Verena Young, PhD Candidate Co-Founder Holistic Practitioner Research & Evaluation

About us

Verena Young received her Masters degree in Sociology with a major in Social Psychology in 2009 from the University of Bielefeld in Germany. She worked as a graduate research assistant for an experimental school at the University of
Bielefeld from 2010 to 2015 where she was responsible for a quantitative long-term-study at the Laboratory School, the teaching of undergraduate and graduate students in educational science, research methods, and the supervision of bachelor and master theses. Currently, Verena is completing her Ph.D. thesis in the field of educational science. Her dissertation is a quantitative study that deals with an international comparison about “Well being as a mediator between student-teacher-interaction and secondary students’ motivation” in the United States and Germany. 

Verena graduated as a Spiritual Counselor from Paracelsus School for Naturopathy in Bielefeld, Germany in 2014, received her Certificate as an Integrative Nutrition and Health Consultant from the International Institute of Naturopathy in Switzerland in January 2018, and is currently in the Grof Transpersonal Training for Holotropic Breathwork. Additionally, Verena participated in countless
spiritual retreats, healing workshops, and family constellations. She works together with a medium from Germany and connects people interested in guidance with her through phone consultations. 

Verena integrates her scientific experience into the spiritual work of Soul Quest. She is currently conducting a research study on the social and psychological benefits of Soul Quest retreats on individuals and especially veterans using indigenous plant medicines. The purpose of this evaluation
project is to analyze expected effects of spiritual healing and plant medicine retreats on the psychological well-being, life satisfaction, and preexisting conditions such as anxiety, depressions, addiction and PTSD.


An initial holistic nutrition and health consultation provides the groundwork from which you can get a clearer picture where you are at in your health journey. First of all, you will get a special questionnaire that we will complete together. As soon as you have given me all of the information needed for the counsel, we will thoroughly talk about your current health condition as well as about your diet and how it affects your health. My advice regarding dietary changes is always based on your current health condition, your individual possibilities of implementing the measures, and your individual commitment to make changes in your diet in the first place. The topics that we cover and the resources provided are completely dependent on YOUR unique story, body, and goals. My holistic assessment will include gathering information about your health history, sleeping habits, digestion, energy, current food intake and any other relevant information. 


The workshops will be led by Grof Transpersonal Training certified Holotropic Breathwork facilitator Karen Castle, PhD with assistants, Scott Irwin, PhD and Verena Young, PhD Candidate.

Grof Holotropic Breathwork™ uses Breath as Sacred Medicine to evoke non-ordinary states of consciousness for self-discovery and healing using accelerated breathing to an exquisitely beautiful and powerful musicscape. Holotropic Breathwork™ is a powerful but gentle method of self-exploration and healing, developed by Stanislav and Christina Grof. The technique was derived from modern consciousness research, depth psychology and shamanic and spiritual practices to support natural healing and growth through the direct experience of non-ordinary states of consciousness. 

With the eyes closed and lying on a mat, each person uses their own accelerated breathing, combined with music and focused bodywork to gain access to non-ordinary states of consciousness for deep levels of awareness and insight. This state activates the natural inner healing process of the individual’s psyche, bringing the seeker a particular set of internal experiences. With the inner healing intelligence guiding the process, the quality and content brought forth is unique to each person and for that particular time and place. While recurring themes are common, no two sessions are ever alike.

Our workshops will start with an opening circle and a welcome meditation. For those participants who have not ‘breathed’ before there will be an introduction to the theory and practice of Breathwork and a chance for people to ask questions. The Breathwork takes place in pairs. When one partner breathes, the other acts as ‘sitter’ and in the next session the roles are reversed. Sessions last approximately three hours. Participants are encouraged to allow whatever is happening to emerge as they breathe deeper and faster. Occasionally energy release work or bodywork is needed to move past a blockage and the facilitators will provide assistance if required. After each breathing session there is time to capture the experience through art work or writing, followed by group sharing sessions, during which participants are free to share as much or as little as they wish of their experience. Both the sharing and art work/writing are considered to be an important part of integrating the experience.


The work as a medium can be described as channeling information and feelings through her mind, body, and spirit; best understood as a bridge between one’s physical reality in life and the spiritual world. In her readings she receives messages from Spirit Guides, Angels, family members, friends and loved ones who have passed on. She gets her information in form of visual impressions, auditory messages, and feelings and emotions that transform through her body.

The medium assists us with her impressive accuracy and kindly spirited heart since almost two years now. Along with Verena Young as her translator, she is available over the phone for private readings and to provide spiritual guidance for anyone who is in need with the assistance. These phone consultations are taking place on the weekends when people are attending Soul Quest Retreats or scheduled individually during the week through conference calls. Our medium will also grace us with her divine presence at our church in Orlando soon and assist people before and after the ceremonies.

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Why Retreat?

We asked people why they go on retreat, here's what they said:

To drop deep into the practices and connect with my true nature. Rubin

Retreat Guru's Vision

We believe human beings are innately wise, strong and kind. This wisdom, although not always experienced, is always present. Going on retreat is a beautiful way to reconnect to our basic sanity and health. Our aspiration at Retreat Guru is to inspire people to experience authentic retreats and reconnect with their innate wisdom, strength and kindness.

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