Our expert says:
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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