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Heal the Healers Retreat

Sally Nilsson, Eric Kolesar and the rest of the Tula Vida horse and human team are partnering with Gretchen Morgan of Lighthouse Counseling Sand Play Training Center to offer this special retreat of rest, healing and rejuvenation for those affected by the recent COVID-19 and other societal events.

Burnout and compassion fatigue are common challenges for those of us in the caring or healing professions this year.


Mentored by our horse partners, we will take a deep dive into self-care for body, mind and spirit and let the rhythm of the natural world guide us to restore our balance, energy and peace.

Renew your mind, body and spirit!

Many of us show up as healers, whether by profession or chosen role, and – especially when also processing our own trauma and reaction to big life events, of which we have had many recently!, our own “well” of internal resources can become drained and depleted.   If we want to be able to keep going and keep giving it is vital to consciously address this, to make space for ourselves to receive, and to find tools for our own self-regulation.

In this reflective workshop, you will join our extraordinary horses in their home - the vibrant green fields, rivers and rainforest near the Arenal volcano in Costa Rica – and experience becoming part of the herd, fully connected to yourself, the horses and the natural world. 

  • Let the horses show and teach you how to balance your nervous system. 

  • Take a dive into your own consciousness through the transformative modality of Equine Facilitated Sand Play Therapy and find healing at the deepest levels. 

  • Allow yourself to play in the bubbling, carefree streams. 

  • Cherish and nourish your body with healthy food, gentle movement designed to get your energy flowing, beautiful natural surroundings, restorative wood-fire sauna and healing massage. 

  • Feel your life force return little by little…

No prior horse experience required

Our mission is to provide a deeper connection with self, through horses, nature and experience.


Date: Arrival on 17 July, departure on 23 July 2022

(ask us if you would like to extend your stay or go to the beach afterwards)

  • Limited number of Participants to ensure a personal experience for each of you.


What’s included:

Each Package Includes:

  • Daily Tula Vida horse experiences - – includes all facilitation, materials & equipment

  • Equine Facilitated Sand Play Therapy (see below for details)

  • Horseback riding to a private waterfall

  • Daily mindful movement/yoga (see below for details)

  • All meals – delicious homecooked, farm fresh meals or meals out in stunning lake view restaurants

  • 1.5 hours restorative massage

  • Transport to/from Tula Vida each day from your accommodation

  • 36 Continuing Education Credits for New Jersey social workers through NBCC, ACEP

Price: $3,250

Accommodation in your own private room in a beautiful guesthouse / retreat center near Tula Vida



Excluded: flights, airport transport, tips, alcohol & soda

No prior horse experience required


What They Say

“The experience was life-changing.  I connected with deep parts of myself that needed addressing and processing, with the true assistance and guidance of my horse.” 

Valeria, Nurse

About Equine Facilitated Sand Play Therapy

Sand Play is a cutting edge healing modality, a creative and powerful way to process what lies outside of your conscious thinking mind in a safe, supportive way.  The client chooses from a large collection of figures and builds a miniature “world” in the tray of sand that reflects what is going on in their lives, allowing them to process inner thoughts, struggles, and concerns through the figures.  By making changes in their make-believe world, clients are often empowered to make similar changes in their real world. 

Gretchen Morgan, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, is an extremely experienced holder and trainer of sand play therapy and has trained thousands of clinicians in the art.  In 2018 Gretchen, together with Sally Nilsson, explored combining the power of the sand with the wisdom of the horses and created Equine Facilitated Sand Play (in which they now offer trainings in Costa Rica):

“Horses have an incredible capacity to sense what is going inside us, which is what Sand Play is accessing too.  When we introduced the horses to a Sand Play process we were amazed how interactive and engaged they were, not just being a calming and supportive presence but seemingly able to indicate – and even choose - figures that turned out to be hugely significant for the client.”  Gretchen Morgan, LCSW


Equine Facilitated Sand Play is a profound experience, awakening your consciousness and inner feelings.  Working with the sand, supported by your horse, can reveal and shift whatever is asking for your attention to heal.