Therapeutic stay for individuals and couples-Le Sentier Tranquille ... a retreat centre in the Pyrenees

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Le Sentier Tranquille ... a retreat centre in the Pyrenees

Therapeutic stay

time and space for rest and re-evaluation

... counselling, training, creative therapies, walking - and, of course, good food

To come to Le Sentier Tranquille, whether as an individual or as a couple, is to give yourself the opportunity to stand back and take a look at what is going on for you in a safe space with professional support... the chance to be observer and observed, with an experienced helper alongside.
PoppiesSimon a long-time senior-accredited professional member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy, has worked in the field of counselling therapy for over 30 years, in the NHS, privately, and in education sectors in the UK.  His work and his  have encompassed the difficulties of clients of all ages and backgrounds.
We do not have a prescription for how things have to happen.  There are common ingredients - a comfortable room with a private bathroom, excellent meals provided by Janet, therapies including reading, music, writing, accompanied walks, as well as counselling - are already included in the cost of your stay. 

And we will only ever have one couple or two individuals staying in this way at one time, so there will be room and time for whatever a place to expand and just be yourself, outside space in the centre and open country around - and then there is whatever therapeutic work can help you.  We work out together what will be best for you and whatever we provide - counselling, mindfulness, meditation training, creative the
Confidentiality and privacy are paramount and so we do not have the usual catalogue of reviews, but you can see extracts here of what some client-guests have sent us after they have left .


Simon Cole:  "In the UK a long-time senior-accredited practitioner of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, I have worked in counselling and therapy for over 30 years.  I trained at Newcastle University and the College of Ripon & York St John (Leeds University), being awarded a Masters in Counselling with distinction.  I also studied transactional analysis, and relationship counselling in depth with Joseph Zinker.

"As well as working with the Samaritans, I have worked professionally as a psychological therapist, in drug and alcohol intervention services, primary and secondary care in the NHS, as a course director for a counsellor training programme and have maintained a regular private caseload of counselling and supervision.
"I have practised meditation for many years and I have a personal and professional interest in the integration of  mindfulness and meditation with the sense of presence in relationship expounded by Martin Buber... the possibility of these providing a channel for the spirituality which is available to us all.
"Coming to France, we wanted to create a place for therapeutic rest and change, grounded in the insights of Carl Rogers and echoing the philosophy of RD Laing.  I believe that we have achieved that here."

A selection of Simon's writings are

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Janet Cole:  “I was a teacher since the advent of comprehensive education and it was - still is - something I believe passionately in. My maxim was from one of my first tutors – “don’t stand there talking about something when the student can be doing it!”  It stood me in good stead for 35 years. One important thing I learnt early on is that we all learn by teaching.  My philosophy has always been to say 'yes' and accept any challenge or opportunity offered.  I started teaching physics and ended up as Head of ICT and responsible for the schools Learning Resources Centre, which was appropriate because I have always loved reading and books.

"Here I enjoy working in the garden - it will never be tidy but it is a wonderful haven for our guests as well as the bees, butterflies, birds, squirrels and bats. Since we have been here I have been developing my herb garden – a must for a lot of the dishes I cook, all based on locally sourced products.
"It’s good to be able to provide the right kind of surroundings for guests to feel at home in and I enjoy cooking for people:  our meals times are an important part of the day, a time to relax and share our different experiences.”

You can look at some of Janet's recipes by clicking
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About the atmosphere of the centre someone said:  “First of all, it was an extraordinary experience… the room was very relaxing and comfortable, there was so much space everywhere and the garden is idyllic.”, and another:  “Thank you for the wonderful hospitality… the food (so much and so tasty!), your warmth, the space to do what’s needed, your counsel and acceptance…”

Of the process it has been said:  “It was for me a truly transformative time, in body and soul. I loved the novels and the poetry, the insights of the therapy, the wonderful food and the silence of the forest.”, and “… thank you for long walks and talks and helping me to find balance and a sense of calm.”

Reflecting after her return home, one guest said:  “I am so glad I found you… I am happier than I have been for years”, another:  “after returning home… people could not believe how relaxed I was after just a short time away.”  And another:  "Thank you both so much for creating such a warm & caring environment throughout my stay & for the professional & thoughtful support. Not to mention the absolutely wonderful food ..........! All were appreciated more than I can express."

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"Stillness in Mind : a companion to mindfulness, meditation and living" (published by Changemakers Books, 2014) : this is the classic 'how to' mindfulness and meditation book, but from the angle of a therapist.  Simon offers a framework for understanding what happens in meditation in a way that opens up a path for personal growth.

"Pathways : a philosophic reflection on human relationship" (published 2018) : relating is what makes us human  - we do not live alone on the planet.  This work offers insights into a spectrum of human relating from the mythological to the 'mundane modern', bringing in the philosophical with 'I-Thou' and with Ubuntu and with the sense of geese! and revealing us humans as we are in our solitude and in our loving.

"Along the Way : themed meditations for day to day living" (published 2017) : a pocketbook of meditation narratives for the discomforts, disillusions and distractions of being alive today - a simple aid for the maintenance of a meditaiton practise.

Books website is here

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