The Team

The Team

Founder & Lead Therapist

Jean-Claude started his career, in London as an oil broker in the 80’s before setting up his own independent oil broking company by the age of 25 in London. His company was very quickly acquired by Salomon Brothers (Phibro Energy – Energy Price Risk Management). He went on to join a philanthropic foundation from 1993 with various interests in telecommunications. space and water transportation in a number of foreign countries.

In 1999 he decided to pursue his love in life, the understanding of the human mind, which took him on a six and a half year journey of learning with Athens’ leading psychiatrists, neurologists and family therapists, completing a Diploma of Hypnotherapy and Psychotherapy at ICH – London (teaching from King’s College in London) in 2003.

Jean-Claude continues with his thriving practice in London (established in 2003) working with other psychotherapists together at The London practice , seeing 35-45 clients a week (individuals, couples and families) and has published around 20 features in the Saturday Times of London on issues concerning mental health, body & soul and ways forward for families, couples and individuals. Jean-Claude serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of Europe’s top medical rehab, the Calda Clinic

In 2015 he decided to realise his dream by setting up a retreat centre for psychotherapy and family therapy in combination with Kundalini and Tantra yoga in Bali, in order to help & assist individuals, couples and families in reaching their goals and to become the best version of themselves.

The Place offers transformational retreats ranging in duration from 1 week up to 3 months for individuals, couples, families and siblings with a host of experienced therapists, teachers, and complementary treatments, which has been running successfully since 2015. They also offer bespoke private retreats for individuals, couples, families & siblings in order to provide maximum privacy if you would prefer this.


The retreat is now a 3800 sqm oasis in central Seminyak , 400 meters walking from the beach , with 9 large bedrooms/ensuite bathrooms and 2 salt water pools, a large yoga shala in lush mature gardens, with a great compliment of people working at the retreat centre to look after the participants.

Dr. Anna Walton

Clinical Director

Anna is a counselling psychologist with a background in child development and a lifelong passion for horses. After university, she started her career as a singer/songwriter and toured internationally, but after training in South Africa with a horse whisperer she decided to retrain as a psychologist and utilise horses to help people.

Anna operates with JC from The Place London practice and sees clients for both traditional and equine therapy. She is known for her down to earth, collaborative way of working and has a nurturing and gentle approach, while being committed to pushing clients towards real and lasting change. Equine sessions with Anna are relaxed and unstructured, allowing her clients to experience unique insights and the opportunity for rapid transformation that horses offer. She and Jean-Claude have intuitively complementary ways of working that allow them to work seamlessly together with couples and groups.

Anna is Chartered by The British Psychological Society. She is a published academic researcher in the field of child development and has also co-authored a book on weaning and fussy eating.

Dr. Amy Montagu

Clinical Psychologist

Amy is a qualified Doctor of Clinical Psychology and Neuropsychologist from New Zealand.

Amy works with a client-centred approach to therapy, is compassionate and non-judgmental. She uses a range of evidence-based therapies which she tailors to the needs of her client. She has worked with clients of all ages with various presenting difficulties including anxiety, depression, trauma, grief, loss, substance issues and relationship issues.

She is a registered psychologist in NZ and a member of the NZ College of Clinical Psychologists. She has co-authored a number of publications which focus on low-intensity paradigms for people experiencing low mood in NZ.

Claudia Pietrantoni - The Place Retreats Bali

Claudia Pietrantoni

Counsellor & Business Coach

Since childhood, Claudia has possessed an innate and never-ending passion for people. Her motivation is to help them become the best versions of themselves while encouraging them to re-align and connect with their true identity. 

Claudia enjoys cultivating both the joyous moments and the struggles all of which formulate human relationships

Her goal is to contribute to a world where people are given the space to grow in the freedom of individual responsibility, awareness and the simplicity of happiness.  As a specialized Management Trainer and Coach, Claudia has worked with management teams and leaders to implement systems of change while helping them to realise their goals.

Later on in her career, Claudia decided to develop her passion for people on a deeper level and trained as a Professional Certified Counsellor. Since then, she has been helping people to access, recognise and express their true potential. She believes that through counselling, people can vibrate and connect with life in new and healthy ways.

Splitting her time between Europe and Bali, Claudia enjoys the cultural differences and since she feels at home wherever she goes, she is able to transcend this over to her clients by teaching them to  ‘feel at home within themselves’ regardless of where they might be. These are tools that she brings to her counselling, facilitation and coaching practice.

Claudia also holds a masters degree in Humanistic Gestalt Counselling from the Association for the Psychological Development of Individuals – Italy.

Gemma Kelly

Child & Adolescent Therapist


Gemma Kelly is a Psychodynamic Child and Adolescent Counselling Psychotherapist with The Place Retreats (London Clinic). Gemma works predominantly on an individual basis with children and adolescents aged 5-18, offering long and short-term work and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), working in a client led way.

Gemma is trained in CBT, which can be used to treat different types of anxiety: Social, Separation, Generalised and OCD as well as Phobias (additional charge may apply for phobia work) and depression. For younger children, work is done creatively through play/art as this is their main way of communicating.

Based in London, UK, Gemma is committed to safeguarding children, undertakes regular supervision and has an enhanced DBS check.

alka Nutritional therapy Hatha & Yin Yoga guide - The Place Retreats

Alma Romanello

Kundalini Yoga Teacher

Kundalini Yoga is an ancient technology designed to expand our awareness. Becoming able to go beyond our perceived conscious limits, we are empowered to make more daring choices and we have the energy to create bountiful and exciting lives.

Through a unique sequence of postures (asanas), breath-work (pranayama), hand and finger gestures (mudras), body locks (bhandas), mantras and meditations which are practised in sets known as “kriyas”, the Kundalini energy stimulates the circulatory system, balances glandular system and builds the nervous system by activating the energy through the chakras.

Alma Romanello began practicing yoga 21 years ago during a trip in India, and continued ever since. She is qualified in Hatha, Ashtanga, Vinyasa Flow, Fly High as led by Steve O’Connor in California, Daniel Aaron in Bali, Jose Luis Jimenez in Bali.

In 2005 she discovered and fell in love becoming a Certified Kundalini Yoga Instructor at KRI Kundalini Research Institute in New Mexico.

A few years ago she started her path in Sat Nam Rasayan, the art of spiritual healing through meditation, with the Master Guru Dev Singh.

Alma splits her time between Bali and Italy. She is also qualified in Wuo Tai massage and Deep Tissue massage.

Alka Martine - The Place Retreats Bali - Yoga

Alka Martine

Nutritional Therapy, Hatha & Yin Yoga Guide

“One of the greatest gifts I have received from Yoga and Meditation is the connection with the divine that lies within me. This connection allowed me to begin the long journey of discovering the true essence of who I am and what my purpose here on earth is”

Alka is a seeker, forever a student and someone who is incredibly passionate about her mission in life: Empowering human beings to become extraordinary and live a life that makes them feel like their best version of themselves. She believes that in order to feel like your best version of yourself a harmonious balance between the fundamental five pillars of health should be achieved: Movement of your body, Nutrition, Spirituality, Career and Relationships. She has a gentle approach towards nutrition, movement, love, health and well-being.

Alka specialises in Nutritional Therapy and Yoga for burnout, anxiety and stress. She is a qualified Hatha, Vinyassa, Pregnancy and Yin yoga teacher. She is a holistic life coach, meditation guide and is devoted to being a student for life in self-development.

Originally from Cape Town, South Africa, Alka has been living in Bali for 3 years where she has been spreading her love with clients all over the world by empowering them to create a life filled with purpose. She hosts Nurture and Nourishment Yoga Retreats and workshops in beautiful Bali and Internationally.

Angela Perez

Angela has been passionately and joyfully dedicated to the yogic path for the past 15 years.

With a blend of Spanish born fire and deep love and gratitude for this life, it is equally her joy and honour to teach, study and share yoga and Tantra. Angela’s teaching style mirrors the way she practices – with complete joy and commitment to the path. She truly embodies the understanding that practice is a gift and holds firm to her intention to be a radiant example of the true joy, power, and potential of yoga.

Angela is completely devoted to her daily practice and her role as a teacher is a natural extension of that commitment. She has lectured and taught in many parts of the world on Yogic Philosophy, Tantra, Ayurveda and Kundalini and gratefully enjoys teaching Ashtanga, Hatha, Yin and Tantra classes and workshops currently at Samasti Yoga (Canggu, Bali). Angela is a Yoga Alliance internationally certified yoga instructor at both the RYT-500 and E-RYT 500 level.

Marta Antero

London Kundalini Teacher

Spanish born Marta is an inspiring and charismatic yoga teacher.

She specialises in Kundalini Yoga for addictions, stress and anxiety. She is also qualified in a diversity of yoga styles and healing modalities from the meditative Yin Yoga to the dynamic Flyhigh, Hot Yoga and Hot Pilates. She is a Gong Player, Reiki Healing practitioner and she thrives on her continuous self-development.

Coming from a corporate background, she brings a modern approach to Yoga – empowering students to embrace “real life” challenges, to manage their emotions and to create a shift in their life.

She is fascinated about the mind and her goal as teacher is to empower students to develop their full potential without the self-imposed limitations of the mind.

She currently resides in London but she has spread her passion for yoga all over the word teaching workshops in US, Australia, The Philippines and Indonesia.

She has taught at the prestigious OM Yoga Show and at the Great British Kundalini Yoga Festival, being part of the Festival Directors Committee in 2017

Her classes are dynamic and her energy and enthusiasm is highly contagious.

Elisa Senese

Spiritual Healer

A full time integrative Spiritual Healer, Craniosacral Therapist, Aquatic Bodyworker, Medical Qigong instructor and Soul Mentor for the past 18 years, Elisa’s talent is to communicate the language of spirit and energy, to make the unseen seen, from the unconscious into the conscious.

She can show you how to experience your deep-seated mind perceptions and ideologies, and where they are sensed in your physical body; she then offers practical hands-on tools to clear those patterns and create room for expanded body-mind awareness. Elisa teaches people to access an empowered essence within themselves so that whatever they do in life comes from a deeply authentic and profound place.

Education: Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy, Reiki Master, Avatar Energy Psychology, Esalen Massage, Acupressure, Watsu, Aquatic Bodywork, Quantum Metamorphosis, Shamanism, Ordained Balinese Spirit Healer, Medical Qigong.

Stefanie Holzer

Deep Tissue Matrix Healing

Stefanie studied in Austria and gained her Massage Therapy degree in 2003. Focusing on Deep Tissue Massage, Acupuncture Massage, Trigger Point Massage, Sports Massage, Reflexology, Manual Lymphatic Massage, Aromatherapy and Arddam.

After finishing her training , she moved to Bali and studied ancient Balinese massage techniques and exchanged knowledge with therapists from all over the world. Stefanie’s intuitive Bodywork is known globally.  She worked alongside internationally renowned healers such as Elisa Senese, Mary Maun, Ibu Jero ,  Lexempress  among others.

She is a regular visiting practitioner at the Shaktihealingcircle in Hong Kong and travels to Europe and America for private retreats.

Most of the stress we feel comes from our brain, unbalancing the functions of the body and natural energy flow. This compromises us both emotionally and physiologically.

Stefanie’s intuitive massage therapy works to bring both mind and body into a harmonious balance, using various techniques to draw out tension and induce a state of calm.

​Stefanie also works to target the toxins our bodies absorb from unhealthy diet, repeated strenuous movement and environmental pollutions. She works deeply over the meridiens where energy is depleted or flooded with toxins, unlocking the spine, balancing the chakras, opening blocked channels and purifying tissues.

​Stefanie then orchestrates the whole body-mind-spirit system into a harmonious balance.

Her clients are left feeling limber, mentally cleansed and deeply relaxed.

Andy Taylor

Chinese Medicine Practitioner

Andy is an experienced clinician of Chinese Medicine, in practice now for over 12 years.  After his formal education and training, Andy’s passion for traditional medicine and Eastern culture led him to Taiwan for further study in medicine, language, and cha dao, ‘the way of tea’.

His clinical practice combines various branches of Chinese Medicine, from the refined art and skill of meridian therapy acupuncture and bonesetting, to the diagnostic complexities of Chinese medical theory and internal medicine.  Throughout his career, Andy has been blessed to study in lineage based classical medicine traditions with his teachers in Taipei, Tokyo, and Beijing.  Through his practice of Japanese acupuncture and moxibustion therapy, Chinese osteopathy, and Classical Han Dynasty Imperial Chinese Herbal Medicine, Andy guides the body to navigate itself back to feel and function as the best version of itself.  His work specializes in the treatment of orthopedic conditions, digestive disorders, and acute and chronic fatigue syndromes.

Pablo Alvarez

Rolfing Practitioner & Postural Expert

Pablo is an Advanced Rolfing Structural Integration Therapist, studying under the mentorship of Dr. Peter Schwind (and others).

In addition to his Rolfing training, Pablo has extensive expertise in Yoga, Nutrition, and Yogic philosophy, studying under Sharat Arora, M.S. Viswanath and Larry Schultz. Pablo is trained and certified in Sports Nutrition, Weight Management and Personal Training.

Pablo developed a system Therapeutic Alignment Vinyasa (TAV) to teach yoga that not only includes the original teachings from Krishnamacharya and the Heart of Yoga, but also integrates principles of posture and movement to make the practice intelligent and effective.

With his extensive and varied combination of skills, Pablo is an expert on posture, anatomy and physiology.

Pablo holds a degree in Music by the Arts University of Cuba. He is always passionate, rhythmic, humorous in the delivery of his services.

Michael Hallock - The Place Retreats

Michael Hallock

Watsu & Healing Dance Aquatic Bodywork / Chi Nei Tsang Taoist internal organ massage

Known affectionately as “Michael Watsu”,  Michael first experienced aquatic bodywork in 1995 and discovered a quality of presence and peace he had never known before.  It was “love-at-first-float” and one of the early experiences that propelled him into a journey of self-discovery. He found what was to become a life-long passion for healing arts, yoga, and meditation that led him around the world to develop himself and share with others.

Early in his journey he dedicated himself to yoga and meditation while living for 3 years in India, mostly at the Bihar School of Yoga where he received his residential Diploma in Advanced Yogic Studies in 2000.

He went on to work with acclaimed wellness destinations Chivasom Thailand, Golden Door Australia, and Fivelements Bali and Fivelements Hong Kong, among others.

In 2002 while at Chivasom he was able to pursue his passion for aquatic bodywork as a Watsu Therapist. He later went on to become a teacher of Healing Dance form in 2009, and has since become a pioneer of aquatic bodywork in Asia Pacific. He approaches the therapy as an art form, and sees each session as an intuitive process that invites receivers into a profound and healing connection with themselves.

Also while at Chivasom Michael began practicing Chi Nei Tsang (Taoist internal organ massage).  He treasures the technique for helping to restore more vibrant health and reconnect people to their body, emotions, and energetic awareness. After many years of practice he now elaborates on the original technique with various meditation and bodywork techniques as well as energy work in his Dan Tien Rejuvenation therapy.

Monika Reimann - staff member at The Place Retreats

Monika Reimann

Certified Breathwork Facilitator

For over 40 years Monika has trained with the Breath, from being a singer of the Children’s Radio Choir Berlin, a practitioner of Yoga/ Pranayama/ Bodywork, to working as a professional Breathwork Facilitator.

Traveling the world, she has kept her attention on what connects us all, is available to everyone, and on what works fast and reliably.

Unlocking innate intelligence through the art of breathing consciously, she individualizes the process for the development of human potential. This allows for entirely new or more suitable solutions to emerge.

Monika helps people to deepen their ability to perceive the body as an ally, catalyzing the shift from working hard to thriving by letting life unfold with more ease.

Monika holds a safe space for energy to move into alignment, so it can be a fertile ground for healing and insight.

She has introduced Breathwork to various places all over the world, co-creating with coaches, musicians, bodyworkers, yoga teachers and detox specialists at retreats, leadership trainings, as well as events such as the Bali Spirit Festival.

She is a listed practitioner with AOB (Alchemy of Breath) and BBTRS (Biodynamic Breathwork and Trauma Release), and holds a diploma in Remedial/ Sports/ Swedish massage.

The Place