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“The BFRB Retreat process has evolved beautifully over 24 years.

First as a TLC event and now as a Heart & Soul Academy event;

blending science and spirit together in support of long-term recovery. 

-Christina Pearson, Heart & Soul Academy Visionary Director & CEO

and Founder of the TLC Foundation for BFRBs


Please join us for this transformative and life changing event!

Designed for hair pullers, skin pickers, and related behaviors, as well as their loved ones, the Annual Retreat offers participants the rare opportunity to:

  • Learn from - and spend time with - some of the world’s most knowledgeable, compassionate, and open-minded treatment providers and workshop facilitators in the field of Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors (BFRBs).

  • Engage in over 17+ experiential workshops, with topics ranging from Mindful Awareness Training and the Comprehensive Behavioral Model for BFRBs, to sessions on Creative Anxiety Reduction, Sacred Aspects of the BFRB Journey, BFRBs and Sensory Processing,  Conscious Self-Care, Your Beautiful Brain, and Energetic Sessions in Reiki and EFT Tapping Techniques!

  • Strengthen your awareness ‘muscle’ and understand how to truly connect with your body through Yoga, better diet, and mindful exercise, and your whole being through Mindfulness Meditation, Centering Prayer, and other contemplative practices.  Start developing the roadmap for recovery that works on every level for you in your life -  today!

  • Gain new perspectives on the day-to-day healing process; connect and share with others who truly understand how it feels to live with and recover from BFRBs.

  • Enjoy hiking, swimming, karaoke all in the beauty of the Colorado Rocky Mountains!

  • Specialized programs for Adults, Teens, Children, Parents, Partners, and Significant Others.

To support those who may not otherwise be able to attend,
We will definitely be offering workable payment plans, and are hoping to again offer a number of Partial Scholarships!

Start Saving Now!

Please note: More information will be posted soon!

Contact us at 970- 697-9677 to get your questions answered!.

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Welcome to the 2018 Annual BFRB Retreat!

The 2018 Annual BFRB Retreat is scheduled for July 19 - 22, 2018 and  will again be held at Sunrise Ranch.  Sunrise Ranch is a 350-acre ranch and sustainable organic farm at the foothills of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, near Loveland, Colorado. The picturesque and peaceful setting, with hiking trails and tons of wildlife, and located less than 90 minutes away from Denver International Airport, is perfect for the Annual BFRB Retreat! 

Along with opportunities to take in the magnificent natural setting, retreatants can enjoy hiking the trails, sitting around the fire pit at night, roasting marshmallows for s’mores, relaxing in the sauna or hot tub, and swimming in the pool (weather permitting). And, of course, there will be karaoke, an integral part of the Annual BFRB Retreat!

Clean and comfortable accommodations are located just a short walk from the dining hall, meeting spaces, and hiking trails. Guest spaces include double and triple rooms, all of which offer European-style shared baths. All bed and bath linens are provided. There are also a limited number of camping spaces available near the accommodations building. Campers must bring their own tents and bedding; towels are provided.

As prior Retreat attendees will attest, the communal living arrangements at the Retreat are one of its highlights. By sharing space with others who also live with BFRBs, you have the unique opportunity to form friendships at a deep level, while also challenging yourself to step outside your normal routines. In the event that all onsite rooms are booked, some participants may be offered an offsite lodging option.

Since 1945, Sunrise Ranch has followed organic farming methods to create a wide variety of food resources. The property is currently home to permaculture gardens, grass-fed beef, sheep, and pasture-raised poultry and egg. The Ranch takes a holistic, integrated approach to farm-to-table management for the purpose of sustaining the biodiversity of the landscape; enriching the soil, growing nutritious vegetables, and giving high-welfare care to its animals. Food that is not produced on the Ranch is sourced from conscientious local growers and farmers.

Sunrise Ranch offers both meat and vegetarian options, and can also provide vegan, wheat-free, and dairy-free diets when requested at least two weeks in advance. Desserts are provided a few times each week. Soda and other sugary drinks are not offered. However, coffee, a variety of teas, and 2-3 juices are always available. Your registration fee includes all meals, and daily snacks.

View Images of Sunrise Ranch

PLEASE do NOT contact Sunrise Ranch to make dietary arrangements. ALL diet-related requests must go through the Heart & Soul Academy staff to be included in your registration records. If we cannot make personal accommodation for your specific food needs or allergies, please be prepared to bring with you whatever it is that you will need. There are a couple of communal refrigerators that we will have access to for any items requiring refrigeration.

Please do NOT contact Sunrise for Retreat information or registration, as all this will be through the Academy. For more questions, call 970-697-9677 or click the button below.

Register for this Life Changing Event!



The individuals who are presenting this year have all graciously volunteered their time and expertise with us simply because we asked them. This group of exceptional people truly understand that there is a great need to provide support and education within our BRFB community as there are few resources available today. With their combined knowledge, skills and deep compassion for others, they bring great solace to those struggling with BRFBs or know others who are.

We are delighted and deeply grateful to be welcoming these precious beings into our hearts this year for the 2018 Heart and Soul Annual Retreat!


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Christina Pearson

Founder, Heart and Soul Academy / Founder, Trichotillomania Learning Center

Christina Pearson grew up suffering terribly from both hair pulling and skin picking. At the age of 33, discovering she was not alone, she set out to contact other sufferers, create resources and stimulate scientific research. In 1990, she founded the Trichotillomania Learning Center, now known as the TLC Foundation for BRFBs. Through her leadership and heart-based guidance, leading researchers and clinicians came together in order to create a collaborative Scientific Advisory Board (SAB).

The TLC SAB went on to validate the significance of the public health impact of BRFBs, and highlighted the need for rigorous scientific research. This was groundbreaking work that altered forever medical and therapeutic understanding of BFRBs. Christina was also responsible for setting up the world’s first Research Fund for BFRBs, and the organization she founded went on to fund numerous research projects inspiring many young investigators to become involved in the field.

She created the quarterly newsletter, InTouch, the Annual Conference, the Annual BRFB Retreat, along with one-day workshops, all as part of her outreach to other sufferers. Leaving TLC in early 2013, she turned her attention toward what she calls “Phase 2” of her service to the BFRB Community, establishing the Heart and Soul Academy with two other Founding members, Fred Bartlett and Barbara Stober in 2014

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Charles Mansueto, Ph.D.

Director, Behavioral Therapy Center of Greater Washington

Charles is a psychologist who specializes in the treatment and study of TTM. He is a founding member of TLC’s Scientific Advisory Board (SAB), and serves as the current Chair of the SAB’s Professional Education Committee. He recently retired from the faculties of Bowie State University (MD) and the American School of Professional Psychology (VA), Dr. Mansueto is Director of the Behavior Therapy Center of Greater Washington, DC, where he has long been involved in developing a new cognitive behavioral treatment approach the Comprehensive Behavioral Models (CompB) that he has helped hundreds of TTM sufferers with, over more than twenty-five years. This particular approach, the ComB treatment for hair pulling and skin picking, is the core treatment element of TLC’s Professional Treatment Institute. Dr. Mansueto chaired the first national symposium on TTM in 1990 (which is where Christina Pearson asked him to get involved in her vision of building The Trichotillomania Learning Center) and continues to conduct research, publish and speak at conferences, retreats, and other venues about the BFRB group of disorders..

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Joan Kaylor, Ph.D., M.S.Ed., L.P.C., DCEP

CEO Joan Kaylor M.S.Ed., L.P.C. Counseling and Consulting International

Joan is an international teacher, therapist, and consultant. She has been helping individuals and families since 1994. Joan’s passion is helping others out of the addiction and emotional trauma of body-focused repetitive behaviors. Joan knows the depression and isolation of trichotillomania having pulled for 25 years from age 11 to 36. In her words, “There is nothing more fulfilling than helping people change their lives.”

Joan is owner and CEO of Joan Kaylor, MSEd, LPC Counseling and Consulting International. She is sought as a keynote speaker and teacher. She has 14,000+ students enrolled in courses on Udemy.com. She created the first app for hair pulling and skin picking called “I Stopped Pulling. You Can Too.”

Joan is a founding member of the Trichotillomania Learning Center Foundation with Christina Pearson in 1990. Joan and Christina both served on the board of the International OCD Foundation in the early 1990’s. She is also a member of the TLC Foundation for BFRBs, a supporter of the Heart and Soul Academy, the Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology, ACEP, Anxiety and Depression Association of America and the International Obsessive Compulsive Foundation. Joan is certified in energy psychology, Emotional Freedom Techniques, and Cognitive Behavior Therapy.

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Sherrie Vavrichek, LCSW-C

Senior Clinician, Behavior Therapy Center of Greater Washington Silver Spring, MD

Is a board certified clinical social worker who has served in medical, psychiatric, and special education settings in the Washington D.C. area for over 25 years. Her expertise includes working with children, adolescents, and adults with TTM, OCD, ADHD, and Learning Disabilities. Ms. Vavrichek has spent years incorporating mindfulness and meditation practices with her Cognitive Behavioral therapeutic approach to treatment. She has been on the staff of the Behavior Therapy Center of Greater Washing-ton since 1990, and is co-author of The Hair Pulling Habit and You: How to Solve the Trichotillomania Puzzle, a treatment guide for children and adolescents, parents and therapists. She is also the author of a wonderful self-help book titled: Compassionate Assertiveness: How to Express Your Needs and Deal With Conflict While Keeping a Kind Heart, and Life Cycle, How We Grow and Change: A Human Development& Sexuality Education Curriculum," a sexuality education curriculum for young people with disabilities.

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Renae Reinardy, Psy.D

Director, Lakeside Center for Behavioral Change

Renae M. Reinardy, Psy.D. received her doctorate at Argosy University, Washington, D.C. She is the Director of the Lakeside Center for Behavioral Change. Dr. Reinardy specializes in the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder, trichotillomania, skin picking, hoarding disorder, and related conditions. She has been an adjunct professor at the doctoral level and has presented numerous times at national conferences and at local meetings and trainings. She is also the Program Developer of Courage Critters, on online and plush animal system.  Dr. Reinardy has been interviewed on Good Morning AmericaNorth Dakota Today, and the Joy Behar Show. She has also had her treatment techniques featured on Dateline NBC and A&E’s Hoarders.

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Annette Pasternak, Ph.D.

Holistic Health Coach

Anne is a certified holistic health coach who lives in Los Angeles. She is coaching clients from across the U.S. and worldwide to stop skin picking. Formerly a research scientist, college professor and high school chemistry teacher who struggled for more than two decades with chronic skin picking, Annette is now dedicated to helping others break free from its tenacious grip. She is the author of the number one selling and highest rated book on skin picking, “Skin Picking: The Freedom to Finally Stop.” Learn more about Annette and her work at her website www.stopskinpickingcoach.com.


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Merrill Black, LCSW

Reiki Master, Hypnotherapist, Owner & Founder of The Temperance Center in Eastchester, NY

Merrill is a cognitive behavior therapist who has been treating patients since 1987. In her private practice at the Temperance Center, she works with a diverse population. Among her specialties are anxiety disorders, including trichotillomania / skin picking and other BFRBs. She has been treating BFRB’s since 1997.  In her practice she works with children, adolescents, and adults. In addition to her traditional therapy she is also a trained Reiki Master and has incorporated  this  energy  work  into her repertoire since 2007.  She is also trained in hypnosis and uses the process of hypnosis to help her patients manage anxiety, stress, and their BFRBs. In addition, her guided channeling meditation groups are used as another tool to help shift, guide, and heal others in their personal journey.

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Ruth Golomb, LCPC

Senior Clinician, Behavioral Therapy Center of Greater Washington

Ruth is a senior clinician, supervisor, and co-director of the doctoral training program at the Behavior Therapy Center of Greater Washington. Ms. Golomb specializes in the treatment of anxiety disorders in children, adolescents and adults. She has conducted numerous workshops and seminars at past conferences and retreats, is a member of TLC’s Scientific Advisory Board; and participates as an expert in panel discussions covering many topics including Tourette Syndrome, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Trichotillomania (Hair Pulling Disorder), Dermatillomania (Skin Picking Disorder) and managing anxiety disorders in the classroom. In addition to publishing articles for professional journals and newsletters, Ms. Golomb is co-author of The Hair Pulling “Habit” and You: How to Solve the Trichotillomania Puzzle, a book describing comprehensive treatment of trichotillomania in children, and A Parent Guide to Hair Pulling Disorder: Effective Parenting Strategies for Children with Trichotillomania a book designed to help parents of children with trichotillomania..


Christy Garner

Dr. Christy Garner earned her natural science degree from the College of St. Benedict. Following her passion for holistic medicine, she received her doctor of chiropractic degree from Northwestern Health Sciences University.

Her post-doctorate focus has been in the field of epigenetics – expanding her knowledge base in the areas where individuals have influence over the expression of their genes, namely detoxification, nutrition, and stress adaptation. She is passionate about finding the simplest tools that make the biggest difference for people in achieving health and happiness.

Over the last decade, she has worked with over 2,400 individuals with highly sensitive nervous systems, including individuals challenged with autism, ADHD, anxiety, BFRBs, OCD, and addiction.

She offers a unique blend of head and heart as she combines her clinical knowledge and training with her personal experience and real-life navigation of living with Trichotillomania and Dermatillomania since age 9.

Noah Weintraub, PsyD

Psychologist, Behavior Therapy Center of Greater Washington

Noah earned his doctorate from Nova Southeastern University and completed further training at Terry Children’s Psychiatric Center in Delaware. While Dr. Weintraub works with all ages, he specializes in children and adolescents with a wide range of difficulties, including OCD and other anxiety disorders, ADHD, body-focused repetitive behaviors, and other behavioral disorders.



Kari Nelson

Fitness and Yoga Instructor Denver, CO

Kari grew up with Trichotillomania, and she and her parents have been long-time TLC members. At 18, she wrote an article for the TLC newsletter entitled “My Daily Fight.” Kari lives in Denver CO with her husband and son and is beginning to practice mindfulness in every-day life. She is a strong believer in good nutrition, appropriate exercise, good self-care, and creating balance in life. Kari has been a yoga and fitness instructor for the past 12 years.

Retreat Info

Retreat Info


Helpful Info:

July in Colorado is a beautiful and colorful time of seasonal change.

During our time there temperatures may vary between a low of 35 degrees at night to a high during the day in the mid 50’s to low 60’s. Please make sure to check the Loveland, Colorado area weather forecast before packing at home for the retreat. Bring layers, things that you can put on and take off. We have found that it is better to be warmer and be able to shed a layer than to be too cold!

Comfortable walking shoes are a must. The workshops will be in several different buildings on the grounds and you will often walk on unpaved roads to get from one place to another. Comfort and practicality is what you want to consider, and traveling light for your own convenience.

Please DO bring a bathing suit (even if you are sure you won’t swim) as the heated pool and indoor sauna will be available.

Although bedding is supplied for all who are staying in the dorm style cabins, you may wish to bring a pillow case or perhaps even your favorite pillow!


If you are flying, the nearest Airport is Denver International, and we will be operating a shuttle service for those who do not want to rent a vehicle. 

If you are flying, you will want to book your round trip ticket into Denver International Airport.

  • Please land prior to 3 pm MST if you wish to take the Shuttle the Academy will be offering. For your departure flight, please book your home-bound flight after 1 pm MST.
  • The address of Sunrise Ranch is 100 Sunrise Ranch Rd, Loveland, CO 80538.

Note: We always recommend you check road conditions before leaving so you can prepare accordingly. You can visit http://www.cotrip.org for up-to-date information. If you run into any problems while commuting to the retreat, please call and let us know what’s happening at (970) 697-9677.

Are you ready to change your life?

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"Attending the BFRB Retreat was one of the best choices I have ever made. It is hard to describe the experience of being surrounded by people who already know the secret you try so hard to hide from the world. It creates a bond that seems to go immediately to true friendship, even though you have just met. If that would have been the only thing would have taken away from the retreat, it would have been worth it. But the 4-day event also had a full schedule of sessions that were a unique opportunity to learn and grow and be supported. It was amazing to hear from some of the top professionals in the BFRB Community in such a small and intimate environment. I left the weekend with a new group of friends, a new support system, and a feeling of community and hope I had been longing for, for so many, many years – I cannot recommend it enough.”

Amay- a 2015 Retreat Participant


Learn. Transform. Heal.

The Heart & Soul Academy is a full experiential program. Whether you are a picker, a puller, a biter, a parent, or a partner, come and transform your relationship to these problems, find healing, and more effective ways of navigating life. This year’s unique process is a powerful distillation drawn from 23 years of Retreat experience in what is most helpful to attendees of all ages.

Those that attend, will have the rare opportunity to spend relaxed, interpersonal time interacting with, and learning from, some of the world’s most knowledgeable & compassionate BFRB expert treatment providers and workshop facilitators, while also spending in-depth, focused time with others struggling with many of the same issues.

Join us and experience how to transform and heal behaviorally, psychologically, emotionally, and spiritually along with others.

The Retreat registration fee covers your 4 nights of shared accommodations, all your meals, and your attendance at 17 or so workshops over the four-day period such as:

  • How to Build a Personalized Cognitive Behavioral Recovery Roadmap using ComB*
  • Mindfulness Based Impulse Reduction Strategies for Skin Picking & Hair Pulling (separate sessions)
  • Sharing our Stories to Heal
  • The Shedding of Shame
  • Parenting Skills for a child with BFRBs
  • Biology of BFRBs: Current Knowledge
  • Addressing the Whole Person for Teens
  • Building a Better BFRB Toolbox for Kids
  • Mindfulness Meditation, Centering Prayer, Restorative Yoga, and more!

The gift of addressing Issues pertaining to these disorders, working with compassionate and knowledgeable treatment providers and session facilitators in a safe a safe and supportive environment that will prepare you andIor your loved one to become more firmly grounded on the road to a strong recovery.

For ages 8 · 88, with full Programs for children, teens, adults, parents, and select professionals, the Retreat Is a powerful recovery stepping stone for those seeking relief, tools, strategies and life-long friends.

Your Retreat Registration includes:

  • 11 full meals – starting with Dinner 9/13/17 at 6:00 pm MT
  • 15 or more experiential workshops
  • 4 nights accommodation (depending on registration choices – i.e. residential, camping, day participation… )
  • Full access to retreat site and services (pool, sauna, fee-based massage, etc.)

Payment Plans and Partial Scholarships
We understand that finances can be a challenge for some and therefor offer payment plans as well as a handful of partial scholarships. If you would like to learn more about these options, please contact Christina Pearson at christina@hasacademy.org.

Retreat Cancellation Policy
Retreat registrations may be canceled any time prior to August 18th, 2017 and receive a 50% refund minus $35 for processing fees. No refunds for any reason will be given after the date of September 18th, 2017 as we need to prepay many facility fees. Thank you for your understanding.