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Scientific Inquiry: A Report on Independent Studies of the Lifespring Trainings

Introduction

Americans are showing increased interest in personal development--mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual. Famed psychologist Abraham Maslow suggested that when the "survival" needs for food, clothing, and shelter are assured, new questions begin to emerge: "Who am I?" "Why am I here?" "Does my life have a purpose?" "Do I make a difference?"

Even as more and more people have had the time, energy, and resources to concern themselves with complex personal issues, a new vehicle for self-exploration has appeared on the American scene: experiential adult education.

Lifespring, Inc. is in the forefront of this new mode of learning and offers numerous courses and trainings which present the knowledge and technology of experiential education in an effective and accessible format.

The educational format of the courses is designed to give participants an opportunity to explore many of their own life questions in a supportive environment. Short lectures focus on a particular question such as the nature of responsibility or what makes relationships work. This is followed by an opportunity to experience, in an immediate and real sense, the way different individuals relate to the topic being discussed. An important part of the course is the discussion which follows these exercises, as participants exchange their thoughts and feelings on the subject and relate their experience.

The Lifespring Basic Training is the prerequisite course to all the other courses which Lifespring offers. It is an approximately 45-hour program that takes place over five consecutive days. Subsequent to the Basic is an Advanced Course, the Leadership Program, and numerous weekend workshops which expand on such subjects as Communication, Relationships, Family, etcetera.

When people consider investing time, money, and energy in their personal growth and development, they naturally want to know about the quality and value of the programs being offered.
Typically, they ask such questions as:

1) Who takes the Lifespring trainings? Are they people like me, or will I feel alone and among strangers?
2) Is Lifespring a type of group therapy? What are some of the issues focused on in the training?
3) Am I likely to get value from this program? Will it be worth the investment of my time, energy, and money?
4) Will my experience of the training be enjoyable or difficult and uncomfortable?
5) What are the chances that I will be harmed in some way?

Lifespring has taken these questions seriously and commissioned studies by three independent research scientists widely respected for their work in human change and development. These eminent doctors are Lee Ross, Ph.D. of Stanford University, Morton Lieberman, Ph.D. of the University of California School of Medicine, and Irving Yalom, M.D. of Stanford Medical School. Six different studies were conducted, and the initial findings provide some answers to these five questions.

Taken as a whole, this research on Lifespring represents the greatest body of scientific inquiry in this field. The resultant findings indicate that satisfaction with the courses and the successes reported by graduates of the Lifespring trainings are the norm rather than the exception.

We invite you to consider the possibility that the best way to determine your own reaction to the course is to experience it by participating in the course.

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