The Retreat, Villa Kali Ma’s Trauma Treatment Center

The Retreat is Villa Kali Ma’s unique healing retreat center for women, located in luxurious Rancho Santa Fe, California.

The Retreat is a licensed mental health and trauma treatment facility, where women are supported to heal through the most up-to-date trauma treatment approaches in the field.

In addition to our clinical team’s extensive list of specialized trauma focused modalities, Brainspotting and ketamine assisted therapy are provided alongside our many holistic therapies for healing mind, body, and soul.

Mental health treatment is provided in the form of individual session work, groups, and family therapy using frameworks and models for healing trauma with co-occurring symptoms, including depression, anxiety, self-harm, and panic disorder.

In addition to mental health treatment and trauma-informed therapies, yoga, nutrition, massage, breath work, acupuncture, activities, and outdoor therapy are part of the Retreat’s comprehensive healing program.

The Retreat is a unique place for women to undergo therapy to receive deep and lasting healing for mental health and trauma issues. The Retreat is a 30-90 days onsite program in a sunny, beautiful, and safe recovery environment, with the option to stay longer if desired.

What Types of Trauma Can Be Healed at the Retreat?

There are two categories of trauma and the Retreat is designed to treat them both.

Some women meet diagnostic criteria for a clinical diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Other women struggle with what is called complex trauma, or “lower t” trauma, (as opposed to the “capital T” trauma associated with PTSD).

The Retreat is specialized to treat those qualifying for a diagnosis of PTSD and also provides treatment for women with any pattern of complex, or chronic developmental trauma.

Generally speaking, you can think of trauma in two ways, both of which can be healed at the Retreat:

  1. Capital T trauma, or post-traumatic stress, which is related to one standout specific event or experience, such as a car crash, assault, exposure to violence, or combat experiences (PTSD)
  2. Lower t trauma, or complex trauma, related to a pattern or series of events and experiences that left deep imprints in the personality, for example, due to abuse, neglect, or other difficult experiences in childhood

Common Signs That You May Have Complex Trauma

PTSD may be more easily recognized, because it involves more dramatic symptoms, such as numbness, flashbacks, night terrors, and panic attacks. Repeated replaying of specific terrible events in your mind, combined with very acute emotional and physical distress that feels like you’re dying (or something equally horrible is happening to you) are indicators of having trauma that may qualify for a clinical diagnosis of PTSD.

Because it can be harder to detect, it’s important to look out for the signs of complex trauma, as well. Here are some indicators that you may have complex trauma:

  • You feel a lot of guilt or shame, and you think of yourself as “bad”
  • You experience sudden, intrusive unwanted thoughts, memories, or images
  • You’re easily startled, feel keyed up, and are on guard a lot of the time
  • You feel a lot of rage, fear, and/or helplessness in your life, which you find hard to tolerate (it feels very bad emotionally)
  • You struggle to control your behavior
  • You are easily overwhelmed and feel inadequate to face certain people and events
  • You get triggered, or suddenly very quickly activated into intense bad feelings
  • You have an addiction to substances or engage in self-destructive behavior like self-harm, eating disorders, or destructive relationships
  • You have a mental health disorder such as anxiety (including panic disorders), obsessive-compulsive disorder, or depression

What Is Trauma-Centered Care?

the retreat our new trauma treatment centerThe more we learn about the impacts of trauma on mental and physical health, the more clinicians recognize the importance of trauma-centered care.

Trauma-centered care is a method of approaching psychological healing that takes into account the neurobiological effects of experiences we’ve lived through. According to a growing body of research, trauma is a root cause of mental health disorders and addiction.

While it may not be the sole cause of all mental health and addiction trouble, trauma indisputably plays an important part in how and why mental health and addiction problems appear in a woman’s life.

If you have mental health trouble and/or an addiction, chances are high that you also have some degree of traumatization, which is making it harder for you to feel good and live well. Healing your trauma will make it easier to stop self-destructive behaviors and feel better mentally, emotionally, and physically.

Placing priority on addressing trauma properly (as opposed to, for example, management of symptoms alone), helps create a model for healing mental health problems and addiction at the root cause level. Healing mental illness and other symptoms at the root cause level means that, potentially, we can permanently heal a negative pattern once and for all.

Trauma and Safety: Recovering Your Right to Feel OK in Your Skin

The tragedy of trauma is it robs us of our right to feel our basic goodness and lovability. Instead of feeling peace of mind, creative inspiration, and gratitude, our lives are constantly disrupted by intense negative emotions and terrible thoughts that tell us something horrible is happening or about to happen.

The trauma-centered care model prioritizes restoring the subjective experience of safety because all symptoms including addiction can be understood as a mechanism for attempting to achieve safety at the level of the nervous system.

When a nervous system is shocked into disorder by traumatization, a person will forever be looking for coping mechanisms to help mimic the needed experience of “basic OK-ness” in the world. Safety means more than physical safety, it also means relational safety – I am good, I am loved, I am safe, and the bond between us is safe (the relationship between you and I is secure).

Trauma-centered care makes sure that the core ability to feel safe and good in the world is repaired so that self-destructive behaviors and mental health symptoms are no longer necessary for the psyche to keep itself together.

What Are the Benefits of Trauma Treatment?

therapy programs

Trauma is intimately connected to addiction, to both substances and to processes (gambling, relationships, self-harm), as the work of Lisa Navajits helps us see very clearly.

By healing trauma alongside our other problems (mental illness and addiction), we have the greatest chance of full, complete recovery.

The most important benefits of trauma treatment are:

  1. The ending of patterns of self-destructive behavior, negative thinking, and dramatic bad feelings
  2. Freedom from reliving the trauma experience over and over again, as conscious memory and/or as ongoing repeating loops of fear and helplessness
  3. Return of agency (empowerment, I can do it sensation), end of victimization

Additional benefits of trauma treatment include:

  1. Restoration of joy, meaning, hope, connection, and creative purpose in life
  2. Feelings of deep peace and safety, including feeling oneself as valuable and lovable
  3. The ability to have loving relationships with positive partners, to be intimate without fear of abandonment or other kinds of hurt

What Makes ‘The Retreat’ Different From Other Trauma Treatment Centers?

The Retreat is unique among trauma treatment centers because it is an expression of Villa Kali Ma’s core philosophy, which holds that a holistic, multi-faceted path is the best way to liberate women from suffering.

Both scientific and soulful, our approach meets the totality of a woman in all of her dimensions to help heal her from her deepest pain. The Retreat has a weekly schedule that includes up to 45 hours of clinical and holistic therapies, with on- and off-site activities geared towards helping each woman discover her wholeness in body, mind, and spirit.

Finally, we pride ourselves on providing an especially luxe and comfortable setting in which to experience your healing transformation; the Retreat site in Rancho Santa Fe is a bright, fresh, and sunny getaway, with pools, outdoor spaces, and many different shared indoor areas.

What Therapies Are Used to Treat Trauma at the Retreat?

the retreat our new trauma treatment center

The Retreat combines cutting-edge, evidence-based treatments and modalities that have distinguished themselves in recent years as especially promising in the treatment of trauma, such as Brainspotting, Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy, and Parts Work (also called Internal Family Systems Therapy).

Our trauma-specific approaches are integrated with our clinical core of individual and group psychotherapies, education, and community participation. Our mental health and addiction therapies are effective for stopping destructive behaviors and healing mental health disorders so that each woman can be relieved of painful emotional and mental symptoms.

Alongside our trauma healing program and mental health and addiction recovery approaches, we bring our signature combination of holistic modalities. Yoga, Ayurvedic medicine, diet and lifestyle coaching, outdoor therapy, breath work, shamanistic journeying, and creative therapies help make your trauma recovery journey vivid and whole-hearted to the core.


“You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”


It was the best 30 days of my life.


Villa Kali Ma provides a holistic, supportive, therapeutic retreat for women to recover from trauma & substance disorders. The intensive and comprehensive approach provides a compassionate path of learning, awareness, and self-love for healing. I am grateful for the sacred space provided for my reflection, my mind-body-spirit work, and my opportunity to connect with other women in this process.


Villa Kali Ma changed my life in every single aspect. Not only did the experience help me get sober and stay sober for over a year now, but I was finally able to work on my past trauma in a safe and stable environment. Not a day goes by that I’m not using a healthy tool they taught me. I am forever grateful to the staff and strong women I spent my time with there. Truly the most profound life changing month of my life.


Villa Kali Ma is an in-network provider with Anthem BCBS, Multiplan, First Health, Healthnet, and currently accepts most
PPO plans with out-of-network benefits. Call (760) 350-3131 for information on cost and payment options.