Participant experiences in a program for psychospiritual healing and growth

Nancy Colburn (2001)

Many individuals are seeking psychological and spiritual healing and growth at workshop-style programs that take place in settings outside of traditional mental health arenas. Little exists in the psychological literature on this trend. This report documents a study of one such program, The Wave Work(TM) Intensive (Intensive). This group workshop utilizes practices derived from Eastern teachings (yoga) to bring about transformation, healing and growth within a spiritual context. The study was a qualitative inquiry into the Intensive designed to answer the question, "What are the experiences of participants who attend a Wave Work Intensive?" Past program participants were interviewed to gather data on their experiences both during and after the program. Data analysis yielded five related categories. The central phenomenon was an Authentic Experiencing of Self The primary conditions which facilitated this experience were The Wave Work Methodology and Safety. The primary consequences of the program were a Changed Experience of Self and New Learnings/Skills. The findings illuminate the process by which healing and growth occur in this particular psychospiritual workshop. They point to a number of areas for future research and suggest implications for clinical practice.