Have You Finished Therapy Yet?
Personal growth groups as an alternative cultural form
The personal growth groups which form such a key feature of the human potential movement are frequently perceived in the light of dominant cultural metaphors, as being task- oriented 'therapy' groups concerned with specific remedial goals - with the resolution of psychological problems and the task of 'getting better'. The group experience is regarded as a means to this end, as utilitarian, and this attitude goes hand in hand with such questions as "Does it work?". In this light, cautions are often made about turning such groups into a substitute for real life 'out there' and there is truth in the need to be aware of this risk.
It may be hard to find the like elsewhere in life but nonetheless the group experience can give a taste of how life might be