Prices for the retreats—including accommodation, meals, yoga classes, art materials, and art therapy sessions—range from around $930 for a four-day retreat in Switzerland in a shared room, to $1,800 for a six-day retreat in Crete in a luxury private room.
“We facilitate both the creative process and the discussions afterwards, and everything we do is based on art therapy principles,” Orfanoudaki explained. “We say that this is going to give people a taste of what therapy can do.” She noted that given the time constraints, it’s not possible to offer the same healing that a person could experience if they saw an art therapist once per week, say, over the course of six months. But still, participants walk away with insights into their own well-being, and some go on to practice art regularly, or seek out an art therapist that they can visit when they return home.
Artful Retreat’s participants over the years have varied greatly, with attendees ranging in age from their late teens to over 70. They tend to hail from Europe, but elsewhere as well, like South Africa and Korea.
The retreats often include artists who are experiencing creative block, or amateur painters who want to use the medium to express themselves. But there are also many adults who are simply stressed, demotivated, or have experienced some kind of personal issue of trauma, like an abusive relationship.