Advanced Coursework with a Tropical Twist

Imagine finishing up your Master’s program while getting a chance to practice yoga, meditate and relax in one of the most sought-after destinations in the world, surrounded by the sweet smells and sounds of a tropical rainforest with an array of wildlife, including monkeys, sloths and toucans. Then, in between classes and yoga sessions, imagine exploring the laid-back surf town of Dominical, home of some of the best waves in the world, while enjoying the beach, the warm water, breathtaking views, and the transformative wonders of Costa Rica.

This Practicum course focuses upon group and dyadic work using current case presentations, discussions, and explorations based in the theories and techniques learned in the program. This practicum will synthesize elements of somatic psychotherapy with assessment, treatment planning, differential diagnoses and work with multiple diagnoses, course of treatment, choice of modalities, cultural sensitivity, transference and countertransference, clinical intuition and the art and science of psychotherapy.

Blending psychology and environmental studies, while building on the centrality of body awareness in all contexts, the field study experience invites students to heighten sensory awareness in application to vignettes and case examples inclusive of place, space and connectedness to the environment and all sentient beings.

Meditation, breath-work, and mindfulness practices within the context of group exploration of rich Costa Rican geography, topography, wildlife, and culture will deepen attunement to self and other as integrated with foundational knowledge and skills for somatically grounded therapeutic practice.

Course meets requirements for 3-unit practicum course. For more information, contact Elizabeth Wolfson:; (805) 962-8179, x 5155

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Elizabeth Wolfson, PhD, LCSW

Director, Somatic Psychotherapy Specialization

Core Faculty, Master’s in Clinical Psychology Program

Antioch University Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA

Contact:; (805) 962-8179, x 5155

Elizabeth Wolfson, PhD, LCSW, has been a psychotherapist in private practice for over three decades working with individuals, couples, families, and groups from a holistic perspective integrating mind, body, and spirit. She is also Core Faculty and Director of Somatic Specializations in the Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology program at Antioch University Santa Barbara.

 Dr. Wolfson received her PhD in Clinical Social Work from New York University School of Social Work and has been teaching in higher education for nearly three decades including at Columbia University, Pacifica Graduate Institute, and Antioch University Santa Barbara. She has a strong background and interest in psychodynamic, depth, humanistic-existential, narrative, and systemic theories.

Dr. Wolfson has served as clinical director of agencies, and was a co-founder of two non-profit organizations in Santa Barbara California. Dr. Wolfson’s professional accomplishments prior to coming to AUSB include the creation of a gang violence intervention program pairing at-risk youth with Holocaust survivors. She was Project Associate in the production of two films in collaboration with UCSB Department of Film and Media Studies, screened at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival in 2006 and 2007.  At Antioch University Santa Barbara, she was Department Chair of the MA in Clinical Psychology Program, developing specializations in Healthy Aging and in Somatic Psychotherapy, and was Director of Antioch’s Women and Leadership program.

She has presented nationally and internationally and published on a range of topics including: Diversity and Dialogue Through the Arts, Practicing Poetically, The Secrets of Healthy Aging; The Road Not Taken: Mining Nostalgia for the Riches of Mid-life;  Reading, Writing and Winnicott: Reconstructing the Story of ‘I’ in the ‘Good Enough’ Space;  Stepping Towards Darkness: The Enlightened Path Towards Healthy Aging; Hiding in Plain Sight: Uncovering Richness Past Midlife; and What Does it Mean to Give Away Power in Relationship.

In 2003, Dr. Wolfson was named Administrator of the Year by the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Santa Barbara Chapter, and in 2006, she received the Association of Jewish Family and Children’s Agencies Kovod Award for Excellence in Media. In 2011, she received the Intergenerational Effort of the Year Award from AARP and the Central Coast Commission for Seniors for her work in developing the Concentration in Healthy Aging  at AUSB. She received an Award for Excellence in Community Education from the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), California Chapter in 2013. Dr. Wolfson served on the Board of NASW as Vice President of Professional Development for 13 years and currently serves on the Board of California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, Santa Barbara, California Chapter.  In 2017, Dr. Wolfson was awarded an Artist-in-Residence through the Mendocino Art Center based on two writing projects

Dr. Wolfson currently serves as Core Faculty and Director of the Somatic Psychotherapy Specialization at Antioch University in addition to her clinical practice in Santa Barbara, California.

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Nicole Heinrich, MA, LMFT

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Specialist in Somatic Psychotherapy, Certified Hakomi Therapist & Teacher

Hakomi Institute of California, San Francisco, CA

Contact: (831) 466-9497 or (415) 933-6909

Nicole Heinrich, MA, LMFT is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with over 25 years’ experience working with individuals, couples and groups, with private practices in San Francisco and Santa Cruz. She holds a masters degree in Somatic Psychology from California Institute of Integral Studies and has extensive experience integrating somatic, mindful, trauma-informed and relational approaches. 

Nicole is a Certified Hakomi Therapist and Teacher. She began her studies with Ron Kurtz in 1989. She is on the faculty of the Hakomi Institute of California and has taught in the Professional Hakomi Mindful Somatic Training as well as developed and taught many well-received Hakomi workshops, such as Embodied Wisdom and Mindfulness in the Therapeutic Process. She codeveloped and taught The Hakomi Method–Essential Skills and helped teach Hakomi Essentials with Rob Fisher at Esalen Institute. As adjunct faculty at John F Kennedy University, Nicole has taught Hakomi I and II in the Holistic Studies – Counseling Psychology Program. Her teaching methods include talks, discussions, live demos and experiential, embodied learning.  

Nicole worked at La Casa de las Madres in San Francisco, providing individual therapy and support groups for women experiencing and escaping domestic violence. She also codeveloped and facilitated a resourced based, experiential therapy group for Summit Estate Recovery Center, an inpatient residential treatment program in the Bay Area. 

In addition to her knowledge of traditional and somatic psychotherapy, Nicole has many years of training and experience working with different forms of bodywork, contemplative movement and meditation practices. With a deep trust in the present moment, Nicole brings a depth of knowledge and an open heart to her therapy practice, supervision and teaching. 

Package Price

Private Room (1 Queen Bed): $2850 (student); $1650 (partner)

Shared Room (2 Beds): $2450 (per person, double occupancy)

Shared Room (3 Beds): $1950 (per person, triple occupancy)

Beautiful Costa Rica

Where Pura Vida is a way of life.

Costa Rica is world-renowned as a place that is not only beautiful, but is actually good for your well-being.

You’ll find some of the world’s best beaches, tropical rainforests and national parks overflowing with a diversity of flora and fauna that would astound any nature lover. The country is famous for its eco-tourism, which leads the world in efforts to protect the environment.

The shoreline encompasses a number of beautiful beaches, serving up unspoiled beauty and a natural charm that gives a unique character to the region and makes it a hot spot for surfers, nature lovers, conservationists and eco- adventurers alike.

Celebrated for its incredible biodiversity, look inland and you encounter verdant green mountains and jungles inhabited by toucans and macaws, three-toed sloths and howler monkeys.

Complete your coursework in this incredible corner of the world, flanked by a warm ocean, a lush jungle teeming with wildlife and new-found friends. There’s simply no better place to learn, relax, and celebrate a major turning point of your life. Are you ready?

What’s Included

•Round-trip ground transportation from SJO International Airport. 

•8 days/7 nights accommodations in a lush and luxurious eco-lodge steps from the beach.

•30 hours/3 units of class instruction.

•3 meals a day.

•Fresh healthy meals prepared by a local chef, and 3 dinners (included) on your own in town.

•Daily yoga sessions (morning or evening).

•Sound Bath with ‘Heart & Sound.’

•Group excursions to Costa Rica’s local favorites with transportation.

•Admission to national parks and Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary.

Your Classroom for 8 Sun-Soaked Days*

•Day 1 – Welcome and Introductions

•Day 2 – Relax and explore the beach and bohemian surf town of Dominical or nearby location.

•Day 3 – Marino Ballena National Park (The Whale’s Tail)/Playa Ventanas

•Day 4 – Nauyaca Waterfalls

•Day 5 – Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary

•Day 6 – Manuel Antonio National Park

•Day 7 – Free day to rest, recharge and/or explore some more.

•Day 8 – Gratitudes and Farewells

*Schedule and activities are subject to change.

Daily Schedule

Schedule illustrates a typical day, and varies depending on activities and excursions.

• 7:30 — Morning Meditation

• 8:00 - 10:00 — Breakfast to Order

•10:00 — Morning Yoga

• 9:00 - 5:00 — Daily Excursion with Coursework

•12:00 — Lunch

• 6:30 — Evening Yoga

• 7:30 — Dinner

More Cool Things To Do (optional)

•Surf/Kayak/SUP Lessons & Rentals

•Whale Watching 

•Zip-Line Adventure

•ATV Adventure

•White Water Rafting

•Horseback Riding

•Book a Massage

Package Price

Private Room (1 Queen Bed): $2850 (student); $1650 (partner)

Shared Room (2 Beds): $2450 (per person, double occupancy)

Shared Room (3 Beds): $1950 (per person, triple occupancy)


Danyasa Eco-Retreat

Danyasa Eco-Retreat is a boutique yoga retreat center that offers world-class movement arts experiences in a world-class setting. Located at the base of rainforested mountains on the bank of the Baru River, Danyasa provides a sanctuary for living artfully in nature.

Danyasa’s unique up-cycled shipping container rooms provide a perfect blend of luxurious comfort and eco-friendly sustainability. All rooms have real mattresses, top quality sheets and bedding, air conditioning, WiFi, in-room safes. Also included: free filtered water, coffee, tea and daily organic breakfast.


• Deposit to hold your spot: 10% of package price due at booking.

• Balance of trip package price due no later than 10/5/19.


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