Application to Reserve Your Space

Executive Directors of victim service agencies wear many hats!  While leading agencies which support victims of violence, many leaders carry internal stress from years of providing direct service to victim/survivors (past or present) while also being a mentor to staff with needs. The same traits of being naturally empathetic, caring, or social justice-minded and/or wanting to make the world better through our efforts can compound the impact of our work. Many leaders in this movement are vulnerable to vicarious trauma, just as staff is vulnerable. How can we find life-work balance? How can we remain engaged and committed, while also maintaining our own internal well-being and positive world view?

The North Carolina Victim Assistance Network (NCVAN) is pleased to offer a special retreat and training event especially for executive directors! It's an opportunity just to focus on YOU and your own well-being as we learn.  Space is being held first for executive directors who sent advocates to one of our prior Resiliency Retreat and Training on Vicarious Trauma events, as a means of saying "thank you", as a means of supporting your incredible efforts, and as a complement to the work of your staff.

Through three days of retreat-based training and somatic and respite activities, the NCVAN Resiliency and Training Retreat on Vicarious Trauma gives participants space to understand vicarious trauma by processing/integrating that understanding on personal level, towards reclaiming joy in the work, so crucial to the sense of wholeness that sustains our collective work. The events take place in peaceful, natural surroundings and incorporate creative and healing activities. Each participant will have their own room to foster both reflection and solitary time to replenish. 

We will meet at a lovely mountaintop retreat setting outside of Highlands (west of Asheville), which includes time to relax, process, and reflect. The retreat and training, as well as the lodging, are provided free of charge through grant funding so that you can simply enjoy and benefit from the time without added stress of financial concerns.  Meals are automatically included in the lodging. 

As mentioned above, priority space is being reserved on a first-come basis for executive directors who have already sent (or will send in September) advocates our NCVAN Resiliency Retreat & Training on Vicarious Trauma -- until space fills up --- through July 17th.  After July 17th we will open up the spaces to additional executive directors who may not have sent their staff to our events yet.

NCVAN Resiliency and Training Retreats on Vicarious Trauma are part of the NCVAN’s Advanced Academy and funded through the Governor’s Crime Commission. 

Credit hours are offered to both participating staff and leadership towards re-certification for the NCVAN Victim Services Practitioner Certification Academy and can also be counted towards CFW training requirements.

If you have questions about applying, please send an email to

We look forward to seeing you on the mountain top!


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* 1. Information About You:

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* 2. Since you first started working with victims, what of the following have you noticed experiencing? Check any/all that apply. (If you prefer, you may print a copy instead and bring with you to the retreat, for an exercise.)

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* 3. Expound as desired on these questions:  What do you find the most internally challenging aspects of your work with victims?  What types situations with victims drain or trigger you the most? Do you feel that a specific case has acutely impacted you?  How much does the accumulation of stories and situations affect you in your work and life?

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* 4. What did you originally love or enjoy about your work? What gave you energy or helped you sustain your work?

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* 5. This retreat will engage participants in group, partner and individual activities designed to help us begin our own vicarious trauma in an introductory way as we learn about it.  What thoughts or concerns might you have, if any, in participating in group processing and learning activities? How would you feel about participating in somatic or movement activities?  Do you have prior experience in yoga or meditation activities?

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* 6. The activities of this retreat and training are considered in some ways to be "process" work, with each component being connected to the others.  We have also pre-paid for the spaces.  For this reason If you are given space,  we will will ask and only accept you on your commitment  to attend the ENTIRE PROGRAM, Sunday evening, July 29th  (at approximately 3:00 p.m.) through Wednesday afternoon, July 1st.  The retreat and training is free to all participants, along with lodging, Sunday and Monday nights. We will have group meals together.  We would like a firm commitment from those to whom we grant the space. Is anything tentative in your schedule those dates? Would you be able to fully commit to participate in ALL scheduled activities?

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* 7. If there are any special considerations you would like us to know about your stay, please provide details below, including, for example, physical, emotional, dietary, or logistical considerations below, if you choose.  Some rooms are designed for people with a physical challenges. The kitchen would also like to design meals to avoid food allergies and to accomadate vegetarians, etc. It is our wish that you safely enjoy meals and have a comfortable and accessible time while at the retreat.  Thank you!