The 38th HSP Gathering Retreat is now SOLD OUT. Join the waiting list here.

HSP Gathering Retreats. Since 2001.

Retreat. Explore. Discover. Express. Play. Celebrate. You.

The 38th HSP Gathering Retreat is now SOLD OUT. Join the waiting list here.

I am Celebrating! 22 years since the HSP Gathering Retreats were founded and 27 years since Elaine Aron’s first book, The Highly Sensitive Person, How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You, was first published.

The HSP Gathering Retreats have evolved and grown organically over the years. It has been an honor to observe them move through three stages of growth: What? So What? and Now What? This was actually a process I thought original to me, only to find out it is a reflective model created in 2002 by Rolfe

This model asks us to pause to check, look at the bigger picture and ask ourselves three questions ~ that I have adapted to being an HSP: 1) What? What do I know about being and HSP? 2) So What? What does this mean to me? 3) Now What? Where do I go from here? What am I responsible for? Regardless of the year, these questions seem to invariably get answered collectively at an HSP Gathering Retreat.

The 38th HSP Gathering Retreat Since 2001
September 14 – 18, 2023    
“Coming Home to Ourselves and Reclaiming our Wholeness as Highly Sensitive People”
with Jacquelyn Strickland + co-hosts, and as always our special guest,
Dr. Elaine Aron via Zoom on Sunday, September 17.
Light on the Hill Retreat Center
Van Etten, New York

Note:  In an effort toward equity and inclusivity, and to honor the many varying budgets of HSPs, the original dates and retreat venue previously published have changed.
Additional questions?:  Feel free to email: .  Your question may have already been answered here in FAQs.

Here are two touching testimonies from sensitive men who attended the 37th HSP Gathering in 2022 in Colorado.
I am grateful that Lindsey Jarrell will be one of my co-hosts at the 38th HSP Gathering.  🙂

“I want to send you a heartfelt thank you for hosting the 37th HSP Gathering Retreat.  Words cannot express the amount of gratitude I have for some of the amazing connections I made.  It was so inspiring to be surrounded by such caring and kind individuals with whom to share similar experiences and feelings with.   I miss being there already.
I hope to take the theme “coming home to ourselves as HSP’s” and “focus on needs, not approval,” as I continue on this journey.  You are an amazing person and such an inspiration as a leader for HSPs
.”  J.L.  Stillwater, MN

“…Over the years I have attended many conferences, workshops and seminars and inevitably I find myself bored and wanting to leave prior to the end of the conference.   However, I attended an HSP Gathering Retreat facilitated by Jacquelyn Strickland and it was phenomenal.  I actually had to leave a few hours early regretting a previous work commitment that overlapped with the 5-day retreat.  I can’t tell you how much it mean to me to spend time with like-minded HSPs, learning more about my trait, and understanding more about me.  As Jacquelyn & Elaine Aron say:  It is a new beginning to come home to our HSP self.   I can’t say enough good things about my truly special HSP Gathering experience: one I cannot wait to return to. ..”
L. Jarrell, St. Petersburg, FL

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What to Know About the HSP Gathering Retreats

The HSP Gathering Retreats, were co-founded in the U.S. in 2001 after honoring a series synchronistic events which led Jacquelyn to connect with research psychologist, Dr. Elaine Aron. Elaine and Jacquelyn Strickland, a (now retired)  Licensed Professional Counselor, in Ft. Collins, Colorado held the first HSP Gathering in May 2001 in Northern California for 37 HSP1!

Since that time there have been 37  HSP Gathering Retreats both nationally and internationally. There have been 4 in the United Kingdom, 1 in Sweden, 2 in Germany, 3 in British Columbia, Canada, 4 in Colorado USA, 2 in North Carolina USA, 1 in Texas, and all others on the East and West Coasts of the U.S

It is interesting to note: This HSP Gathering Retreats are not a conference, a workshop, a seminar or a lecture. Yet, they can contain a combination of any of these, and most accurately, these retreats are loosely structured, non-hierarchal, and experiential in nature. Each one is different from the last based on the energies, temperaments and personalities shared by the participants. Jacquelyn is a seasoned facilitator honoring each individual’s experience while encouraging a safe, open environment to share one’s joys and challenges over the course of 5 days. I love what one participant shared: about her experience: 
 “It was the most comfortable, exciting, safe and beautiful experience for me to feel anxious in …while simultaneously coming out of my own isolated, comfort zone.

The purpose of the HSP Gathering Retreats has evolved over time.
An excerpt from The Artist’s Way (which I affectionately call the ‘HSP Way”) says it:

“HSPs like other HSPs. HSPs help each other. As HSPs, we must find those who believe in usand in whom we believe, and band together forsupport, encouragement, and protection.”

The HSP Gathering Retreats also serve to:

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes.  We generally like to convene on a Thursday in time for dinner and depart after lunch on a Monday.   You can arrive on the ground of Light on the Hill as early as 2:00 pm on Thursday, September 14.  Please plan to arrive by dinner on the first night which is 6:00 pm 

Yes, Elaine and I co-founded these amazing retreats back 2001 and she joins us at all the gatherings – in person, when possible and via Zoom otherwise.  She will join us on Sunday, September 17 via Zoom for the 38th HSP Gathering.

Our maximum # is 30 – this ensures the intimate, confidential quality of our time together.   The majority of participants are HSP women, however, many HSP men also attend.  Past co-hosts have been men, and I am grateful, Lindsey Jarrell, an HSM is one of my co-hosts this year.

Equity & Inclusivity – two of my social justice values is the main reason.  We saved each participant at least $1,000 in overall costs to attend a Gathering. I am keenly aware of the many varied budgets of HSPs and try to honor those when possible.

Light on the Hill describes itself as a healing and inspiring place for reflection – which compliments the energy of our HSP Gathering Retreats quite well.  The retreat center is located on 268 acres of woods, streams, gorges, walking paths and panoramic views. One could think of the word “rustic” when describing this retreat center:  made in plain and simple fashion; relating to the rural countryside.  One can also think about total QUIET and opportunities to view the night sky.

The Inner Light Lodge, is spacious and light filled and has 18 single rooms with shared hallway bath, and 4 double rooms, with shared hallway baths for a total of 29 participants (if the doubles are occupied.)

There are no single room, private bath options.  IF you need/want a single, private bath option we suggest checking Air BnB for options in the small town of Spencer, NY, a short distance away.

Two of these cottages have already been reserved.  The remaining cottage, Woods, is only available for double occupancy in the 2 bedroom, 2 bath cottage – first come, first served.   

You are in luck.  The small town of Spencer, about 5 minutes away has an Inn and there are also a few Air BnB’s in Spencer.  Ithaca, about 30 minutes away, is another option for single, private bath options.  If staying off-site, the registration fee shows a $40 per day commuter fee in addition to the meal and conference fee cost.   

No.  Mainly because compared to other similar retreats, the HSP Gathering Retreats are one of the most affordable.  And I might add – Light on the Hill offers one of the most economical retreat venues I have come across.  I am grateful to have found them

No.  We are not equipped to do this, and even if we were, most likely would choose not to live stream because of the personal, in depth share we do. 

No, not at this time.  This is one thing I would like to research and offer, it just has not been a priority, or I have just not had time to do this.  Anyone want to research this and get back to me? 

Syracuse: 75 miles, 1.5 hr drive

Rochester: 103 miles; 1 hr; 45 min

Scranton, PA: 103 miles; 1 h 45 min

Buffalo: 157, 2 hr 45 min

Albany: 182 miles, 3 hours

We strongly encourage ride sharing – especially when our retreat center is far from any major city. If you are open to offering a ride, sharing a rental car, or would like a ride, please let us know ASAP at and my co-host Lindsey Jarrell will connect you via email and let you do your own planning. Please do consider this ride sharing option and request!

Information from their website here:

Warning: Many GPS systems give incorrect directions when coming from the East (Spencer), and lead you to the “back way”, which is a poorly maintained, seasonal road. Be sure NOT to turn on Langford Creek Road from Rte 224. Keep going another mile to Blake Hill Rd.

Yes, there is an organized, loosely structured agenda. This guides our time together, and can change at any time as we honor and trust an experiential process.  The  mission statements of the HSP Gatherings  is our example of “objectives.”  

The purpose of the HSP Gathering Retreats has evolved over time.
An excerpt from The Artist’s Way (which I affectionately call the ‘HSP Way”) says it:
“HSPs like other HSPs.  HSPs help each other.
As HSPs, we must find those who believe in us and in whom
 we believe, and band together for support, encouragement, and protection.”

The HSP Gathering Retreats also serve to:

  • Raise the self-esteem of HSPs by providing a safe atmosphere in which to be seen, heard, and validated
  • Value the trait of high sensitivity and its contribution to the world
  • Foster the exchange of wisdom based on the science Sensory Processing Sensitivity as well as the sharing of personal experiences
  • Educate, motivate, and inspire HSPs to create authentic lives that work for them so that they embrace their unique gifts and manifest those gifts in the world
  • Help develop supportive communities for HSPs locally, nationally and internationally

Lindsey Jarrell, my HSM co-host and past participant at the 37th HSP Gathering summed this question up here: 

Thoughts on attending my first HSP Gathering Retreat.
by Lindsey Jarrell, HSM , St. Petersburg, Florida

Before attending my first HSP Gathering Retreat, I had questions about the agenda and content. Having been to many other conferences, seminars, and retreats, I was used to seeing detailed agendas and schedules filled with sessions, speakers, and activities. It was usual for me to contemplate all of the activity before arrival.  As I prepared to attend my first HSP Gathering Retreat, I even asked about a detailed agenda and activities before arrival. 

Now that I have attended a Gathering Retreat and fully experienced what it means to be in this HSP environment, I no longer need to know “the plan.”  While there is a plan, and an agenda, the point of the Retreat, as I have come to understand, is to allow yourself to transition into an environment that respects you as an individual and as an HSP. 

The flow, energy, and people at the retreat are what make it unique. Walls come down, judgment eases away, personalities bloom, and lessons, teachings and wisdom from Jacquelyn and others are taken to heart. It can be a discovery process; for me, it was undoubtedly the beginning of an important journey of coming home to myself.  So, I advise relaxing; don’t stress about the agenda, it will be a wonderful experience.

I think this answers most of the questions I have received.  Let me know if you still have concerns or questions.  I do hope you can join us this year.  Not many people are aware that I turn 74 yrs. old in October – and truthfully, I am not sure just how much longer I will be inspired to offer these amazing retreats.  Right now, my inspiration is high … and with the right kind of administrative assistance, I hope to keep them alive and well for quite some time into the future.  As I like to say, with age, comes wisdom, and I feel so honored and privileged to have been able to offer these retreats over the last 22 years.

With anticipation and care,

Gifts You Can Expect from attending
a HSP Gathering if you are open to them

Someone once said: “You get what you bring to a HSP Gathering and you take home what you are open to receiving.”
Here are some of the gifts you might receive from attending an HSP Gathering Retreat:

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Depth of Processing

Depth of processing is the most basic aspect of our SPS trait, and results in the deep, rich inner life most HSPs experience. Research has shown more brain activation in the prefrontal cortex and in a part of the brain called the insula which has sometimes been referred to as the ‘seat of consciousness.’ This creates the tendency to reflect more than others about the “way the world is going or “the meaning of life.” By integrating information and experiences, from both past and present, the HSP’s unique depth of processing can enable a sense and understanding of longer term consequences and may be able to influence future decisions with more creative and expansive thought.