Gaia’s apprenticeship programme started in 2015.  It emerged because several people who’d been following Gaia for a while asked if they could shadow her during retreats and workshops in order to learn how she creates the magic.

Now in its third year, this a beautiful way to experience a profound personal and professional development journey.

This is a three year programme where you will go through a deep personal clearing process in the retreats and events; you’ll be participating, shadowing and learning ‘in the field’ with Gaia; and you’ll learn and develop ways to work with people in your own unique way (this is the ‘F**k It Be You’ part of the apprenticeship). So this programme will create deep clarity about what your authentic work is.

A Professional Journey

This is the definition of apprenticeship from the dictionary:
The word apprenticeship comes from the Old French aprentiz meaning ‘someone learning’ and the Anglian suffix -scip, meaning ‘state, condition of being’. An apprenticeship is when someone is in a state or condition of learning from a master in a field.

Though Gaia would baulk at describing herself as a ‘master’, she is certainly a magic master in her field, and this definition is a great description of the programme. By working, in the field, hands on, next to Gaia, the process of learning is deep.

The apprenticeship works by taking part – in this different role – in retreats and weekends and with Gaia’s mentorship. The learning happens through participating, witnessing, exploring and through shadowing Gaia in her work with groups. You’ll also be holding an active support role in the groups (when you are ready and when the exercises allow it) so that you can gain lots of experience.

In these ways, apprentices learn the different aspects of Gaia’s approach, and can experience and explore the different exercises and processes that Gaia uses. The core of the work that you’ll both experience in your own process and learn how to use with others is the ‘Hidden Source’ work.  This is the structure behind ‘F**k It Be You’. It’s based on NARM (Neuro Affective Relational Model), which works with dynamics carried from childhood into everyday life.

And these are some of the skills that Gaia uses in the retreats and weekends, and will share with you:

  • NARM (Neuro Affective Relational Model) relating to developmental trauma
  • Somatic Experiencing (a whole practice relating to how the nervous system responds to traumatic stimuli)
  • Body awareness and embodiment
  • Self-regulation (regulation of the nervous system)
  • Qigong and Energy Work
  • Relational Energy (the energetic body in psychological and relational patterns)
  • Touch-work
  • Breathwork and sounding
  • Spontaneous movement, dance, floor work
  • Intuition and pacing in group settings
  • Self-care, compassion and resilience
  • Boundaries and healthy separation
  • Vulnerability and acceptance
  • Connection and Presence
  • Play and creativity

Apprentices will also be able to develop one of the skills that defines Gaia’s approach: the ability to tune in to the clearest part of oneself and into the group and know what is needed, thus becoming very present, create and able to sense and establish the correct rhythm, mode and response for the group work.

Most people experience Gaia’s work as ‘seamless’ and deeply intuitive. They also see how she manages to create or choose each exercise and pace the group-work in such a way that deep processing is possible for each participant. So you’ll be able to witness, experience and then explore this ability for yourself. As the programme is very experiential, apprentices can gradually integrate their learnings into their own practice (personal and professional).

During the Retreats there are moments – separate from the work with the group –  where the apprentices get together with Gaia to discuss the work, their processes and impressions, their intentions and difficulties.

Gaia thus has a mentoring role in the apprenticeship, supporting apprentices in both their personal and professional development. Gaia introduces the apprentices to each group in a way that the participants will relate to the apprentices as an integral part of Gaia’s team.

“I’m going to sing a different song now.”

(Quotes from people who’ve experienced Gaia’s Magic work)

A Personal Journey

Although this heading is after the one of ‘The professional journey’, Gaia (like many other therapists and teachers) sees that the ability to support others is directly linked to the clarity of our own inner state.

The apprenticeship is (and has been for all participants) therefore a deep journey of self-healing. Gaia:
“Once we are clear of our own personal survival dynamics, we are able to approach others with full respect and full ‘seeing’ without pushing them or feeling as if we are going to ‘heal’ them. Instead we enter into a compassionate (compassion for ourselves first and then for the other), heartfelt and respectful journey of exploration and curiosity with our clients.”

This personal journey is an integral part of the apprenticeship. It will change the relationship you have with yourself.  And it will support you in any therapeutic or holistic work you do or are planning to do. In her mentoring role, Gaia will support and guide apprentices in their personal journeys during the time shared on retreats and weekends.

Gaia’s work has at its core the work with ‘developmental trauma’. It is a work of dis-identification:  it enables people to drop the behaviours and personality traits that are learnt and adaptive (because of childhood experiences and attachment dynamics) and therefore not functional or authentic, developing instead a deep ability to be present, connect, relate and live life fully.

This work is deeply healing of old wounds and life-long distortions of identity (such as low self-esteem, self-judgment and shame), and is actually based in present-moment experiencing.

It is heart-centred, experiential and has a scientific base.

“Thank you Gaia. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.”

(Quotes from people who’ve experienced Gaia’s Magic work)

A 3-Year Journey

As you move through the 3 years and your personal journey deepens, and your professional experience grows, there will different elements on offer.

From Year 1, and throughout the whole apprenticeship programme, you will be able to note and learn all the unique processes that Gaia does on the retreats and in workshops.  You can then use any of these in your own work later on.  For example:

  • A Restart process that takes people through a rebirthing journey
  • She has cold and hot water processes that you can use
  • A Boundaries process that allows people to feel safe to say true ‘yes’es and true ‘no’s in their life
  • The ‘Fear to Love’ process which explores which fears we’ve carried from childhood into adulthood, and to move through them
  • The Personal Lie process to discover what identity distortion has occurred and see ourselves as special as we are

Year 1
In the first year, there is a lot of flexibility in how much you participate and how much you support.  You can take part in all exercises as a participant.  And then, when it feels right, you can start to ‘support’ the other participants in these exercises too. You will have already seen on retreats and in workshops how it tends to work with apprentices. 
How quickly you move from participation to support is up to you.  And, even if you’re fully confident in supporting, you might at times prefer to simply participate.  In either case, you will find that your presence becomes important in the groups.

Year 2
Although you’re always free to work at your own pace, and the priority is always to do what is right for you, apprentices usually get excited in Year 2 about the ease with which they are able to support others.
Thus, they become key to many processes, often helping when the larger groups split into sub-groups and more generally in the group exercises too. Also, by now, apprentices will start to get some sense of what their authentic work is, and will naturally start playing with their own style in the groups. In fact, there is an opportunity in the dedicated apprenticeship long-weekend workshop for the 2nd year students, if they want, to create an exercise together and try it out in that group.

Year 3
This is the year where your vision for what your heart’s work will be, is likely to become clearer. So It’s likely that some of your apprenticeship time will involve developing these ideas. So as well as continuing to learn and grow, the apprenticeship programme includes extra support to actually pin down what your work will look like (including naming and branding, etc.). 
NEW: This extra support takes the form of two sessions with Gaia and John (who’s an expert in business ideas and branding), to assist you in developing that unique idea that reflects the unique you, to take out into the world.
The culmination of your 3-year apprenticeship, as well as a form of ‘graduation’ involves you creating and leading your own workshop for the dedicated apprenticeship workshop long-weekend.

“You don’t judge me Gaia. And I’m now judging myself less.”

(Quotes from people who’ve experienced Gaia’s Magic work)

Who can apply?

Up until now, either Gaia has invited people to join the programme, or those who know Gaia and her work very well, have asked about joining the programme.

Apprentices generally have some training in the holistic or therapeutic arts, (or are in training) so they can integrate this approach and all the learnings into what they do or are learning to do.

The apprenticeship is not a structured training, nor does it offer a prescribed and defined role (such as coaching, etc.). So it is generally helpful for participants to integrate these skills into a more defined practice.

The apprenticeship however is also open to people who don’t have a practice: normally it is people who have joined after having participated in a lot of Gaia’s retreats, or those who have been on a self-development journey for a length of time and are truly interested in their own personal development and are usually interested in developing a practice to work with people.

If you know Gaia well, and are interested in discussing the possibility of becoming an apprentice, do email her to start the conversation.

“I’m realising I may not be who I thought I was.”

(Quotes from people who’ve experienced Gaia’s Magic work)

The Price and What Is Included

The apprenticeship is a 3 year programme.  It includes:

  • 2 retreats in Italy per year
  • Dedicated apprentice time with Gaia during the retreats (ie. with the apprentices group outside the group work)
  • New ‘long-weekend’ workshop in the UK (Friday lunch ’til Sunday)
  • New: A long weekend in the U.K. dedicated to apprentices only for sharing, training, play and deep processing.
  • Participation to a self-run Apprentices’ Facebook private page sharing with other apprentices

The price for this apprenticeship training is £1,500 per year.  This can be paid in one instalment (January) or two (January and June) or with a £500 deposit in January and a staggered payment plan over the year.

Accommodation is paid separately, and is at a special Apprenticeship rate (details below).

At the end of the three years you’ll receive a certificate of participation which will list the hours spent in the apprenticeship. This is not, however, a diploma, as this is an apprenticeship.

In terms of the relationship between this apprenticeship and F**k It: This apprenticeship is with Gaia, and as well as the implicit personal journey you’ll go on, it is about acquiring skills and abilities to guide and facilitate transformation and healing for groups and individuals. 

Though Gaia is naturally very F**k It, and all the courses are under the flag of F**k It, this not set as a training in F**k It and its principles.  You can clearly integrate whatever you learn, and whatever principles you learn, into your own practice.  You can state that you have a certification of participation in the apprenticeship programme of F**k It co-founder Gaia Pollini, but this is not a training in F**k It. You’ll be able of course, if you wish, to mention in your literature that you have trained with Gaia Pollini and John C. Parkin (founders of F**k It), and that you use a F**k It approach, but please not under any ‘F**k It’ title.

“I feel so safe I can face my fears.”

(Quotes from people who’ve experienced Gaia’s Magic work)

Required Extras

To support the work done in groups, it is required that you have 4 one-to-one sessions with Gaia each year.

This is essential to the personal development required to work in the ways described above. So the work comes from inside and not from technique. For the apprentices, Gaia offers a reduced price per session of £90 per 75 minute session.      

A 1-to-1 Session with Gaia

by Gaia Pollini | Extract from a real session

Prices of Venues

The venues are paid separately.
Gaia has agreed a special price with the venues for the apprentices. Just ask Gaia. The payment will be made directly to the venue, just as for the guests, 6 weeks before the retreat itself.  Our team will remind you when payment is due, and give full details about how to make the payment (as we would with regular guests).

The Apprentices’ Community

There is a team of apprentices which is already in community.
You’ll have access to a private Facebook page, and meet in person (with some or all during the retreats and events and, of course, during the annual dedicated apprenticeship weekend training workshop).

You’ll be able to share and support each other. So that this becomes another supportive and healing aspect of the programme.

“I feel so supported.”

(Quotes from people who’ve experienced Gaia’s Magic work)

And more about Gaia (in case you didn’t know already)…

Gaia Pollini, 20 years of therapeutic support.

Gaia is co-author of the F**k It books and co-founder of the F**k It movement.  Many people have experienced her ‘magic’ over the years in retreats and workshops.  Gaia intuitively understands what is needed for people. She is a powerful healer.  She seems to be able to say just the right thing at just the right time.

She allows people to feel safe and secure.  And yet free and strong enough to be themselves.  She creates huge liberating experiences in all the work she does.  So that many people return again and again for a re-charge and ongoing support throughout their lives.

What a lot of people don’t know, is the foundation of Gaia’s profound therapeutic work. And that, behind the free-flowing, intuitive ‘magic’ element – there is method, research, years of training, experience and therapeutic insight. This has been Gaia’s passion and work for more than 20 years.  This is what she lives and breathes and you can learn a lot of that by being and working with her. This is what is behind her F**k It Be You processes.  

And here’s a little glimpse of the therapeutic underpinning of her powerful work:


  • Gaia is a NARM Practitioner  (i.e. she is a specialist in the ‘Neuro Affective Relational Model’ which concerns childhood attachment issues and resolutions)
  • Somatic Experiencing Practitioner / Trauma Therapist (this is a specialist trauma healing methodology).
  • She is an Integrative Breath Therapist and Rebirther (this is deep instruction in ‘breathwork’).
  • She is a trained Voice Dialogue Facilitator.
  • She is a Clinical Hypnotherapist (with additional clinical specialist modules)
  • She is a Qigong Practitioner and Energy master, with 20 years’ experience
  • She has counselling skills training
  • She is a master of the Chinese tea ceremony and Chinese teas – and their healing effects.
  • Gaia is continually adding to her training experience. She is currently training in ‘Continuum‘, a practice using breath and sounds to dissolve trauma patterns in the body and in the nervous system.