Programs & Services  •  January 02, 2013
PDF Print E-mail

ECaP Retreats

Our Retreats
For the time being, we have suspended the offering of retreats.  While they have changed lives and made a positive difference for those who have attended, we now find that thanks to the pioneering work of Bernie, many similar support groups are available within local communities.  We encourage you to seek out the resources you need to heal in mind, body and spirit within the reaches of your community.  Check with your doctors, local hospitals and counselors to see what may be offered for your emotional healing that will provide support throughout your treatments and beyond. 

We are still available to contact via phone or email.  Just give us a call and we will be happy to help you find the resources you need.   814 337-8192 or email:

Our Program
Exceptional Cancer Patients is honored to offer Insights for Living Beyond Cancer, a program developed by Barry Bittman, MD, CEO and Medical Director of ECaP and the Mind-Body Wellness Center in collaboration with Bernie Siegel, MD. This state-of-the-art cancer program was designed specifically to integrate the power of mind, body, and spirit with the best traditional medical care. It was developed to help you discover that reduced stress perception coupled with peace of mind, sense of control and enhanced personal meaning and purpose can enable you to live your life fully, one moment at a time.
Our retreats are designed to assist you in developing an awareness of meaningful choices that can help you discover an active approach that meets your needs.
Insights for Living Beyond Cancer Retreats integrate a variety of evidence-based approaches that have been scientifically shown to complement traditional medicine. This comprehensive strategy is aligned with the latest scientific studies and cancer research.
Our goal is to work together to assist you in achieving a personal sense of wholeness, happiness and inner peace. We focus on you as a “whole person.”
Our retreat facilitators and counselors, an exceptional team of dedicated medical professionals, integrate the wisdom of the ancients (the stuff our grandmothers knew all along) with traditional medicine to help you make the personal choices you need to discover your healing path. Our retreats encourage and support you to grow physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
It is important to know that your loved-ones are cared for as well. We encourage you to attend with your spouse, significant other or a special friend to support you in your healing process. This program is equally beneficial for the support person who attends with you. Providing ongoing support is often a difficult and challenging task. We have found that the caregivers benefit tremendously from the nurturing and inspiration that this retreat provides. We even have one session that is for the caregivers only, while the people facing the challenges of cancer are in a separate session with a different facilitator.
Insights for Living Beyond Cancer promotes and fosters a sense of hope, meaning and purpose that can help you and your loved-ones meet the challenges that lie ahead.

Barry Bittman, MD, Kevin Henry, M.Ed, LSW, Kathy Berkey, PhD and the dedicated staff of the Mind-Body Wellness Center who are extensively trained in this approach conduct the sessions. Bernie Siegel, MD will not be present for this retreat. However, he strongly recommends that you participate in this uplifting event...
"It is always a good idea to take time in your life to center yourself, focusing on the things you are feeling and experiencing in the present moment. As co-developer of this program, I believe it can give you the necessary tools to help you discover what is uniquely important in your life. Take time to create your healing is a wise investment for your health and well-being."
- Bernie Siegel, MD
Our retreat sessions focus on:
  • The Science of Whole Person Cancer Care: the latest research; why this approach works
  • Beliefs & Perceptions: learn how our beliefs affect our the biology
  • How To Live Between Office Visits: become an informed patient
  • Spirituality and Healing: discovering our inner connection
  • Building Futures One Step at a Time: a rational approach with tools to help you successfully move forward
We have allowed time during our Retreat for optional individual sessions with the staff at the Mind-Body Wellness Center for the following:
  • Healthy Nutrition for People with Cancer
  • Comprehensive Exercise Evaluations
  • Relaxing Massage
  • Individual Counseling Sessions
* Additional fees apply to these optional appointments

Retreat Fees
Since we consider it important for you to attend our retreat with the support person of your choice, fees are based on two people attending together.
Retreat for 2 people - $325
Meals for 2 (included meals are the welcome buffet dinner on Thursday, and lunch on Friday and Saturday.)  $110
Total for 2 people to attend - $435    (If you attend alone: $380)  Lodging is separate and all costs are your responsibility.
We request that you register early to guarantee availability. Registration is limited to 12 people with cancer (plus their support person, if possible).  Your support person can be a spouse, friend, parent or adult child. A deposit of $100 is required to hold your place.
Please register directly with ECaP. Although you will pay the hotel directly for your room and meals not included in our fee, we will handle the room block reservations to make it easier for you.

Tai Chi at a prior retreat

"This retreat is invaluable and life changing. Anyone facing the challenge of cancer should absolutely attend."
- Joan Hisaoka, April 2007 Retreat Participant
"I underestimated how important the people we met at the retreat were going to be! I had no idea how much they became a part of my DAILY life...forever changed, we cheer together, inspire each other, cry together and remind each other to LIVE LIFE. When I have been really down, they have encouraged me to find strength and hope and build peace."
- Cara, May 2003 Retreat Participant
"I gained renewed hope, insights and helpful tools."
- Susanne, April, 2008 Retreat Participant
"This retreat was exactly what my husband and I needed. We have made life-long friends with courageous and inspirational people."
- Marie G., September, 2002 Retreat Participant

ECaP is owned and operated by Meadville Medical Center's Mind-Body Wellness Center (a non-profit 501(c)3 corporation). All donations are tax deductible to the extent the law allows.



Retreat Information

Are you or is someone you love having difficulty coping with cancer?

Join us at the Mind-Body Wellness Center

This uplifting, inspirational and transforming experience is limited to 12 couples. You owe it to yourself to optimize your whole person strategies for health. Call now for more information, to request a retreat brochure or to register:

phone: (814) 337-8192
fax: (814) 337-0699

What People Are Saying

When suddenly faced with an unexpected diagnosis of cancer, it is not unusual to become overwhelmed with issues such as one's best treatment options, as well as countless nutritional choices, family concerns and quality of life challenges.

This is your opportunity to consider our "whole person" approach that has already made a remarkable difference for so many individuals and loved-ones facing perhaps the greatest challenge of their lives.

While the overall experience is hard to imagine, our past attendees who have experienced immense personal transformations explain it best!

We are always moved by their responses! 

These exceptional individuals leave with tools and personal insights that enable them to better face the challenges that lie ahead. As one attendee noted, "you owe it to yourself to attend this event!"


"It was such a joy to come to this Retreat. I felt loved and listened to express my emotions and feelings knowing that I would be understood." 

- Christine, Past Retreat Participant, 2007

"Travelling from Europe to join this retreat, I had a lot of expectations. It was so much more than I ever could imagine and I strongly recommend it to anyone with cancer."

- Past Retreat Participant, 2003

"As a newly diagnosed breast cancer patient, this experience helped me shift from fear to Hope. I now know what specific steps to take to complement my traditional treatment protocol with powerful mind-body tools. I am so grateful for this opportunity. I only wish EVERY cancer patient knew about this program. It would change more lives, give more power and more peace."

- Jane S, Past Retreat Participant, 2003

"I can't imagine how people with cancer can live without the support, information and guidance this retreat offers."

- Past Retreat Participant, 2002

"The ECaP Retreat gave me great tools for healthy living, and left me feeling like an Apostle ready to tackle the world with words of love and life."

- Diana W.

"It uplifted our spirits and illuminated our path through the maze. If you want to LIVE life - BE THERE!" 

- Diane and David

"You call us exceptional. I feel you are exceptional and that I am blessed to have had this opportunity to participate in this retreat. Thank you!" 

- Janet W.

"I discovered that I am not alone in my journey with cancer. I found a place where I felt safe and loved. Thank you." 

- Erin

"This has been three wonderful days which I will never forget. Everyone should have this opportunity... it would change your life, as it has changed mine!"

- Lillian Stueart, Spring 2008

"The retreat was full of unconditional support. Thank you. Thank you." 

- Anonymous

"Well, I thought this would be a great retreat, but it went beyond my expectations. Just incredible! I think it benefits people to look at life and death differently, also spiritually in all forms. Thank you." 

- Shannon O'Brien

"It was very uplifting to attend this retreat. It was comforting to meet other cancer survivors, some in a similar situation and some who represented very different perspectives. Overall I think I came away with a more balanced perspective. The various sessions helped me focus on areas like exercise and nutrition that I had not considered." 

- B.J. Sachs

"The insights and lessons I learned from the group members were invaluable. I have gained a sense of strength that I never knew was there." 

- Anonymous

"If you are ready to learn the truth about yourself, this retreat is a must."

- Alan C., 2002

Featured Products

365 Prescriptions for the Soul: Daily for Words for Healing Mind Body and Spirit
365 Prescriptions for the Soul: Daily for Words for Healing Mind Body and Spirit

[Book] 365 Prescriptions for the Soul by Bernie Siegel, MD (December 2003). A daily guide for navigating the...more

Price: $18.95
In Stock: Yes

Life, Hope & Healing
Life, Hope & Healing

[CD] Prescriptions from the Heart by Bernie Siegel, MD.  A set of 6 CD's recently republished from the...more

Price: $79.95
In Stock: Yes

Faith, Hope & Healing
Faith, Hope & Healing

[Book] Faith, Hope & Healing presents the remarkable stories of what happened to patients who followed...more

Price: $24.95
In Stock: Yes