PSI Seminars

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PSI Seminars
TypePrivate company
IndustrySelf-help
Founded1973
Founder(s)Thomas Willhite, Jane Willhite
HeadquartersLake County, California
United States
Key peopleJane Willhite,
President and Chairman
ServicesPersonal development coursework
SubsidiariesPSI World
WebsiteCompany Web site
 
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PSI Seminars
TypePrivate company
IndustrySelf-help
Founded1973
Founder(s)Thomas Willhite, Jane Willhite
HeadquartersLake County, California
United States
Key peopleJane Willhite,
President and Chairman
ServicesPersonal development coursework
SubsidiariesPSI World
WebsiteCompany Web site

PSI Seminars is a for-profit private company which offers Large Group Awareness Training courses. PSI was founded in 1973 by Thomas Willhite and Jane Willhite and the company is presently based out of Clearlake Oaks, California

Contents

History

PSI was founded in 1973 by Thomas Willhite and Jane Willhite, the company is presently based out of Clearlake Oaks, California.[1] Jane and Thomas Willhite also founded the non-profit PSI World.

In 1983, Thomas Willhite died in a plane crash when his bi-plane went down at the company headquarters. Since that time his wife, Jane C. Willhite, has run the company as CEO.

Programs are held in many locations in the U.S., Canada, Japan and Indonesia with 12 PSI offices in major cities throughout North America.

Outside sources

Neal Vahle's The Unity Movement cited PSI Seminars as one of nine growth organizations that grew out of Mind Dynamics.[2] Other groups also cited by Vahle as having been influenced by Mind Dynamics, included Erhard Seminars Training, The Forum, and Lifespring.[2] Rodney Stich and Conan Russell compared the organization to est, writing that it was "an EST type self-awareness and motivational organization."[3]

PSI Seminars has also been cited by authors of books on self-improvement, including Extreme Success,[4] and Jack Canfield's The Success Principles.[5]

The coursework of PSI Seminars was also analyzed in a 1983 study in the academic journal, Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry.[6] The study examined the extent to which chronically ill members of the population in Hawaii sought out alternative methods of self care by utilizing nonprescribed treatment patterns.[6] Philips described PSI World as a self-help program.[7] His work, Living Synergistically, published by PSI World, was cited in Kraft's Ways of the Desert.[8]

In an episode of Larry King Live, guests Michael Beckwith, author Bob Proctor, and John DeMartini announced that they would be working together for two weeks at PSI Seminars.[9] Proctor spoke favorably of PSI Seminars on the program, stating: "I don't own the company, but it is the best course I've ever seen."[9]

Controversy

PSI Seminars has drawn criticism from customers who claim that the program functions much like a cult, especially because attendees are encouraged to sign up for all three classes. (The Basic [$595; 3 days], PSI-7 [$4,450; seven days], and Mens/Womens Leadership [$5150; 10 days].) In 1995, PSI Seminars was singled out as one of a growing number of new-age self-help groups with a history of civil-rights infringements in the book Cults in Our Midst: The Continuing Fight Against Their Hidden Menace by Dr. Margaret Singer, who attended the seminars. Singer also warned against companies hiring the firm to assist in trainee motivation.[10][11] Others, however, contest the idea that PSI seminars is a cult. They point out that all participants are encouraged to only adopt ideas they find useful and discard any they do not find useful whereas a cult or religion requires adoption of a set of beliefs. Additionally, PSI seminars does no marketing and instead for 30+ years has relied entirely on the word of mouth recommendations of their graduates to promote their class.[citation needed]

See also

References

  1. ^ Carter-Scott, Cherie (2004). If Life Is a Game...These Are The Stories. Andrews McMeel Publishing. pp. 252. ISBN 0-7407-4684-7. 
  2. ^ a b Vahle, Neal; Connie Fillmore Bazzy (2002). The Unity Movement: Its Evolution and Spiritual Teachings. Templeton Foundation Press. pp. 399, 403. ISBN 1-890151-96-3. 
  3. ^ Stich, Rodney; T. Conan Russell (March 20, 2006). Disavow: A CIA Saga of Betrayal. Silverpeak Enterprises, Inc.. pp. 206, 243. ISBN 0-932438-17-2. 
  4. ^ Fettke, Rich (2002). Extreme Success. Simon and Schuster. pp. 7. ISBN 0-7432-3386-7. 
  5. ^ Canfield, Jack L.; Janet Switzer (2005). The Success Principles(TM). HarperCollins. pp. 447. ISBN 0-06-059488-8. 
  6. ^ a b Snyder, Patricia (March 1983). "The use of nonprescribed treatments by hemodialysis patients". Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry (Springer Netherlands) 7 (1): 57–76. doi:10.1007/BF00249999. ISSN 0165-005X. 
  7. ^ Philips, Stacy D. (2005). Divorce: It's All about Control. ExecuProv Press. pp. 332. ISBN 0-9648882-9-7. 
  8. ^ Kraft, William F. (2000). Ways of the Desert: Becoming Holy Through Difficult Times. Haworth Press. pp. 158. ISBN 0-7890-0859-9. 
  9. ^ a b Staff (November 2, 2006). "The Power of Positive Thoughts". Larry King Live (CNN). http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0611/02/lkl.01.html.  Dr. Martini, Michael Beckwith and myself, are going to working together next week -- is it two weeks -- at PSI Seminars.
  10. ^ Singer, Margaret; Janja Lalich (1995). Cults in Our Midst (book). Jossey Bass. ISBN 0-7879-0051-6. 
  11. ^ Singer, Margaret (1995). "Intruding into the Workplace: An excerpt from the book Cults In Our Midst". Jossey Bass. http://caic.org.au/psyther/lgat/singer.htm. Retrieved 2009-03-28.