Frequently Asked Questions


What is The Retreat?

The Retreat is a residential recovery program offering an immersion in the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous.


How is The Retreat different from treatment?

The Retreat is not treatment. We are a supportive-educational environment rather than a clinical or medical program. Because we serve people who already know they have “the problem”, we don’t directly provide assessment or clinical counseling services. We do, however, provide an intensive orientation to the solution of recovery embodied in the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous.


What are the admission criteria?

We serve adult men and women who know they have the problem of alcoholism and/or drug dependency, are motivated to recover and are physically and psychologically stable.


How long do people stay?

The Retreat’s minimum length of stay is 30-days, however people may extend their stay as needed. There is a 90-day Extended Retreat experience for those in need. 


How much does it cost?

The Retreat's residential program $6,900 for the first 30 days and $6,100 for each additional 30 days.


Is there any scholarship help available?

There is partial scholarship available for those who qualify.


What is the schedule like?

A schedule for a typical day at The Retreat would be as follows:

7:15 Meditation Practice
7:30 Breakfast
8:00 Big Book Study Group
10:00 Living Sober Study Group
11:00 Lecture Presentation
12:00 Lunch
1:00 Community Meeting; Meditation; 4th/10th Step; Al Anon Speaker Meeting (Sunday)
2:00 Big Book Worksheets Group
3:00 Personal Time
6:00 Dinner
7:00 In House or Outside AA Meeting
9:00 Tenth Step Group


















What are your outcomes?

  • 58% of our guests reported total and continuous abstinence from all mood-altering chemicals for the 6 months after their involvement at The Retreat
  • 54% of our guests reported continuous abstinence from all mood-altering chemicals for the 12 months after their involvement at The Retreat.
  • 86% percent of our guests said their quality of life had improved significantly, and
  • 96% percent reported high or very high satisfaction with The Retreat indicating they would recommend it to others.

2017 Independent Outcome Study


What is the curriculum or program at The Retreat?

The core of our program is an in-depth study of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. The program also includes presentations and practical application of Steps One – Eight and the principles that support the 12 Steps. We draw from the local community of recovering people to provide our daily program.


Do you have a long-term care program and/or sober housing?

The Retreat offers a 90-day extended Retreat program for those who need more time in a residential setting to focus on their recovery. The Retreat also has 5 long-term sober-living residences for men and women in the Crocus Hill area of St. Paul.


Is there a Family Program?

The Retreat’s Family Program is a nationally renowned 4 day residential experience also located on our Wayzata Big Woods campus. Most of our Retreat guests have one or more family members participate in the Family Program.


What is the profile of a typical guest at The Retreat?

Our typical guest is 38 years old. Eighty percent have been to 1-5 previous treatments. 60% are men and 40% are women. 50% come from outside the State of Minnesota from throughout the United States and many other countries. 40-50% are on medication for some co-existing condition, mostly for depression.


Do you have a shorter-stay program?

The Retreat offers a 10-day Relapse Program for individuals who have experienced a brief relapse following their stay. The Retreat also offers a Rest & Renewal Program for those in recovery who need to take time in a residential setting to complete a 4th & 5th Step.


Can someone get an assessment while at The Retreat?

Yes. The Retreat has a network of chemical dependency professionals in the community for guests in need of more comprehensive chemical dependency or mental health assessments.


Do you have psychiatrists or psychologists available at The Retreat?

The Retreat has a network of mental health professionals in the community for guests in need of these services. 


Where are you located?

The Retreat’s main campus is just 15 minutes west of downtown Minneapolis in the Wayzata Big Woods. The Woods has a long history of spiritual renewal and recovery. The Retreat also has locations in the historic Crocus Hill area of St. Paul.


Can my family come to visit?

In our residential program, guests may have visitors on Sunday from 2:00pm-5:00pm.


Do you offer family conferences?

Family conferences are encouraged and may be scheduled with the program staff.



What to Bring:

  • Alarm clock with no Wi-Fi access.

  • A blank notebook or journal, pens, pencil, and a highlighter.

  • If you take any prescription medications, bring enough to last for the length of your stay. Refills can be obtained at the Lund’s or Wayzata Walgreens Pharmacy, but it’s best to bring enough with you for the month. Please keep your prescriptions in their original container, do not mix prescription medications.

  • If you smoke, bring enough cigarettes for a 30-day stay. Cigarettes can be mailed to you during your stay.

  • If you vape, bring enough supplies for a 30-day stay. Vape supplies can be mailed to you during your stay, but we will not make any trips to a vape store.

  • All your toiletries to last for the length of your stay with us. Please be mindful to bring items that do not contain alcohol, such as mouthwash.

  • Please bring flip flops or shower shoes for use in our showers if you desire.

  • Comfortable clothes and clothes for yoga and fitness room. No drug or alcohol related sayings on attire. You will have access to our laundry facilities several times weekly while here, and we provide the laundry detergent for you.

  • Feel free to bring any over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements that you are taking. Please note that with Cold Medications we do not allow anything with Dextromethorphan.

  • We do not allow any Energy drinks here at The Retreat; ie; Red Bull, Monster, V-8 Energy.

  • You are welcome to bring an iPod or digital music player - unless it has video and/or internet capabilities. Feel free to use them in your room, the Fitness Room and outside while walking.

  • We have a safe for items, but encourage you not to bring unnecessary items of value.

  • We want you to have an immersion experience in recovery while here, so we do not allow laptop computers, DVD players, movies, handheld gaming systems, etc. Take this time to focus on your sobriety and nothing else!

  • Please bring any recovery or spiritual based books and literature with you, but no “pleasure reading” items such as novels or magazines, no Crossword or Suduko activity books.

  • We provide clean towels, sheets, and one pillow. Please feel free to bring additional pillows or blankets if desired.

  • Please bring a list of necessary telephone numbers that you will need.

  • Please refrain from bringing any hair dye.


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