GPYB Boot Camp FAQ
The 2021 Holiday Boot Camp will begin mid-late October and end the first week of January with 2 “off” weeks.
Q1: Why GPYB Boot Camp?
Over the years, former boot campers have returned to the Facebook group and to GPYB’s email with gratitude for the direction and support they received during GPYB boot camp. If you do a search on “boot camp” in the Facebook group, you will read many testimonials of former boot campers and the change it made in their lives. No one asks the boot campers for these testimonials. They come back of their own accord to check in and to encourage others to keep going with the program. GPYB boot campers have an extraordinary track record of success in leading healthy lives and eventually finding a new and healthier relationship. But most importantly, they heal their wounds and find their way to a relationship with themselves, one that they will never again sacrifice for another.
Q2: What Is The Advantage of GPYB Boot Camp Over Doing The Program On Your Own?
If you participate fully, GPYB Boot Camp accelerates your healing process and sets you on your way to a growth process. It’s the GPYB program, which can be confusing at times, with guidance from the creator of the program AND a group of people invested in your growth and well-being. You will have support for 12 weeks in a way you’ve not had it before.
Boot camp is the GPYB program on steroids and it not only heals your broken heart and prepares you for a future relationship or a rich, rewarding life on your own. It gives you a whole new way of looking at your life, the world and those in your life. We talk about much more than just a breakup or relationships. We talk about LIFE and how to manage it. We talk about insolent children, selfish parents, cranky bosses and disloyal friends. We delve into childhood trauma and past abuses. We define things in a way that allows you to explore your past without worrying if you’re doing it right or if you’re to blame for things that happened. We talk about guilt, shame and forgiveness of self and others. There is an entire range of sayings and platitudes in addition to the ones already in the program. Boot campers create their own sayings, develop shortcuts, and feed off each other’s energy and success. It’s group therapy at a whole different level.
Boot campers ALWAYS get materials that are not available anywhere else as well as access to a library of program materials not available anywhere else. There are articles that I have only shared with boot campers and topics that we discuss in boot camp that are not always topics that are discussed in public. There are also stories and recollections about previous boot camps that are not available outside of boot camps (because without ever having been in a boot camp, you probably couldn’t understand).
Boot campers are given two 1:1 sessions in boot camp, one half-way through and one exit session. In the exit 1:1, boot campers are guided as to how to keep the program working in their lives and which material from the boot camper-only library to use and in what order.
There is always a boot camper discount on counseling sessions, packages and future boot camps. And I am always available to speak to former boot campers in email.
If you embrace the boot camp as an incredible learning journey to go on with friends you have not met yet, you will be successful and experience a level of healing and comfort you can’t quite imagine YET.
The Benefits of Boot Camp
Although it’s there for the taking… you have to be an active and willing participant in its unfolding. And you can be. You suit up and show up for calls and journaling and do the assignments you want to do. Most of the reading is required, some of the writing is required (affirmations/inventories/grief). The time commitment is typically 5-10 hours a week. If you don’t have that kind of time, boot camp is not for you. If you want to do more assignments, then the time commitment will be a bit more.
This is the new format for boot camps. It is going to be an on-going process. If you’ve never done a boot camp before and are relatively new to the process, you are encouraged to sign up for basic boot camp. If you have done a boot camp you are always welcome to do a basic boot camp again (many want a refresher or are just not ready for advanced boot camp and that’s okay).
Q3: What Is the Emotional and Mental Commitment to Boot Camp?
t’s an extraordinary process, but to reap the benefits of it, energy and commitment is required. It’s a boot camp. The name itself implies hard work.
It IS work. It’s also a commitment to yourself, to your healing and your future. It’s a commitment to working the program so that you can have healthy relationships (all relationships, not just intimate) in the future.
If you don’t work in boot camp, it affects the other boot campers who do work hard. It affects them when you come onto a call and say, “Sorry I haven’t been journaling, work has been crazy.” Many other boot campers journal and respond to journals when their work is crazy. There are NO excuses. If you’re going to come to boot camp, unless you’ve been very sick or one of your kids has been really sick, you are expected to participate.
If you join a boot camp, it needs to be a priority in your life. There are calls, journals and assignments. Some assignments are required and some are optional (see schedule below). After discussing the schedule with multiple past boot campers, and because people fall behind on assignments (both required and the ones they want to do and get feedback on), I have extended boot camp two weeks by adding a week of boot camp and an extra break week.
Making The Commitment to Boot Camp Work
The amount of time and commitment is explained more in Q4. However, it’s important that before you read about that, you understand the commitment needed for boot camp and what you get out of it.
The benefits you get from boot camp are numerous. Therefore, you need to figure out how to make it work. We’ve had many single parents, many people with incredibly busy work schedules (some with more than one job), many who have travel plans or vacations scheduled during boot camp. We’ve also had people with terminally ill family members or family members and friends who have passed away during boot camp (some expected, some unexpected). They have managed to make it work. If you truly want it, you can make it work. Coming to boot camp and saying, “Oh I’m sorry I didn’t journal much this week, I was busy with work…” is not acceptable. Everyone is busy with work.
We do have breaks and they will be listed. If you can plan a vacation for a break, great, if not, please try to participate in boot camp during your vacation as many others have done.
I have done almost 50 boot camps and know that, from reading hundreds of journals, that those who with stressful schedules or demanding obligations or sick/dying family members or a sudden death and use the boot camp as a support are the ones who do best.
The group is a support system. You don’t turn away from your support system during stressful times (as we will learn in boot camp). We will discuss “secure external base” for attachment work in both BBC and ABC. And you will learn that you turn TO them during stressful times and you learn to support others when you, yourself, are going through things. You continue to support them because getting out of your own worries helps a lot.
I recently had a boot camper who missed multiple boot camp calls to support friends IRL during call times. While it’s commendable to support your RL friends, boot camp is your support system to not only rely on them to help you support your RL friends, but you deserve to honor your commitment to yourself (being in boot camp) before you support anyone else outside of boot camp. This boot camper missed so many calls, she had to leave boot camp and didn’t get the care and support she needed and deserved. Just as importantly, the other boot campers did not get HER support. Instead, her IRL friends did.
Boot camp is a testament to your commitment to yourself and a formal working through a breakup and exploring previous relationship history and family history. You must learn to recover from past hurts and harms while being supported and giving support. This means NOT disappearing during boot camp. If you’re a codependent, it is ESPECIALLY important to learn to put yourself first and to support those who support you. Healthy attachment (secure attachment) is about reciprocal relationships. Many who come to boot camp have never known those types of relationships. Calls and journaling teach you what that is and you develop it as a STANDARD in your own life.
Boot camp is also a commitment to the group of people you will get to know over the course of 12 or so weeks (the next BBC is 12 weeks and ABC is TBD). They will be your friends for life IF you put the time and effort into supporting them. If you don’t, you lose out. I have MANY MANY MANY previous boot camps who have kept up with each other with Facebook groups and with weekly or monthly calls. They continue the work and supporting each other long after boot camp is over. But if you don’t get to know them and don’t participate during boot camp, you miss out on that continuing support.
Q4: What Is The Time/Logistical Commitment and Schedule?
Journaling and calls are required. Assigned reading (most of it) is required. Written assignments that are required are affirmations, grief work, inventories. Additionally there are optional readings and assignments. You are able to submit work for feedback as you do it. Though we try to have breaks on certain weeks and start and stop on schedule, it does not always happen that way. Due to past experience, I have added 2 extra weeks to boot camp to allow for the time we always seem to need. However, in the past we have had to extend boot camp “last call” week for when everyone can attend due to family illnesses, deaths and last minute emergencies. Because of this, we may need an extra week of boot camp to accommodate a boot camper with a life emergency. We NEVER turn our back on someone who has been with us throughout boot camp and suddenly has an extreme situation come up or has to work on the day we had a final call scheduled.
We ask that you be flexible to some degree and that this boot camp be a priority in your life. It is EXTREMELY disheartening to boot campers when someone misses calls and/or doesn’t meet the journaling requirements and doesn’t take this work seriously. It’s also distressing for me as many boot camps have had waiting lists and I think of the people who didn’t make it in when one person is participating only half-heartedly. Boot camp works best when everyone participates fully.
Notwithstanding unforeseen emergencies, we will wrap it up in 12 weeks. However, if you absolutely MUST end in exactly 12 weeks (you have some kind of commitment to make or something to participate in), then this might not be the right time for you to join. We want everyone on the last call and if you can’t be flexible about that call, this is not the place for you.
We have never, and will never, guarantee that boot camp ends on a date certain. We stay open to the needs of the group and everyone MUST be available for the final call. If they are not, we do not end boot camp. There is NO optional second call the first or last week of boot camp. We start when EVERYONE can start and end when EVERYONE can end.
A listing of topics and assignments is posted in Q6, but again, this is tentative and will most likely change according to the needs of the participants in boot camp.
THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF THE FAQ. PLEASE READ CAREFULLY
The Summer 2021 boot camp has been successfully meeting as a group every Tuesday night from 7-9 as agreed upon before boot camp opened. Most other groups have fallen into a weekly call that works for the group. The boot camp works best when we don’t have to spend hours hashing out the best time for a call. However, because this is the Holiday boot camp which is a very emotional time, we are returning to scheduling the call from week to week.
The Registration Form asks that you put down your available nights/days for call. This is not set in stone. It doesn’t mean you MUST be available every week on the same night or day. Do your best to provide the best reflection of your actual availability. I promise you – I PROMISE YOU – I will not hold it against you if it changes. I’m pretty good at being flexible.
While we have worked with people with difficult work schedules, we need everyone to make themselves as available as they can for the weekly 2 hour calls. Boot camp works best when the calls are at the same time each week, but we’ve had plenty where the group arranges things so that scheduling is NOT THAT PAINFUL.
For the holiday boot camp I will be returning to the “schedule a call day/time each week” and see how it goes. Hopefully, even with the hectic holidays, the pandemic and other things, it will go well. It works if everyone in the group works to make themselves as available as they can. If you’re only available Saturday night from 6-8, it’s not going to work.
There will only be a second call if more than one person misses the first call, BUT the second call is open to everyone, even those who made the first call so you will have the opportunity to have 2 calls if a second call takes place. There have been many boot camps where people take the opportunity to attend both calls. However you cannot miss more than 2 regular calls during boot camp. There are NO calls on “off” weeks (2 off weeks) so there are only 10 calls over the course of 12 weeks. The calls become SO important to boot campers that once they get into the rhythm of the calls, they never WANT to miss them and which is why, even if people make the first call, they will opt to attend the second call on weeks its offered. While many of us want to isolate and hide when we’ve had a BIG problem, issue, loss etc., boot camp will teach you HOW to lean on an extraordinary group of people.
JOURNALING: The Heart and Soul of Boot Camp
Journaling is a MUST. IT’s the most important part of boot camp and the requirement is that you journal 4-6 days a week and respond to 3-5 others 4-6 days a week. That may sound confusing, but it’s not hard to figure out. There is a spreadsheet that will help you to keep track of it.
People have complained in the past that the requirement to respond to 3-5 people 4-6 days a week is confusing so I have created a spreadsheet to help you keep track of it. Other than illness, there are no excuses for not journaling and not responding. There cannot be any “Well I was busy….” “Well work was really stressful….” excuses. THAT is what boot camp is about: putting your stress and other issues INTO your journals and listening to others.
Healthy relationships are about supporting and being supported. In BBC we will talk about the Secure Internal Base and the Secure External Base, from Attachment Theory, early on. In ABC we will delve into attachment and healing more deeply. You cannot learn to be part of someone’s secure base or to have someone as part of yours if you don’t journal and respond to journals. It’s about learning to hear and be heard. It’s about feeling as if you matter and it’s about extending to someone else the feeling that they are important.
We do understand that everyone has a hard week now and again where work, family or life commitments make journaling difficult, but it can be done to some level no matter what else is taking place and IT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF BOOT CAMP.
Because of the level of work and the commitment to boot camp calls and journaling. I’ve added more weeks with more breaks. If you’re going to do boot camp 1 and 2 or boot camp 1 more than once (after you finish boot camp, you have the option of going onto Advanced boot camp IF you’ve participated fully in BBC and we have discussed it, or doing Basic again). There is no shame in doing Basic again, in fact it gets you even MORE ready for Advanced when the time comes. Advanced is more work and it’s harder, requires that you are more of a self-starter and take more responsibility for your recovery. Not everyone has the extra time and energy that Advanced Boot Camp requires but many people want to continue working the program and staying involved with the group. You can take basic again and again until you are ready for ABC. Many people have taken multiple basic boot camps. The best way to get ready for Advanced Boot Camp, whether you’ve done a boot camp before or not, is to join this boot camp and JOURNAL and RESPOND to journals regularly and as is required.
Q5: What Is The Schedule and List of Topics?
Schedule and Topics for Holiday Boot Camp
First call 4-6 Introductions and Explanations
From discussions in journals and on calls, we may move things around. Sometimes a member comes up with something pressing and we need to move things up or around. We also sometimes move break weeks around to accommodate the needs of the group or a holiday that comes along.
In Spring 2021 Advanced Boot Camp we moved our break to coincide with Easter/Passover so that the holidays would have less impact on boot camp and visa versa. We also moved the break to Week 7 for the Summer 2021 boot camp to coincide with Labor Day.
Another time we moved our break week to accommodate a boot camper’s travel plans. It was a group decision and one that everyone was comfortable with…so things can and do change more often than not.
For those who have taken boot camps before, I have sometimes included an off week as a week (in the calculation of how many weeks) and sometimes I have not. It has depended on whether or not we’re keeping pace. To accommodate the pace, I have included an extra break and pushed it to 12 weeks from 10. This will eliminate the need to add extra, unplanned weeks at the end.
- The “Roadmap” and the program concepts: Observation, Preparation, Cultivation
The required TOOLS: journaling, inventories, affirmations, Grief, Goals and Good to Me
No Contact (this is if anyone in the group struggles with it or struggles with limited contact with a coparent. If no one has this issue, we don’t spend time on it though I still post bootcamp-only NC material).
Program sayings and philosophies: It Doesn’t Matter, Wants to Be With Me, etc.
Discussion of REQUIRED assignments and OPTIONAL assignments.
ALL reading is required, but only affirmations, grief work and inventories are required written work. All the readings will have optional reaction papers and due dates.
Many times boot campers think about assignments and decide they want to do them. This usually happens toward the end of boot camp. So I have changed things to include a break week at the end so that anyone who wants to get assignments in that they didn’t do previously BUT the caveat is that they must be submitted the day we come back from break.
Working out the Bad and Working in the Good: What constitutes “working out the bad” and what constitutes “working in the good”
Introduction to Boundaries
Introduction to Codependency, where you begin and end and I begin and end and whose problem is it anyway?
Introduction to Relationship Addiction
Affirmation Material Continued
Talking About Perspective: how has your perspective of your ex kept you stuck? What beliefs do you have that need to be challenged?
Childhood– what happened? Discussion of different ways that childhood experiences affect adult relationships. Family of origin introduction. Self-esteem and “settling for less” discussed.
Introduction to Inner Child/Healthy Inner Parent
Introduction to Attachment concepts. Attachment is an advanced topic but there are some concepts that are important to learn and understand so that the basic work makes sense: internal and external secure bases. Understanding these concepts will help bring program concepts into place
Week 5 BREAK (maybe) and 1:1s
If there is a break then there is no group call. Journaling is optional. Responding to journaling is optional. SELF CARE AND TAKING IT EASY IS NOT OPTIONAL!!! You don’t have to work on assignments, but you can. If the break week is moved from Week 5, the options remain the same for the break week but there is a call and journaling/responding in Week 5.
Advanced Observation and Mindfulness
Beginning of Loss Timeline and Grief Work
Introduction to Overdeveloped Defense Mechanisms
Grief work continued
Splitting and the Relationship Inventory
Letting Go Letters
Forgiveness and Amends
Week 9 BREAK (maybe..again depends on first break)
Second break – time to catch up on assignments and self-care. This is a break that comes from past experience with boot camps where people suddenly realize there are assignments they want to do now.
Inventories cont’d (your mid-way point 1:1 dictates what inventories you will work on in boot camp, not every one works on the same ones)
Putting It All Together
Goodbye to Boot Camp – Closure – we will schedule our last call which will be the last day of boot camp.
Q6: What is Advanced Boot Camp? (will start mid-February)
Advanced Boot Camp is very different from Basic Boot Camp and it’s important that you’re ready for the change. I ask that everyone contact me before registering for ABC. It may be that you would benefit more from a second BBC than ABC. It will definitely depend on the work and commitment you’ve shown in BBC and also the depth of the work you’ve needed to do.
You will have the ability to come into Advanced Boot Camp or join Advanced Boot Camp if you’ve either done a boot camp before and participated fully or you are at a certain place in the program. If you’ve never done a boot camp before, you will absolutely need to speak to me before. If you’ve done a boot camp before, registration is limited and I ask that you speak to me before registering. If you did not participate fully in your first BBC, I ask that you take it again because participating fully is a MUST in ABC.
How Is Advanced Boot Camp Different Than Basic Boot Camp?
Advanced Boot Camp is NOT just boot camp with more advanced topics. There is a different mindset going in and continuing on. The focus is how to prepare to continue doing the work as a lifelong commitment to yourself. There are advanced topics, but the goal of Advanced Boot Camp is to put you in the driver’s seat of your own healthy life (self-directed recovery) and commitment to a set of values, principles and core beliefs that you carry with you forever.
ADVANCED BOOT CAMP
There are 3 focal points in Advanced Boot Camp:
Acknowledgment and Acceptance of Authentic Self
Commitment to the Recovery Process
Becoming Responsible and Learning How to Direct and Manage You Recovery Process for the Rest of Your Life
Schedule of Topics (this is not only tentative, but after 1:1s many people get their own assignments. For example, some may want to work on more advanced GBOT topics for future relationships, others may want to work on personal goals, still others may need to do deeper Family of Origin work. Where it talks about “Action Plans,” each person will have their own action plan to work on after Week 4.
There are not set weeks yet (more as we move closer and I tighten this up) but this is the list of topics and what we talk about/do.
- Review of the program Grief, Goals, Good to Me
- Observation and Advanced Observation (Mindfulness)
- Alchemy and Trusting the Process I
- Authentic Self: What is It? How Do You Figure It Out?
- Attachment: we start Attachment early and work on it throughout
- Action Plans
- Taking Personal Inventory: How Does Self-Directed Recovery Work?
- Revisiting the Life Inventory
- Modified Parent Inventories
- Recovery Checklist
- Forgiveness of Self and Others (we do this in BBC and revisit in ABC)
- Parent Grief Assignment
- Detachment and Boundaries
- Trusting the Process II
Q7: Where Can I Find the Boot Camp Registration and Cost of Boot Camp?
As was said on PAGE ONE, we try to keep GPYB Boot Camps affordable for everyone and we have had many single parents, many on fixed incomes and others who are not situated as financially stable as they’d like to be, come to boot camp.
We give generous discounts, have four registration options including an interest free payment plan and can extend it out further if need be. Please do not ask for any more consideration than is already given. It’s already amazingly affordable and it is important that you invest in your recovery so that it is important to you. I am always flummoxed when I receive requests for half off or even full off the price of boot camp. If it’s not affordable at all for you, it’s not, and let that be okay.
I was a struggling single mom when I invested in recovery opportunities like GPYB boot camp. I didn’t make a lot of money and received next-to-no child support and when I got paid, my therapy money, conference money, seminars, retreats etc. came OFF THE TOP before anything else. My recovery was an investment I made.
I went to conferences, seminars, retreats and group therapy (which is what GPYB Boot Camp is, basically) for several months at a time. Putting YOU first where recovery is concerned is IMPORTANT. This isn’t about taking this boot camp, but somehow being willing to invest in you. When I was doing conferences, retreats, boot camps etc., I took each one seriously BECAUSE I had invested in it- invested in me. BUT, if this is still too pricey for you then now is not the time for you to join boot camp. We will work with you and extend payments out if need be, but we will NOT give more discounts than is already given here.
I’ve increased the number of weeks and the number of Zoom calls so the cost has also gone up accordingly though it is, as always, incredible bang for the buck.
A GPYB individual counseling session fee is $165 based on Susan Elliott’s education (advanced degrees and licenses in both psychology and law), experience (over 25 years) and national and international recognition as an expert in the field (published author, academic contributor to many papers and articles, media commentator with guest spots on television, radio and the internet). It is a low hourly fee for New York City (where she lives) but is based on the fact that she has clients from all over the country and all over the world. The hourly rate takes exchange rates for other countries and salaries from other parts of the US into account. For NYC alone, the hourly rate would be upwards of $350.
What Do You Get For The Registration Fee?
You get 4-5 hours a week of personalized attention (reading your journals, giving feedback on assignments and facilitating and attending calls) from an internationally recognized expert in the relationship field who is also an attorney who has practiced in the US and Canada for over 15 years. You get two scheduled 1:1 sessions (one in the 4th week and one in the last week) and the ability to email or have a 1:1 any time you are struggling in the boot camp or with the assignments. In boot camp you receive attention worth about $700 a week (or $5600 for the entire boot camp which is equal or less than the price that many less experienced coaches and therapists charge for their less individualized and less seasoned programs) for around $100 a week.
You also get all the material and the support of the rest of the group. You get a copy of the workbook and the power affirmations booklet. If you already have them, you can have a choice of one of the other books in Kindle. You get much “boot camper only” material in the form of audios and articles which non-boot campers will never have access to. You receive GPYB alum discounts after boot camp for counseling or coaching sessions and any offering from GPYB.
Fees: GPYB Productions pay many fees to run the boot camps. First, they are housed on their own highly secure server. There is extra security software and there is nothing other than GPYB boot camps on the server. Even the gettingpastyourbreakup.com and meanladytalking.com websites are hosted on a separate server so that the boot camps are completely secure and undetectable by outsiders. The software costs money, the technical support costs money, the accountant costs money and the processing services (credit card, PayPal etc.) all take a percentage of each boot camper’s registration fee. Despite the costs and fees incurred, we have discounts for paying in full, for FB group members and for alumni. For example, if you are a FB group member who pays in full by Early Bird deadline you save with discounts. We also have no-interest payment plans.
If you need MORE of a payment plan than is here, please ask. We do not want anyone to sit out of a GPYB boot camp because you can’t afford it. We will stretch the payments to help you out. Please don’t be afraid to ask.
There are installment plans available (interest free) and if you need more time than what the default offers, please let us know and we will work with you. It is important that we keep GPYB boot camps affordable. We will do whatever we can to make this work, financially, for anyone who wants to join and do the work. As I’ve repeated over and over here, please commit to boot camp before asking for special financial terms.
Although the GPYB boot camps probably should be priced closer to $2500 (as the accountant keeps barking) or more, these are the 2021 prices for Holiday Boot Camp
FULL PRICE FOR 12 Week Boot Camp is $1299.00
GPYB Alum Discount of 15% is for those who have completed a prior boot camp (use discount code ALUMS)
Facebook Group Member is 10 % discount (use discount code FBG)
Early Bird Pay in Full $150 Discount: Pay in Full after September 1 but before September 22 $1149.00
Two Payment Option $100 Discount:
Pay in two installments by the time boot camp starts (one when you register and one when BC opens and receive $100 discount)
Pay in Full After September 22nd but before October 15th $50.00 Discount (requires $200 deposit to hold your place)
Pay $200 deposit upon registering and $200 every 2 weeks after that. If you need more of an installment plan than this, please let us know and we can arrange it.
You can pay by credit/debit card, Zelle or PayPal but you must use the Registration form to register even if you are paying through Zelle or PayPal (don’t use the discount code).
If you are paying with credit/debit card, you only have to use this one form.
REGISTRATION CLOSES WHEN BOOT CAMP IS FULL – DON’T WAIT IF YOU WANT IN
PLEASE EMAIL firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com for a Registration Form. THANK YOU.