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Question
Posted by: Leonie | 2010/11/18

Life Enhansing Workshop

A friend convinced me to go on a workshop this past weekend called VIDA EXPERIENCE - I paid (trusting my friends judgement) and when I got there and the workshop started, I realised that it was the same work shop I walked out of (about five years ago) after two hours. They start off extremely hostile and lock you into the workshop room with all the other people, then they give you a bunch of labels and everybody has to put a “ BAD label”  on everybody’ s backs. It’ s supposed to be your first impression of that person, but the facilitator restricts you to “ BAD labels” .

I just can’ t do it –  both times (that I started this exact same process in the two different courses) I became so filled with fear that I literally start to shake uncontrollably. It feels like I start getting disconnected from myself –  like I’ m falling down a dark pit.
In both workshops, I excused myself during the first brake and left, but only after enduring judgement and disapproval because of my apparent lack of “ stamina” .

They request that I trust them, but there is nobody with any psychological qualification present and every warning system inside me tells me to run.
I end up feeling a bit like a failure, yet, I do trust myself.

My FIRST question is –  do you know what they do in these workshops, because NOBODY speaks a word or are willing to inform me regarding the details of the process and without the detail, I cannot possibly responsible towards myself in making an informed decision.

From the outside, the whole thing looks like a type of “ recipe”  that “ facilitators”  follow to make money out of “ depressed”  people.

My SECOND question is –  Is there some kind of regulating body to ensure that these types of “ mind game”  workshops follow ethical procedure?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

I do not believe there is lasting value in any of this sort of "workshop" - they do NOT use recognized and proven therapies or methods shown to have lasting benefits, and are needlessly expensive. They are usually not run by people with full and recognized mental health professional qualifications or the ability to recognize and deal with harmful problems which might arise. ( speaking in general, of course ).
But placebo effect being what it is, and emotional manipulation being so easy and so potent, I'm sure some people feel better for them, just as you might feel temporarily better after taking part in sport or even an argument.
In the session you describe, I don't at all like the atmosphere or exercises you mention, and do not think they would be beneficial.
If nobody has the proper qualifications, they have no valid basis for expecting you to "trust" them. I don't know this group at all. However, it is a common feature of dodgy groups that they try to persuade all particpants to "keep the secret" so as to maintain an inflow of gullible participants. Sometimes the actual secret is that there is no secret.
Unfortunately, I don't think there is ANY sort of structure to monitor, validate or check such activities. There have been occasional moves to try to regulate "counselling", which have not worked out right - but one of the reasons these eents are advertised as a "Workshop" is to try to avoid control and regulation, and to avoid having any need to demonstrate that the process is safe or beneficial.
It's rather like the medicines control laws being tight, but people being able to evade them by calling something a "remedy" or "supplement".
If the methods used were ghenuinely valuable, we would all use them and they would be very well knwon. They aren't.
If ANYONE thinks they have significant mental health problems causing them grief and difficulties, there is no substitute for seeing a fully trained and qualified mental health professional and choosing orthodox treatment.
As Liza says, such workshops are usually hugely profitable for those who run them, and who sell their books ( usually self-published, because no major publisher would be prepared to do so ).
Such actiities often prey on insecure and worried people, seldom with any lasting benefit.


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3
Our users say:
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010/11/20

I do not believe there is lasting value in any of this sort of "workshop" - they do NOT use recognized and proven therapies or methods shown to have lasting benefits, and are needlessly expensive. They are usually not run by people with full and recognized mental health professional qualifications or the ability to recognize and deal with harmful problems which might arise. ( speaking in general, of course ).
But placebo effect being what it is, and emotional manipulation being so easy and so potent, I'm sure some people feel better for them, just as you might feel temporarily better after taking part in sport or even an argument.
In the session you describe, I don't at all like the atmosphere or exercises you mention, and do not think they would be beneficial.
If nobody has the proper qualifications, they have no valid basis for expecting you to "trust" them. I don't know this group at all. However, it is a common feature of dodgy groups that they try to persuade all particpants to "keep the secret" so as to maintain an inflow of gullible participants. Sometimes the actual secret is that there is no secret.
Unfortunately, I don't think there is ANY sort of structure to monitor, validate or check such activities. There have been occasional moves to try to regulate "counselling", which have not worked out right - but one of the reasons these eents are advertised as a "Workshop" is to try to avoid control and regulation, and to avoid having any need to demonstrate that the process is safe or beneficial.
It's rather like the medicines control laws being tight, but people being able to evade them by calling something a "remedy" or "supplement".
If the methods used were ghenuinely valuable, we would all use them and they would be very well knwon. They aren't.
If ANYONE thinks they have significant mental health problems causing them grief and difficulties, there is no substitute for seeing a fully trained and qualified mental health professional and choosing orthodox treatment.
As Liza says, such workshops are usually hugely profitable for those who run them, and who sell their books ( usually self-published, because no major publisher would be prepared to do so ).
Such actiities often prey on insecure and worried people, seldom with any lasting benefit.


Reply to cybershrink
Posted by: Maria | 2010/11/19

Well done for recognising a very unhealthy situation and getting yourself out of it asap. This workshop sounds extremely dodgy to me and they probably prey on people''s insecurities. Perhaps nobody talks about it afterwards because they were told that if the process didn''t work for you, the fault lies with you. This is often the problem with superficial self-help programs - it does not make provision for individual situations or one to one feedback.

Reply to Maria
Posted by: Liza | 2010/11/19

These kinds of workshops are not for people with real problems. They are for people who think they might have a problem and have the money to waste. If it was any good, there would be multiple people who could tell you what it''s all about.

The best option for people with real problems are to go for CBT-style counseling. Working with a therapist on a one-on-one basis gives much better results, much faster than trying to be " the best you, you can be"  with a group of people who are only there to prop up their self esteem by belittling others.

Unfortunately there is no regulatory body for these kinds of workshops, seminars and motivational speakers. Mostly these people are out to make a quick buck, and sell whatever books they''ve written - which frequently present ''solutions'' to problems that are not even practical in real life.

Just my opinion
Liza

Reply to Liza

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