Here are some of the lovely things that our clients and colleagues had to say about us;


“Looking for a port in a storm of anxiety, depression… I found Maureen Courtney’s Breakthrough Retreats at The Briers in County Down just outside Newcastle.
Enveloped in this caring place under the guidance of Maureen and her team of therapists I knew I had found the right place to heal my troubled spirit.
Maureen, who has worked with people with every kind of mental health difficulty you can imagine, creates a bespoke agenda to address your needs. With her qualifications and experience, you feel safe and at ease.
Following an operation for a physical health problem you might go to a nursing home to help your recovery. When it comes to getting over a mental health problem where do you go?
Thank you Maureen.”



I just want to say the biggest and most heartfelt thank you for my literally life-changing four days at Breakthrough Retreats!




I think about you all a lot, and with great fondness - I do feel much more "balanced" since coming home, and the anxious knot that has been in my stomach for so long - does seem to have gone away.


I also feel that I have a future - and recognise that although it may not be what I expected, it is there - and have started looking at all sorts of different projects - both work and personal, so we'll see what happens!!


Much Love,





I discovered Breakthrough Retreats after searching on the Internet and talking with Maureen on the phone about the service she offers. I had received counseling but felt I needed more intensive support as I approached the anniversary of a major bereavement. The retreat was a serious investment for me both of time and money and I was slightly apprehensive about going away. I did not expect to 'resolve' my loss, but I knew I needed help in making life a bit more bearable and addressing a downward spiral of depression that had set in over the previous six months.


The retreat was better than I anticipated. I received an outline programme before I set off which detailed the various therapies that would be included. It all looked useful. What I hadn't anticipated was the sense of immersion and safety created by the pace and flow of activities, the committed presence of Maureen, the balance between mind and body work, the caring environment, great food and the beautiful surroundings. I'm sure a lot of people in all kinds of situations would benefit from this opportunity to suspend their everyday lives and responsibilities for a few days in order to focus on their wellbeing.


Retreat Client


The counseling, help & guidance you gave me saw me through the most difficult time in my life and I was able to come out of it stronger. Thanks to you I am now able to face reality. Thank you.


Client (Anon)


Dear Maureen,


I just wanted to say "Thank You So Much" for all you have done for me..........

I can't believe how different I feel now to when I first came to you.... You really have worked your magic!


Please thank Maya and Louise for me again too, I hope to speak to you soon.





I really enjoyed the dynamics of the therapies and the choices and combination chosen by Maureen. The lovely welcome when I arrived was comforting. Maureen has been so generous with her time, advise, support and kindness. Also, the food and generosity of the hosts has been much appreciated.


Thank you Maureen.


Retreat Client