April 7-9, 2017: Healing of Memories Workshop for Women Veterans

Spirit in the Desert is honored to host a special Healing of Memories Workshop for Women Veterans. We have had requests to address the many issues arising with our women veterans that are uniquely different from those of men. In the confines of confidentiality and security, surrounding by loving facilitators and our quiet and inspiration campus at Spirit in the Desert, we welcome women veterans of all ages and all branches of the military which includes National Guard veterans.

What to expect when you attend a Healing of Memories workshop retreat:

The Concept: The workshop developed by Father Michael Lapsley and the Institute for the Healing of Memories (IHOM) is a response to the emotional, psychological and spiritual wounds inflicted by war, human rights abuses and other traumatic circumstances. It provides a safe place for participants to explore personal histories and gain insight and empathy for themselves and others.

Workshop Goals: Participation provides a safe experiential and interactive way to overcome anger, loss, grief, and guilt, and can be one step on the journey to healing and wholeness. It contributes not only to personal healing, but also to the healing of interpersonal relationships.

The First Night – The First Step: You can check into your room at 3pm or after. We begin with a 6pm welcome dinner. The Opening Session introduces the workshop concepts and provides an opportunity for participants to meet with each other.

The Next Day: Storytelling & Discussions Continues. Individuals have time to share their experiences in small facilitated groups with an emphasis on safety, respect and confidentiality. There will be time for quiet personal reflection and integration. Tonight is for relaxing together.

The Final Day: The Journey Continues with storytelling and group discussion. The group now shares experiences, common themes and lessons learned. We have taken the first step on this journey of healing…and it is now time to look to the future! Workshop ends at 2pm.

Trained Facilitators:

sheila-laughtonSheila Laughton is a program manager and spiritual director for the veterans Welcome Home Program at the Loyola Spirituality Center in St Paul, MN. A retired officer, married to a veteran, with sons in the Army and Air Force, she has experienced military life from multiple perspectives. She is a director, teacher and group facilitator with 10+ years of experience in these areas plus 25 years in management. Sheila has been a facilitator/trainer with Healing of Memories-MN for 5 years, and is also involved with the Women Veterans Initiative. She holds a MA in Theology, Certificate ofSpiritual Direction, St. Catherine University , and a MS  in Guidance and Counselling, Creighton University.

margaret-fellMargaret Fell has worked with Fr. Michael Lapsley and the Institute for Healing of Memories since 2007. She was one of the founding members of a working group of the Minnesota’s Warrior to Citizen Campaign which has offered the Healing of Memories workshops for veterans since 2009.  She served as Chair of the Institute for Healing of Memories-North America from 2011- 2014 and has been a Healing of Memories workshop facilitator since 2011. Margaret is an Episcopal priest.  She holds a BA degree from the University of Minnesota and a Master of Divinity degree from United Theological Seminary/Seabury Western Theological Seminary. The focus of her ministry is working with Healing of Memories for Veterans workshops.


There is NO cost. Generous underwriters have made this healing workshop possible for all veterans. Please note that this is for veterans only, not their spouses, children, or friends. All information is kept securely confidential.

To register, please call Guest Services at (480) 488-5218, or email us at info@spiritinthedesert.org.