourselves into daily practice.

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 a truly authentic lifestyle.

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 relationships and co-dependent patterns, Actualizing the Authentic Self provides concrete guidance and clarity using the 12-step 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:

  • wants to spend time in Tuscany
  • desires to make authentic decisions
  • has a vision, but finds it difficult to articulate and manifest
  • wants to get to the “next level”, but doesn’t know what that looks like
  • feels unable to change a particular relationship or aspect of life
  • feels that their enthusiasm, creativeity or joie di vivre is lacking
  • feels stuck or confused on their vision for life
  • has reached a plateau in their recovery or spirituality
  • desires to experience recovery in the gorgeousness of Tuscany

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
  • Objects to personal growth
  • Cannot visit Italy


Restart Retreats is the gift of experience to yourself long after you have left the Tuscan farmhouse. It is a promise of liberation 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.



Actualizing the Authentic Self is designed to bring expression of your authenticity to the choices of your 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.
  • 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.
  • 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

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

Bill Wilson

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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!

“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

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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 artist and designer. She leads groups in Vision Mapping, Desires 101, Creativity, and Marketing. After attending Breakthrough at Caron Foundation, she became passionate about psychodrama and creative arts therapy and then participated in a training group with Tian Dayton, PhD in NYC. Besides co-founding Restart Retreats and running her design studio, she guides people in organizing events and retreats in Italy through her company Rome Workshops.

“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

Actualizing the Authentic Self 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.

Click on the image above to view a gallery of images from the area surrounding the 2017 Restart Retreat.

Actualizing the Authentic Self
October 5-8, 2017
Thursday evening – Sunday midday
Magliano-in-Toscana, Tuscany (IT)

Retreat limited to 16 participants