FAQ –Frequently Asked Questions
We are women supporting women. We provide pathways to self-discovery, connection, and transformation. Our programs benefit women, 18 years of age and up in all demographics in the Western USA Region that we serve: California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Utah and Arizona.
We help women see which parts of themselves that need further acknowledgement and integration so that they can live their lives to the fullest. For centuries women have gathered together to see, hear, and support each other. Through these experiences we can be held when we feel alone, challenged when we’re stuck, and loved when we believe that we aren’t worthy.
Our signature program – the Woman Within Weekend – is a two-and-a half-day adventure for women. It provides a safe and nurturing environment for you to explore how your life could be different and to fully know and live the power of who you are. It’s an opportunity for you to look at the life you’ve created and to make choices about what you want to sustain, what you want to deepen, and what you want to release. The Weekend program is designed by women, for women and staffed by trained Woman Within women. It is a ‘guided’ program: sessions are sequenced to lead participants to descend into their deep feminine selves to retrieve a part that has been buried for one reason or another, then to ascend and reclaim that lost part to finally celebrate their wholeness.
The Weekend is not intended to be a substitute for therapy, although it could be considered complementary to many kinds of therapies. Women at all stages of their journey can gain from the Woman Within experience. It is designed so that each woman finds her own path. Sessions include journaling, small and large group work, individual sharing, visualizations, and movement. Most sessions are held indoors but we encourage you to dress according to the weather because there is movement between buildings as well as the chance to be in nature.
Staffing a Woman Within Weekend, or one of our other empowerment programs in the Western USA, is a powerful experience in which you support other women as they access the power within themselves. The act of being of service to another person is an ancient tradition. As a staff member you find that you get many gifts in return: continued growth, new skills, and deeper connection with other women. Staffing is a time when you can get to know the women in your community and form deep, lasting friendships. Many women find the staffing experience to be just as powerful or, in some ways, even more powerful, than their initial Weekend.
Woman Within Circles are small groups of women that typically meet in homes or meeting rooms to hear and support each other without judgment or trying to advise or ‘fix’ each other. These groups are typically free. They usually meet for several hours every one to four weeks, depending on circle member preferences, in various locations on a regional area. And for some who live more remotely, circles meet in cyberspace on video conference calls.
A Woman Within Open Circle is open to all and requires no prerequisites or training. Different women attend each time, although there may be “regulars” and “repeaters” who attend more than once. Women who have attended Circle Training and/or the WW Weekend are also welcome at these circles. There is no attendance requirement, so women attend as often or as infrequently as they like.
A Woman Within Circle, on the other hand, requires a Circle Training in order to attend, and the circles have the same members attending each time. The group sets its own schedule, attendance expectations, and may or may not be open to new members at any given time. The consistency in membership and commitment typically results in a stronger bond and deeper level of trust, so members of a Woman Within Circle tend to share and do personal work at a deeper level.
For many women, regularly attending their Circle becomes an important touchstone in their lives. It gives them an automatic way to connect to other thoughtful, journeying women. It also carves out several hours of ‘me’ time in what are often overly-busy lives. Importantly, it’s a chance to stop and look at what’s going on in your life on a regular basis, what you feel and think about it – and what you want to do about it.
At Woman Within Western USA we do our best to support ongoing Woman Within Circles. However, it depends on where you live and whether there is an active Woman Within community in your area. There is also the opportunity to join or start a virtual Circle.
If you’re interested in starting your own Circle and you don’t live near an existing Circle contact our Circle Director. She can support you in getting the pieces in place so that you can create a Woman Within Circle where you are.
To create a safe, supportive environment in your Circle, we require that all new Circle members take Woman Within Circle Training, where they can practice listening skills and gain tools that help them to learn more about themselves when they gather. This training is also a great way to create strong bonds and decide upon norms for your Circle. You may also request an experienced Circle Guide to advise and mentor your Circle as it gets started. Contact our Woman Within Western USA Circle Director to learn more about this.
Woman Within International licenses regional organizations to offer the Woman Within Weekend. Woman Within International maintains the program continuity and supports these regions by training leaders and providing marketing and administrative support. Each region handles all the logistics and registrations for the Weekends and Woman Within programs they host. Like the Woman Within Western USA, most of the regional organizations are not-for-profit and offer follow-up opportunities and programs for participants, including Woman Within Circles.
Yes, the Woman Within Weekend is residential. Because of the nature of the program, benefits are enhanced by staying on the site. If you have dietary, religious, health challenges, or disabilities that cause you to believe you cannot stay at the location, please contact us about your concerns.
Yes, the Woman Within Weekend program is the same no matter where you attend, whether it be in the USA, France, Germany, South Africa, Australia, or in the U.K. Our leaders are experienced with our processes and all staff are trained. Each Weekend follows the same outline, ensuring that all activities and sessions are offered in the same way.
Discuss this with whomever you wish to bring and make your own decision. The Woman Within Weekend can accommodate friends or family members on the same Weekend, whether they be participants or staff members. At the weekend there are different teams. You can be placed on two separate teams, allowing each of you to have your own individual experiences and yet be available to support and encourage each other. If there are other concerns, again, please let us know.
This is not recommended. All experiences build upon each other. Missing a session greatly reduces the value of the Woman Within Weekend for you.
For upcoming Woman Within Weekends in the West, please visit our calendar. The Woman Within Weekend is not a quick fix and it’s not a substitute for therapy. This process can complement therapy or be a catalyst to enhance the healing path you may already be on. We recommend that you sign up for the first available Woman Within Weekend and, in the meantime, try to find support from a therapist or professional in your area.
Absolutely. The Woman Within Weekend and all Woman Within Western USA programs welcome women of all ages. Women in their 80’s have attended and gained from what they received from our workshops. Our minimum age is 18 and there is no maximum age.
Woman Within programs are not based on any religion, nor do we promote any one belief over another. The sessions in the Woman Within Weekend and our other workshops blend a number of experiences drawn from many cultures and practices from around the world. We invite you to honor your own beliefs and spirituality. At all times, you choose whether you want to participate in any activity.
The Native American culture is one of many from around the world that is woven into the Woman Within Weekend curriculum. These rituals help us to prepare and be open to the growth opportunities being presented. We’ve also created our own ways of honoring the sacred feminine. You always have a choice about participating in any activity.
The magic of the program is in its unfolding. Each part of the Weekend builds on its previous parts. One session taken out of context wouldn’t make sense. To give you an outline of the whole program may undermine the sense of openness you need to receive whatever learning awaits you. And one woman’s experience may be very different from another’s. We don’t want you to be disappointed or discouraged if you don’t achieve the same result as another woman. Each woman comes to this experience with her own uniqueness and her own issues. To gain the maximum benefit, we ask you to trust the process. If you feel that you need more specific information before you can feel safe to come, contact our Woman Within Weekend Registrar and ask her for assistance.
This phrase is often heard among Woman Within participants. We ask women not to disclose our program’s content to ensure that each woman has her own experience. My journey is mine, yours is yours and how we react and interpret stimuli can be very different based on our history, current status and unique outlook.
Yes, the Weekend and Circle is available to any adult woman (over 18 years of age). Woman Within welcomes all women and prohibits discrimination based on race, color, gender, national origin, age, religion, disability, veteran’s status, sexual orientation, or gender identity.
There are up to 40 women on staff who have all been through the Weekend themselves. Our program is based on the concept of women supporting women in their growth. The participant-to-staff ration is 1:1. The staff do not lead, they follow your lead. All staff have walked the same Woman Within path that you will walk.
There are typically between 16 and 32 participants on a Woman Within Weekend.
The staff are your guides and support on the Weekend. However you choose your level of commitment After consultation with one of our senior Facilitators you are free to leave if you wish. Our goal is to provide support and make sure you are safe. There are always choices throughout the Weekend – know that you may decline from participating.
The buildings are non-smoking areas. However, there are breaks when smoking is allowed in the specific areas outside. Keep in mind some facilities might be in a wooded area and are restricted by fire regulations.
Only you can answer this question. We urge you to attend the Woman Within Weekend for yourself – not to please someone else. The same goes for Circle Training. If you are willing and ready to look inside for answers to questions that you may have about yourself, the choices that you make, and your life, then the Weekend can provide you with a powerful opportunity. All our programs are for you, and you alone need to decide when you are ready to come. No one can decide for you when the time is right.
Financial aid may be available. Woman Within Western USA often organizes fundraising efforts to assist women with scholarships that allow them to attend our programs. We have created a page that provides more information and to see if scholarships are available for which you would qualify. Our scholarship committee will review your request. Click here to apply.
The Mankind Project is a not-for-profit organization with certified organizational centers in 27 different Regions in North America, Europe, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Its programs are designed for men; Woman Within’s programs are designed specifically for women. Although the two organizations aren’t officially affiliated and don’t share protocols or sessions, they do share a mission of offering women and men an opportunity to discover more about themselves.
MKP’s mission is to assist men in ‘reclaiming the sacred masculine’. The Woman Within mission is to ’empower women and empower the world’. The programs are similar, stemming from the same intellectual property related to Jungian archetypes. Yet they are hugely different. Woman Within programs have been designed by women, specifically for women. Because men and women are very different, so is the curricula of these programs.
Yes, we ask all weekend participants and staff to agree to keep all weekend events confidential.
We are not a cult. We do not fit any of the characteristics of a cult, which includes subservience to a leader, requiring attendance at functions, and encouraging members to live and/or socialize only with other group members.
We honor each woman’s decision to be present, and if the weekend does not fit for her, we do not coerce her to stay. Sometimes a friend might be over enthusiastic about their experience and might seem like they are pushing you to attend. Please note this is your friends response. We are a group of women dedicated to the healing of the world one woman at a time.