General Question

Trustinglife's avatar

Have you ever done a seminar that was about personal growth?

Asked by Trustinglife (6668points) March 1st, 2009

If so, how was it?
I love the opportunity to examine my assumptions about what’s possible in life, and in our culture. I wondered about your experiences.

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11 Answers

cookieman's avatar


I went to one that came highly recommended by a former coworker. The workshop leader was even a well respected judge that my wife had worked with. So our expectations were high.

Unfortunately, by the end of the evening, we felt as though we had been indoctrinated into a cult.

We left and were like WTF was that?! We never returned but they called us relentlessly for a month.

Never again.

bythebay's avatar

My experiences have been similar to cprevite. I’ve actually enjoyed them while there; I’ve gleaned some relevant and even useful information; and I didn’t fall asleep. Unfortunately, upon leaving you are usually barraged with items to purchase to continue your journey and encouraged strongly to sign up for more workshops. Then in days following you are barraged some more by phone & mail. I know it’s all a business, but when that aspect overshadows the help aspect, it’s like gum that lost it’s flavor.

cookieman's avatar

@bythebay Very true. I felt more “hooked” than “helped” by the end of it all.

nebule's avatar

I haven’t yet…
money and time is an issue..
and reliable lecturers… recommended etc
but would LURRRVE to…
I can’t even make enough time to read all the self-help books at home
Let alone attend a weekend course
or something…
And you don’t get to here about them much here in the UK
I don’t think we’re as
“Spiritual” Centric as you lovely peeps over there!

marinelife's avatar

What has been most important for me in whether I felt it was a success was who the presenter was. I would take personal recommendations, and then look into the person’s writings. If possible, listen to audio or view video of them speaking (not everyone with good ideas is a good presenter).

Also, I am wary of someone who is making a living charging people to learn to live a better life.

I’ve been to great workshops/seminars, and I have been to ones that I left early. There is no single answer.

SuperMouse's avatar

@cprevite and @bythebay, were these courses part of a program such as Life Spring or EST? I have always thought it would be interesting to attend a seminar such as TrustingLife described, but I wonder how to tell the difference between an honest to goodness motivational self-help speaker and these types of “cults.”

bythebay's avatar

@SuperMouse: LifeSpring was one that I went to, and we went together to an IMAGO couples one. Ugh

cookieman's avatar

@SuperMouse I don’t remember the name of the one I attended (this was back in 2000) but they had very professional literature and media so I doubt it was a local neighborhood assembly. It had the feel of an “organization”.

michrweber's avatar

I have worked with a company called The Garden Company, out of Sandpoint, Idaho for years now. I love the work they do, and also have recommended it to many friends. They offer different experiences for different areas of growth. Their Mountain Experience is life changing, I have done it twice now! I have also done a One day experience and their Freedom Experience.

Trustinglife's avatar

I have also encountered what some of you are talking about – the focus on money, high fees, and “hooking” people so that they will continue to pay. So I know what you’re talking about.

But it saddens me that that is the main impression you have taken away from this whole world of personal growth seminars. There are many other opportunities – many that are local – that are given by honest people who just want to serve and offer their gifts.

wundayatta's avatar

@Trustinglife: If you haven’t been to Esalen and tried any of their personal growth workshops, you are missing a treat! It is incredibly beautiful there, and relaxed, and the people tend to be wonderful. I believe you’re only a few hours from the place. Do it!

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