Helfand Retreats, LLC is a private retreat center located in Cabot, Vermont. Dr. Israel and Cathie Helfand facilitate all retreats at their peaceful homestead location.

Israel and Cathie met in 1979 in graduate school at the University of Bridgeport (Connecticut). Within years they began developing programs together, from Marriage and Family Therapy sessions and workshops to Psychodrama groups and Corporate Wellness and EAP Programs. By 1990 they had a large group counseling practice in Danbury Connecticut. Services included marriage counseling, EAP work, Men’s Groups, Biofeedback and Hypnosis, Divorce Mediation and even backpacking trips with an “inward bound” focus on personal and spiritual growth.

The Helfands sold their Connecticut counseling practice in 1993 and moved to Vermont to raise their children closer to the earth, and focus on their counseling practice while enjoying some homesteading.

Today their eclectic professional background has settled in two main areas: 1) saving marriages and improving love lives – one couple at a time; and 2) supporting individuals or small groups in an outdoor wilderness experience — where nature becomes the classroom.

Helfand Retreats, LLC


At the end of a quiet road in Cabot, Vermont is the counseling office and wilderness area for the Helfand Retreat Center. With year-round babbling brooks, a swimming pond, fields, forest, and seasonal gardens, this magical 1850’s farm provides the perfect backdrop for all Helfand Retreats.

Most marriage retreats are held in the counseling offices, with the comfort and focus needed to do the necessary work. Outdoor retreats are held between June 1 and September 30th annually.


Israel Helfand, MS, Ph.D. is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and has been a clinical member of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy since 1984. He was a Certified Sex Therapist with the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists for many years. He has supervised several therapists, and is an experienced group leader and using various techniques including psychodrama, wilderness ceremonies, hypnosis and mindfulness. He has led groups dealing with PTSD/trauma recovery for Vietnam Vets, sexual abuse, etc. He has participated in numerous trainings including years of Psychodrama training and the New Warrior-Mankind Project (MKP).

He has led employee assistance workshops in stress management at large corporations, including: IBM, Duracell, and Kimberly Clark, as well as organizational consulting to small healthcare companies and municipalities. Israel has taught college, written numerous articles, and spoken on radio and television.

He put himself through graduate school as a carpenter and spends much of his time as a gentleman farmer now that their children are young adults.

For more information on the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists go to www.AAMFT.org and for more information on the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists go to www.aasect.org.

Israel Helfand, PhD, LMFT


Cathie W. Helfand, MS is a Vermont Registered Psychotherapist with a Masters in Counseling and Human Resources, and with a focus in Marriage and Family Therapy. She brings an expertise to marriage therapy from her extensive graduate training and experience in Relationship Enhancement, Child Therapy, and Family Education.

She has worked with couples and families since 1977, in her marriage counseling work with Israel, and various employments including as an Employee Assistance Program counselor, as a youth and family counselor at Danbury Youth Services, and with the Boy Scouts of America. As an adjunct professor she has taught courses including “Family Therapy”, “Addictions and the Family” and “Ecopsychology”. Over the years Cathie worked for three different dating services and even started one called “To Life” which she sold in the late 90s.

Cathie has participated in many training programs and workshops including the Human Awareness Institute (HAI) and the Woman Within International. Her focus today is on helping people make major decisions in their lives, and find more peace and happiness in their relationships with others. With her husband Israel, she is co-therapist for all of the retreats. In addition, she manages the Helfand Retreats business office. She is the author of the newly released book: “The Yummy Marriage.

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Cathie Helfand, MS

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