The following is my perspective from situations I have personally experienced & circumstances I witnessed firsthand.
This place has become a cult. Do not attend this training. There are many other places, run very well, that offer a real experience without the hidden world of how they treat their volunteers, staff, and donors.
In the last 5 years Pathways has lost dozens of their high dollar donors and at least 100 or more respected volunteers.
I have been an actively involved supporter of this training for 10 years, was a staff member for 2 years and I resigned (on good terms) in 2017 because of the complete lack of integrity in their finances and leadership. I understood why their whole staff quit between Jan & May of 2016. They are again without staff. They have all left due to their treatment from their cult leader/Executive Director.
What was once a great training and place to invest volunteer hours and donations has unfortunately become a cult run by one person and her board of minions. The current Executive Director/Board Member/Community Council Chairperson/Lead Facilitator, Laurie, has a long list of very well respected, tenured volunteers and donors she has very manipulatively removed from the organization. What do all of them have in common, including me....we have all respectfully asked questions regarding the appointment of the leadership, the current leadership making abrupt changes and asked for financial transparency.
Dozens of very tenured and dedicated former volunteers, staff, leaders, etc. have asked for a face to face meetings with the Board of Directors, Community Council and the E.D. to get to the bottom of why exactly they have been removed from being a part of the organization in any capacity. No one has ever been granted an open door meeting. But those meetings happen....you just aren't invited to them if you have asked for a meeting or if you are up for "review".
So, bottom line, you can go to any of the Pathways Core Training events unless it's been decided that you can't, and all of that happens without any conversation with you about why. If that's not a cult mentality than I don't know what is.
And for those of you who may be thinking (as I once did) "well, I don't know the specifics around this person...maybe they had behaved badly....etc. and there is a valid reason why they are removed", I urge you to ask yourself how fair or normal is it to be fired from volunteering without any reason or conversation from the "leaders" firing you?! It's absurd.
As a therapist, I was a little hesitant to do the training. I’ve observed significant transformation in my own life and the lives of thousands. Every single person derserves to understand their own worth and that they’re enough. We get only one life. It’s about learning to remove the obstacles preventing the lives we deserve. I’d recommend this training to anyone who wants to not only get past their hurt and pain but those who want to step into the very best life they can possibly have.
I first attended Pathways Core Training about 6 years ago. I went through for all the wrong reasons, but to extent it helped me. I didn't graduate then, but am attending the program for the second time determined to complete it.
This time I went through the doors for me.. I was in a very dark place after several life changes for me and my children. I was running on empty and ready to give up. Since I found myself again back in August, I have the strength to want to conquer the world everyday. I want to be the "nice" mommy my kids enjoy to be around. I know they have seen a difference in me from a year and a half ago when the changes started. I also feel different daily and thanking God for the opportunity to save my life.
The program has also saved my mother's and aunt's lives who also at one point were running on empty. I am so grateful they are both still here because they are living proof to me that anything is possible to overcome!
Came in the pathways a hardened piece of leather left pathways a soft pliable piece that was ready to go charge back into my life in this world one life. Pathways really open my eyes and my heart. And just so you know Pathways is in no way a cult. We actually laugh at all of the negative comments that you will find when you look up Pathways but none of those are relative or true I myself went through this program and you go home back to your life with just tools to live a happier life you only have one light. you might as well live it to its fullest. I've got nothing but good things to say about Pathways and the facilitators and everybody that runs the program.
Signed one happy customer Eric Weber
I went through Pathways Core Training in 2010. I saw huge positive changes in some dear friends who had completed the training and I wanted to know how in the world they happened. I initially signed up to go so that my husband would 'get the help he needed', I believed that I was pretty good. I spent my first weekend and half of my walk searching for the person who was in my training that would need my help the most. (After all, I was just biding my time until my husband was inspired to go). That person turned out to be the girl in the mirror.
Long story short, it turned out that I had some huge changes to make in my very own life. When I began the training, I was happy AS LONG AS everyone else was happy in my life. Truthfully, I was a walking zombie of numbness who was great at putting on a happy face and serving the world. Inside, I was a constant bundle of anxiety and depression.
Pathways brought me the most beautiful two years of marriage I never could've imagined. Sadly, we ended up divorced (we were headed down that path years before Pathways). I do believe that our training there (my ex husband did go) prepared us to divorce in a way that would allow us to remain peaceful, kind, caring individuals who would coparent well.
Pathways also empowered me to walk through my Daddy's battle with Alzheimer's in a way that I don't believe I would've before. I was able to find joy in the midst of the ugliness.
I guess to summarize (because I could write a book on this), going through the training helped me knock down walls I had up for years, even the ones between God and I. I am eternally grateful for that. I learned to be honest with everyone and that included being honest with myself. I learned that there is always joy in the ugly, always beauty from the ashes, always a choice.
Do I still struggle? YES. Can life be deeply hard and knock me on my butt? YES. Do I get answers to every problem in advance? NO! Is all of what I learned a process I have to choose to live daily? Yes.
I believe in the training as a tool to help us live the best lives possible. I volunteer as a TA because I am honored to share in part the gift I was given.
Pathways was the hardest thing I've ever willingly done in my adult life as well as one of the best decisions I could've ever made. I am thankful for the guidance I was provided through this training, and even more thankful that I recognize that I am the one who did and continues to do the hard work...because life truly is beautiful.
Amazing organization!! Would highly recommend to anyone looking to discover their purpose and passion for life . Life changing experience for me!!
This organization changes lives FOR THE BETTER!! I am a college educated professional, and without a shadow of a doubt I can say Pathways Core Training does NOT brainwash you, nor is it a cult!! I was never restricted from eating or using my phone, when needed. If ever I was tired, it was because I chose to stay up late and talk with my classmates.
The training I received has not only had positive impact on my life, but my family's life, as well! The only regret I have is that I did not know about this organization 15 years ago!
Review from Guidestar
This so called charity is a cult, and I cannot believe how these unqualified group of brainwashed individuals still illegally practice therapy in the state of Texas. When is someone going to shut this place down? How many more lives have to be destroyed?
Review from Guidestar
I attended Pathways Weekend and Walk sessions in the last quarter of 2016.
Overall, I cannot emphasize how SCARY and HARMFUL this organization is! The previous descriptions are accurate...dark and chilly rooms in a hotel basement...sitting uncomfortably close to your classmates...and the loud, terrifying music and commands that are SHOUTED at you!
Those who have spoken glowingly of Pathways have made ambiguous claims of how Pathways helped them with their personal struggles. For their sake I hope they continue to receive the help they need. However, I would like to point out SPECIFIC actions that Pathways does which are harmful for any individual, especially done by an organization with no supervision in place.
For those of you who have a basic understanding of psychology, there are methods to break down one's resistance without the need to physically lay hands on a person. Pathways has creatively introduced some of these methods so by Day 3 of the 4 day "Walk" session attendees are very influenced by the TAs to "get to the top of the mountain" as Pathways portrays it. Some of the methods I observed:
a) Sleep Deprivation: Pathways releases you late at night, dead tired from the day's sessions but puts pressure on you to complete "homework" by the next morning. Questions like 30 things you are thankful for, 25 "pet peeves". Essentially this is intended as busy work, the homework is never taken up, reviewed, or checked. It only serves to make one lose even more hours of sleep.
b) Mealtime adjustments: While the first evening of the Walk you have dinner with your small group, the mealtimes are adjusted after that, with no lunch meal.
c) Elimination of outside stimuli: Essentially all sessions take place in a ballroom of the Sheraton hotel. One is not allowed to make calls, except during break, wear a watch, or even have their phone on. And as was previously mentioned, if any attendee leaves the room before a scheduled break, a chosen TA is "hot on their heels" ensuring they come on back. Pathways doesn't want anyone to keep track of how much time is passing.
d) Inclusion/exclusion: TAs and even other attendees berate those who "aren't getting it" or "who aren't working hard enough". The last point is completely arbitrary...not all attendees are so willing to display emotions despite their damnedest efforts and it often leads to more frustration than resolving the obstacle. Like others, I have personally spent years under the care of a licensed psychologist, psychiatrist, and LPC and never once was I berated or yelled at. Then at the "Walk" session I have 20 year old kids yelling at me thinking they know how to "fix" me! What nonsense!
I'd like to end on this closing note. The Pathways process, start to finish, lasts only 4 months. You can't/don't take any of the TA's home with you, nor do you move in with all your classmates...but your life before Pathways still remains, and now you have to face it again. The idea that any organization can make some permanent and lasting change your life in only 4 months after separation is foolish and deceitful. Please seek professional counseling services, or find a trusted friend/family member to turn to before using this quack of an outfit.
I went through the program four years ago, when I was still pretty much just a kid. I was still in college, I'd lost a parent, and I was feeling very alone in the world. I was a little wary going in, but I knew I needed help.
Here's what Pathways did: Pathways helped me put the past in the past and opened up tools for my future.
Here's what Pathways didn't do: fix my life magically.
I got out what I put into it. I played hard, I followed the rules, I kept my boundaries. I didn't let the program change some fundamental part of me. The program just helped remind me of and polish up those good qualities I already had.
I will say that I'm not sure Pathways is for Everyone, as much as people try to say so. If you're actively suicidal, or self-harming, you should probably see someone licensed for a while, and then maybe talk to that person about whether attending pathways is right for you. If you're deep in the trenches of addiction like can't-go-a-weekend-without-it, you should attend rehab.
It's not gonna save your marriage, it's not gonna save your job, it's not gonna make you all better. You've got to put in the work, and follow the rules, open your self to the possibilities- but it's not peddling miracles.
For those of you who say that PWs is a money scheme tho, there are lots of scholarships available, and there's a pretty full staff you don't necessarily see.
This place has changed my life and the lives of my family and friends. I would recommend this training to anybody that wants more out their life.
Long, but hopefully worth it. If you're a doubter read this! Let me start by saying I attended the class 8-9 years ago, so know this isn't a just-finished-the-class-and-im-still- on-a- high reviews. For those of you tough guys/gals who swear you'd never attend something as "girly" as Pathways, I was one of you! As a matter of fact the only reason I attended was because my wife, who had attended, told me she wouldn't sign the divorce papers unless I attended the first two classes. Fine! I said. Anything to finish this marriage. I'll start by saying I attended the entire courses after that in addition to another class addressing spirituality. We still got divorced and I'm no more "religious" than I was. I tell you that because one of many things I learned there was you attend because you have something inside you know isn't right, not you want a certain outcome such as "I want to stay married", "I need to believe in God" or whomever your culture says you should, or "everyone tells me I should." If YOU don't see the need because you don't see anything you need to improve, don't go! But if you look hard enough you might find something you want to resolve. I met drug addicts, emotional/physically abused women/teens even men, teens and adults who had been molested, adults who grew up with no mom, an alcoholic father, molestation, etc. (that last one was me), and lots of people who just wanted to improve the quality of their lives. If it's important enough for you, it's important enough to everyone in there. It doesn't change who you are. I guess you'd say it changes "what" you are and don't like. I read some other reviews that called it a cult. If an organization that helps you discover things about yourself that are affecting you, never tells you what's wrong with you or what you should believe supports you, is there in the future if you need them and never bugs you to keep worshipping the golden idol by showering money on them during or after your gone, then fine, call it a cult. "So why do they charge to attend?" First of all the hotels you stay in and other amenities aren't free, but more important for me I wasn't going to put in that much money and not get every dime's worth! It shows a commitment. There's no skating through or fooling people there into believing your sincere if you're not. No, I don't work for Pathways or even volunteer. I was someone who attended and can say without a doubt it was worth every minute. Lastly I guarantee some people I know would say I wasted my time because I'm not cured. Absolutely 100% true. I didn't get all of my answers, but what I did get out of it was as much as what I was willing to put into it. And if you were interested enough to read this entire post feel free to contact me and I'll be happy to discuss it more
This training totally changed my life. Before going through Pathways I did not have my own voice and I felt unworthy and unlovable. After going through the entire training, I can now stand on my own and speak up for my needs and for myself. I feel worthy of being loved for the first time in my life. Every single person I have seen go through this program has made a dramatic change. Some people are scared of change and therefore will say negative things about this program. However everyone who has worked this program to the fullest, has walked away a completely different person - for the better.
My husband and I just graduated from this program. It has completely changed me as a wife and as a parent. I've got the tools now to be the wife and mom that I've always wanted to be. Having my husband go through was amazing for our marriage because now we can speak the same language. When one gets upset with the other, we can ask the right questions to get to the heart of the matter. It's also strengthened our rationship with God. I will forever recommend Pathways to anyone going through a hard time.
I went through this training over a year ago. I was recommended the training and told it was "emotional enlightenment". I went thinking it can't hurt and was appalled by what I went through.
1. this training is like boot camp. Cold rooms, people barking at you, being told where you can put your things, oh and you have to sleep in a room with someone you don't know. So while there not responsible you could be sleeping next to any number of dangers. All of these seem like red flags when you sign a waiver holding the organization not responsible for you upon entry. I was literally followed to the bathroom.... Theyre concerned the emotions involved will lead people to self harm..... But then they deliberately berate you trying to envoke some self awareness? Last I checked the volunteers who helped administer these trainings have no psychological training, and are making judgements about what they've seen of you in a short time. It's scary because a lot of people seeking needed help will think that this is good for them - they will believe in these "teachers". Hell some people will stay with it just for the attention. You are encouraged to share your feelings, and regardless of how real it may feel, some people don't know they're attention seekers and this kind of training just fuels what they likely needed therapy for in the first place.
2. This screams "for profit". During the weekend they promoted the walk, during the walk they promoted the continuous classes and sponsoring people you know so they can be part of your "core circle". They're are class members who are begging to get sponsored for class before each session..... Or selling things in the hotel lobby to show they're commitment to change. Attendees Are encouraged to do whatever it takes to ensure they complete the training. You can say it's all about self awareness and experience based trainings but even at three hundred dollars a weekend, well say sixty people a class, oh and only two paid members of staff for the class - you can't tell me there is not some aspect of profit in this. In addition you are asked to sell raffle tickets and go to organizationally promoted events. I don't recall not feeling like I was being up sold the entire time.
3. They encourage partners take the training seperately...which for brutal honesty with yourself and what kind of relationships your in I can understand - but I went through the whole thing and am having a hell of a time figuring out where they encourage you to work together while working on yourself. A LOT of trainees are divorced and In New relationships with members of their training. When you isolate people..... And encourage them to work more with in their class instead of their partner - that is WRONG. I feel bad for the people who have lost their loved ones for this half ass version of family. You absolutely should work on yourself to be better for your partnership but it feels like this training works you away from your partner.
Although there are things said during this training that are true and are definently good to be reminded of and and hear... And do as exercises I would say most of this is a money scam. I hope the members who joint truly get the help they need.
When I first left the Walk I had reservations but since being gone my opinion has gone downhill. It is supposed to be a nonprofit organization but so far I have spent a lot of money and the only support I have received from my TA is to be beaten down. The other thing I noticed is if you were there following another member of your family the facilitators seem biased towards the family members that had already been there. Also they have you sitting in a cold room for hours without regard to your physical needs. I have been ill every since I left.
Further they only have one trained thearpist there. The rest of the staff are just people who have received some sort of condensed training. I thought about letting my daughter attend but now that I have experienced the after treatment from my TA, who supposedly went through this condensed training, I have decided it is the worse thing I could do for her mental wellbeing.
I just wanted to leave a review, because I read these reviews and some of the negative reviews almost dissuaded me from going.
My wife went through first, and I was terrified. I didn't know if this was a cult and I didn't understand the connections she made (and made really bad assumptions about her connections with men in the class).
If you read my review and your spouse went through first, please KNOW that the Pathways program expects personal boundaries to be kept. If this is a fear for your spouse, please now that the one on one work you do is with the partner of the same sex. Please know that there is a bond that's built between ALL classmates, not just male or female or individuals.
With that said, I came out of this being broken from abuse as a kid... to feeling whole, complete and ready to take on the world. If I could say anything, it would be PLEASE trust that this works, and yes LONG term. Every single person that put in the effort in the class came out a very different person. No one that was working was left behind. It's the hardest thing I've ever done but also the best thing I've ever done!
I went through this training in 2013. This training has completely changed my life. My family and friends have went through which has changed their lives. This program really has it designed a certain way for true and lasting results. The training will be what you put into it and you come up with your own answers. They are not given to you. This program helped me give love and receive love. It has helped me learn how to be the mom I have always wanted to be. It helped me give my kids what they needed for so long. It helped me give what I needed to give to myself for so long. All I can say is thank you thank you to pathways facilitator and all of the volunteers that keep this program going.
I see a lot of comments on the price and the environment. What you will get out of this program cannot be defined by any amount of $. How it changed my life is priceless.
The environment can be challenging at times but life is challenging. How would we grow if we didn't experience challenges in the training and be able to experience challenges out in the real world just like everyone already does. The program equips you for the challenges that we all deal with.
It's only hard! There is not a thing that I would change in this program. Every challenge that I faced ended up being part of my training and has helped me outside the training room in my life dealing REAL problems.
I highly recommend this training and know that it takes a lot of courage to do something different. Pathways gives you that support that you just might need to make a change.
@Starting2Notice ... the reason the reviews are written on the same day is that someone posted this site on one of the Pathways Facebook pages and asked people to leave a review about the program, good or bad. No ulterior motives... We just didn't know about this site until then.
These trainings helped me to create the life that I should have been living for the 48 years before I got there. I began the journey in 2010 and have attended every training they have. Teen Family Camp helped my husband and daughter learn to communicate with each other where there was none before. The parent training helped me to look at my parenting style and become a better parent. The spiritual training helped me to reconnect with God after I had turned my back on Him, blaming Him for hurts I had experienced.
It's not always easy to look at ourselves in a truthful way... the saying "The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off." Well, that's true. If you can get passed that and really look at the truth of who you are, how you got there and what's in your way of getting to where you truly want to be, then this training is for you.
I found my heart again in this training and as for my husband and I... it saved our marriage, our family and our future! We will be celebrating 27 years of marriage this year thanks to Pathways AND will be experiencing our first grandchild as a couple, together. That is worth every penny spent on the training I received. The facilitators, training assistants and everyone involved in this training truly have hearts for this mission.
Truly life changing!
Anybody else notice that a lot of the positive reviews for Pathways are submitted on the same day? Kind of a red flag don't ya think?
I am sorry! The best place for anyone to get help, is through Jedus Christ! But being around other people, is a great tool you do need, to help maybe figure things out due to other people's experiences.Having to pay$1000 or more, to be put up in a hotel , and not be fed breakfast, lunch and dinner at appropriate times and having to bring your own snacks because you don't eat properly and dehydrated because they keep you up a hours of the night! They deprive you of the strength you need to go through something like this ! It is exhausting, stressful, and very hard on the body! Lack of sleep and lack of good nutrition, is not made for a good recovery process! People need to be aware and be careful of these kind of practices! Get God in your life like I did, he doesn't require or ask you for money ! God is the healer of all healers! He will provide you always, proper meals when they are needed. He wouldn't deprive you of the things pathways does and the way they do it! I am not saying you can't or won't get something good out of pathways, i am just saying they need to change their practices on how they treat and care for their clients!
In the name of all that is Holy, stay away. Nobody needs this despite all you will be told to the contrary. It is an affront to the dignity of the human person, the naturally social human animal and the created mind.
I am thoroughly concerned by this organization. Like the "tough love" and "experiential" programs in Arizona where members died due to dehydration, sleep deprivation and brainwashing, this program should be carefully monitored if not shut down. I feel bad for the clients who's only "family" is this organization which keeps draining them of money.
Pathways is an experiental journey in achieving emotional maturity. Although it was by far the most difficult thing I have ever experienced, it was by far the best thing I could of done for my self. The experience taught me to believe in myself and to come away with real tools to help me manage the present, deal with my past and prepare a life plan for my future. Like anything else in life, you will get out of Pathways what you put into it. Not everyone will get the same results. I owe a big thank you to the people in that room that volunteer their hearts and their time for such a worthy cause. My son and I both attended Step Beyond and he has not been the same 16 year old. That puts a smile on my face and that is something every parent should experience.
My biggest fear going in to Pathways was that my wife would meet someone else, that the grass would look greener on the other side, and that she would end up cheating on me... that’s exactly what happened. I would never send anyone that I actually cared about to Pathways.
The people at Pathways are not bad people, they genuinely want to help people, and I believe feel that they are doing a positive work in people’s lives. Here are the issues I’ve found:
1. No moral compass in Pathways – Pathways is specifically and intentionally “non-religious”. They have such a watered down view of spirituality that they say a spiritual aspect is important, but that can be whatever you think it is or isn’t. This lack of Spiritual compass then flows through all that Pathways attempts to do. I’ve had classmates use the “empowerment” from Pathways to motivate them to leave their loving husbands and children – justifying these choices as something they just need to do to become their true self. I’ve seen first-hand how TA’s have entered in to inappropriate “sexting” relationships with trainees. This is just plain wrong, but is just a symptom of the lack of true moral direction. (If it’s right for me, who are you to say it’s wrong?)
2. Mixed gender, forced emotional closeness, but not with those closest to you. “Love looks different here” – is what you’re told, and indeed there is an artificially induced closeness that opens people up emotionally to each other very quickly and in ways that lowers your guard and opens you up to connect with people that you probably wouldn’t normally connect with. In my case, this is what lead directly to my wife’s affair with a member of her class. The affair lasted for over 2 years – and thankfully we have overcome the things that lead us down that road – no thanks to Pathways or its programs. There is a reason that you are told to not enter a sexual relationship with anyone in the class for 30 days after the training – because THIS IS AN ISSUE.
3. False Hope – Pathways offers a “type of hope”. That if I get these tools, and understand how to deal with my own pain, then I’ll be able to manage my life. The problem is – most pain in life is the result of sin – and sin doesn’t need to be managed – sin needs to be crucified and people need to be transformed – Pathways is un-capable of doing either… and so leaving Pathways, you actually feel really good about the tools that you’ve learned, the life plan that you can start putting in to practice – but it’s a false hope in the process (that you have learned to trust). The tools that you learn in Pathways aren’t bad in and of themselves, they just aren’t enough to save you. True freedom and transformation are available to anyone that asks (seek Jesus – and a scripturally healthy church to grow in and find freedom with!)
What would I change?
Go find a Bible based approach to freedom and transforming your life. The tools that you learn at Pathways are good, but they also aren’t unique to Pathways – these are tools that you can learn elsewhere.
Find a program where Husband and Wife can attend together. Something where the two of you can grow closer together. The biggest stress on marriages in Pathways happens right away – one spouse immediately feels left out (because they are). Find a program where the two of you can engage and grow at the same time, where what you learn will pull the two of you together – not pull you in different directions to your own class.
If husband and wife can’t attend together – they try to find a program with gender specific classes. Pathways could do this today if they really wanted to solve 90% of their issues. Have men only classes and women only classes – and have gender specific TA’s.
My experience going through Pathways was initially hard – then great – then extremely hard when the full truth of *everything* that had happened with my wife and the person in her class came out. Pathways didn’t help us, instead we were lured in to a false sense of “things getting better”– we both lowered out guard and let this person in to our lives (because – hey, he was a Pathways person). I know that our experience isn’t unique, nor uncommon in Pathways circles.
I don’t want this to sound like everything about Pathways was horrible. It wasn’t, and that’s the deceptive part. Many things in Pathways were amazing. I met some incredible friends, learned life tools that I still use to this day. I did discover a lot about myself that I never realized before… there were moments in the training that were beautiful and I actually thought to myself, “wow, this is what church is supposed to be like!” Think about that for a moment. The only thing missing from Pathways is Jesus… and I actually thought Pathways had something that Church needed, when the whole time it was the other way around.
I walked in to Pathways with plenty of my own issues – a life-long struggle with pornography, my wife already hated me, we’d grown farther and farther apart every year of our marriage – I was certainly not living out my faith in victory – and our whole family was suffering for it! I walked out of Pathways feeling free, and changed – not realizing that nothing outside of Jesus would truly set me free, and not realizing the snakes that had already latched on to our family through our “Pathways relationships”.
The great moments of Pathways had lulled us in to a false sense of freedom in our lives, when the whole time we were slipping farther in to bondage. The long term fruit of our Pathways training should be obvious when you look at the foundation – nothing. Because Pathways has no true spiritual foundation, there will never be the lasting change and freedom that only the Truth can bring.
My recommendation: you don’t need Pathways – you need a deeper, deeper truly honest walk with Jesus in your life.
I went through this training program over 6 years ago and I experienced long lasting lifetime effects in the most positive manner. I grew up in a dysfunctional family and this training taught me skills that were not afforded me in my own family of origin. I have learned to break the unhealthy taught strategies such as triangulation, conflict avoidance, denial and avoiding accountability as well as others. I learned the skills of healthy behaviors implementing them and passing them on to my own children. What I gained from this program is priceless and has impacted my household for generations. I have been volunteering since I graduated and have witnessed this organization grow in maturity, integrity and healthy behaviors over the last six years. The last two years I have seen the organization move into the purity of their mission of helping individuals one heart at a time. The current leadership is the best I have seen thus far operating with respect, compassion and great professionalism towards all individuals involved. I donate multiple days a month of my time to serve on a team because I 100% believe what happens at a core level with the individuals who choose to do the hard work is profoundly beneficial to their own lives as well as their children lives. I have personally have participated in every aspect of all of the Pathways training including step beyond, empowered parenting and teen and family camp. As a result of my own hard work through each training every aspect of my life is richer, full of color, and growing healthier daily. My relationships with my children and my husband have improved immensely. In fact they are better than I could have imagined. Most of all my relationship with God has dramatically grown in depth and meaning. I have sponsored all of my family members and numerous friends all experiencing good results. I have the utmost gratitude for the opportunity that Pathways provided me to seize and create the life I deserve.
Life changed dramatically for me after my journey through Pathways beginning in 2008. I have personally sponsored 9 of my closest friends and family and they, too, believe it was the best thing they have ever done/could ever do for themselves. Love looks different in that room -- and it is definitely life-changing LOVE.
I was a bit skeptical when before I started the training.
After completing the 5 weekends it was transformative in my life. The key to the training. There is no formula to achieve success. They simply ask you...
1) what is important to you?
2) what does your life look like? If this does not match up with what is important to you...
3) why are you not living the life you desire from number 1
The training is hard work. But the changes any given person obtains are that individuals goals. Not some recipe the organization has for you. Their goal is to get you to live the life you desire.
The training was a huge blessing to me. I have seen it bless many, many others. I can not give it a higher review.
I am alive today and married today because of this training. Moreover, my son is thriving and my best friend, sister in law and many friends have experienced profound life change. Finally, I have seen many fellow veterans experience freedom and healing from PTSD and the invisible wounds of war. To me the question is not if every person in the organization is perfect but rather did the training change your life. If the training changes everything, it is a very small thing to experience life together in an organization with less than perfect people. I challenge anyone reading this to find a graduate of the training who will say that they didnt find the training profounding life changing. If you are ready to make a change, Pathways is a great place to start.
I understand those who question and doubt the things this organization has the ability to do. For me personally, this organization saved my life. My story was a hard one to talk about, I had been suicdely depressed since the age of 10 and had family and social issues. I had incredible friends and family that loved me and would do anything for me yet I could mot find the will to live. At the age of 20 I had just moved to a new school, lost my best friend and broken up with my boyfriend of many years and was not able to handle my life. I found out about pathways from a family friend who was going through it at the time, I saw a difference in her and approached her about it. I joined two months later, this will have been three years ago last month. Yes the program is intense and grueling and hard, but isn't life? Don't you think that your life is worth working hard for? I did, I personally found out how to be a true adult, I found an incredible love and pride in myself, and have become truly independent. I have been able to accomplish things that I never really thought that I was able to acheive. I have such a love and zeal for life and most importantly when I get down and sad, I now have tools to pick myself back up. Is pathways a gamble both emotionally and financially? Yes, but it is one that I am so incredibly glad that I took that risk. It is only an added privelage to be able to thank the people who volunteer their time without pay, to change mine and others lives because they believe in this program and the power that it can have. The only people that are compensated are the 6 facilitators, the other 30 or so volunteers are not in any way compensated. That shows true love and belief in the program. This organization is anything but a cult, for a cult wants to dig their claws into you and never let go and pathways wants to give you wings so that you can fly. Don't be scared of things or people that are different just because you don't understand them and just remember, life itself is a gamble, the question is are you going to sit around being just ok with having an unhappy and unhealthy life? Or are you willing to take a leap of faith that could pay off in the most incredible way.
Hope this helps.
This is kinda hard. I went trough this training and it DID help my life in so many ways.
But...I do not care right now for the organizations path. I get the feeling that extreme money hungry individuals are taking the lead, the board is composed of the wealthy that are "chosen", the office staff is nothing short of rude at times, class numbers have gone from 70 and 60 a month while I was in training to now maybe 40 on a good month but yet they claim everything is fine and great, and the entire organization is clicks and more clicks.
I have several I would like to see go through this training but do not feel safe trusting my loved ones in an unstable organizations hands.
If you need a serious life change and you need it fast! Please do consider this but go into it knowing that there is a real chance that you will need to continue your "training" far away from the organization. And that is just FINE! The organization isn't there to hold your hand. But it can leave a sour taste in your mouth if you expect to easily stay involved.
I attended this training because I heard from someone else that it changed her life. I had no expectations but I did have hope. I wasn't disappointed. The training saved my life. It gave me the tools and courage to change the things in my life that weren't working, what years of counseling didn't do!
Pathways is a personal journey you have to experience - not read about.
If you are looking for the depth of YOU then - stop reading these reviews and take the step toward Pathways, for YOU.
When you get there... BEANS!!
All the best my friend.
The training helped me see what changes I needed to make in my life to accept and love myself. I gained new insight in the ways I self sabotage that kept me from being who I really wanted to be. The training is open, honest and sometimes hard to do. It is all done in a safe environment with lots of honest love. This is the most amazing core training and I feel everyone should go.
I graduated Pathways March of 2014. I entered into the program thru Empowered Parenting in September and fell in love with the LOVE & LOGIC with Pathways. I began the core training to improve my emotional stability in November. When they say you get as much out of this program as you put into it; they aren't kidding. This training is for everyone, but you are the one that has to do the work. They are not there to do it for you. Love looks different in that room; many people are fighting for their lives. They show you a mirror to your own life and teach you that you have another option. It isn't always pretty, but you fight your way thru the muck. You form a bond between people of your class and afterwards you begin bonding with many other people who understand the struggles you faced in that time period. This isn't the superficial friendships that you find many times in church or work, but those deep forever types of friends who know your deepest darkest secrets and love you anyways. They realize when you are full of bull and tell you about it and you love them for it. I have never experienced a training that brought about so much change so fast. It helped me in my spiritual, personal, and professional life, and changes are still to be made. What you take away from it is on you, but you are given every opportunity to change. Pathways is a way of life!
I graduated from the Pathways Core Training in July 2013. I can honestly say that is was the best thing I have ever done for myself. Having always been someone who put others first, it was hard for me to do something for myself, but I am SO glad I did. I has changed the way I live my life. It has changed the way I see others. It has changed the way I interact with my husband and children. I cannot recommend this training enough…FOR EVERYONE. I cannot think of one person I know who could not benefit from it. Do it for yourself! You won't be sorry!!
In this training, I found the passion to really live my life again. I'm in my 50's, highly successful in my career. At the time, four years ago, I had a husband who was nearing the end of his life following a 10-year illness, and I was waiting for his death and to find out what would come next. In this training, I made many life-altering decisions about what I wanted my life to look like. I stopped being a victim of my circumstances and began to make my own choices to do what would bring meaning to my life. I started to love life again and found the courage to allow myself to love and be loved by others. In the past year, I married again, something that would not have been possible before I did this training.
I completed pathways in 2010 and my life has never been the same. Pathways helped me realize my potential, gain self-esteem, and learn to accept things that happened in my past. I have sponsored 8 people through the program and watched each one of them blossom into the best person they can be. The program doesn't do anything for you it teaches you how to look deep within yourself and leaves it up to you to do the hard work. Since pathways I have lost 80lbs went back to school and graduated, and am about to start grad school at my dream university. Pathways is the best thing to happen to me without a doubt!
When I walked into Pathways last July, I was a broken woman. I didn't like myself, was suicidal, and "checked" out of life. I have four amazing children who I did NOT enjoy. Thru my Pathways journey I learned to love myself and life. I am now an active participant in my life.I am no longer a leaf blown here or there. Pathways may not be for everyone but those who TRULY want to change their lives, should try it. I'm here to say......Pathways SAVED my life and changed not only mine but my four beautiful children's' lives!
This training is absolutely amazing! I completed my training 3 years ago and volunteer every chance I can! Do you really want something different for your life?? If so.. This training is for you! Thanks to Pathways, I am a renewed woman, with a strong sense of self and more prepared to face all of life's challenges with an open servants heart!! Thank you Pathways for helping me to find me again!
My Rebuttal to Negative reviews:
Since there isn't a way to comment on individual reviews, I wanted to add a response to the negative reviews on here. Firstly, It saddens me that people have felt pain that is associated to the Pathways Core Training. My hope for those is peace, joy, and love.
I do want to point out that the vast majority of people and families will attest to very positive changes associated to Pathways. As with any organization, there is no way to 100% screen all participants and trainers. These are people, some of which will make mistakes that cost themselves and others. By that same logic, should none of us ever go to church? Do the few that break trust in church damn the entire message of love and redemption? Or do the missteps of the few challenge us to grow, forgive, and learn?
I will say, that if my position going into Pathways was that my wife hated me, it would be hard to blame the organization for her choosing something else. Instead, I would do everything I could to improve my choices, and pray, pray, pray for grace. I've felt severe consequences for my own choices, and it is very painful to feel the result. Pathways doesn't tell people who to connect to, what to believe, or give them the reason worth fighting for. Those are determined only by the individual. They just provide a template on which each person works through their own experiences, hurts, and self-defeating responses in order to help imagine what they could have instead.
As far as the money issue, there is expense involved to conduct a training of this magnitude, manage a website, have an office and staff to pick up the phones, rent conference rooms, audio systems, etc. Pathways is a non-profit organization, whose own leadership donates as much money as most anyone else. Every class has several people on scholarships, due to having special needs children, or being in the military and having PTSD. The total cost for 17 days of training spread over 3 months is about $2300 + hotel. or about $140/day. I'm sure that 90% of people would say that the training is worth 10x that amount to their family, life, and, future.
Finally, Pathways is not therapy. Pathways clearly states this is a training not therapy, and they attempt to screen for potential issues with participants who may have conditions, situations, or previous tendencies that could introduce harm to themselves or others. Let's be realistic though. It would take an impossible amount of time and money to do the type of pre-screening it would take to completely prevent issues. I've found that when things happen, the staff, trainers, and facilitators are quick to intervene if needed, while also not being lured in by class drama, interpersonal relationships, and participants playing victim. If you want real change, and you are ready to work as hard as you ever have, to get what you've always wanted, then Pathways is the best thing you'll ever experience.
PS: Since she was called out specifically by name on a review, I want to specifically respond. Laurie Mitchell has consistently shown incredible passion, compassion, and heart through years as a volunteer facilitator and trainer. You can't impact the world the way she does and expect everyone to like you. It should be easy, however, to find the 99% of those who love her for the part she played in their lives.
My Original Review: I completed the Pathways training several years ago. I have also been a Trainer and have sponsored many through the training. This training is not for everyone. I've had a couple people drop out during the first day. Honestly, part of me wanted to quit that first day too. I had been living my life by default, and accepting things as they happened to me. I learned that I was standing in my own way by not knowing what I wanted out of life, not having a plan to get what I wanted, not having people I trust to help me and hold me accountable along the way. There is no magic in Pathways, just a very honest, real, hard, and wonderful look at where you are, how you got there, and what you could have instead. I didn't feel like I deserved the best out of life. I felt a little broken inside. After using tools I learned during this program, I have inched my way to health, happiness, and hope. I would highly recommend this to anyone.
I walked into this program a year ago with the tendency to run away from life. I was emotionally disconnected and couldn't seem to let my walls down enough to let ANYONE in, including my own family.
This training helped me address the things that were keeping me from living the life I always wanted and imagined for myself. It helped me let go and break through the barriers that were keeping me stuck and shut down. While I was in the program I was in a toxic and codependent relationship that was draining me of the happiness and joy I had found through the various stages of this training. If I didn't have this training, we might still be together, and I might be driving myself crazy trying to figure out why I'm not good enough, why he doesn't love me... But I found my sense of self and my own happiness that helped me see, it wasn't about me anymore, and I couldn't help him. I had to step out so I could pursue the life and love that I deserved.
My brother went though it next, and he found the young
Man that he was created to be quietly waiting in the shadows of his heart to be given permission to be set free. It's a beautiful thing when you learn to accept yourself for who you are.
Now I serve on the other side of that training and I feel even more empowered than the day I graduated. My mother just went through the weekend training... And I don't even recognize her. A woman who was once so unapproachable and intimidating, out of fear of being taken advantage of, is this big puddle of love and tears.
You can compare this to whatever you like, but I've been in therapy all my life while my
Parents navigated the court systems through custody battles... Not once was I ever able to feel the benefits of therapy the way I felt the benefits of this training. I cannot begin to express the difference it has made in my life. Now the walls have been leveled and the therapist I do work with is able to help me more because I am able to help myself and take accountability for my life.
This training changed my life and the legacy I will leave to my children. I found the strength and courage inside of me to break the generational chains of the women in my family.
I am so grateful for this program. My life matters and I know that now. Your life matters and I know that now. Life matters.
This training has a unique way of leading you on a path of self-discovery for you to realize how the person most often in your way is yourself and that you have a choice to get out of your own way.
It's incredibly impactful. There was value in everything I did in the training. And now I know there is value in everything I do in life.
This organization help me want to live, it saved my life on more than one occasion. To call it a cult is just ridiculous. They encourage you to go home and use what you learn in your life. They do not trap you there and try to keep you away from anyone who is not a part of it. Do they encourage you to ask people to try the program, YES. It's about changing your world one person at a time and make this a world of love and compassion, not hate and judgment. Also, cults limit your intake of nutrients in order to make you vulnerable. Pathways # 1 rule is to take care of yourself. They want you to be vulnerable and if you are not, you may be asked to leave. So again, not sure why some say it is cult or cult like. It may look strange from the outside, but that is because we have become a society of fear, competition, and judgment. Hopefully, we can change that, so we can be a world of love, compassion, peace, and cooperation.
When I had started the training I was stuck in one place. Growing up I learned to be what everybody needed me to be. I thought that I had to take on everything that came my way. I thought I had to take care of everyone because I was strong and I could handle it. Many of these things I can do but I learned it has to be within reason. I would give and give and give of myself to others but I would never give back to myself. I became extremely depressed and would frequent a bar for social company. I made really bad decisions and I would feel the passion and life draining from me. When I had made the decision to go through the process I went in whole heartedly knowing that I needed a major change and I wanted something different. Boy howdy did I get something different indeed. I got my life back! I had many mirrors put in my face of all my self destructive ways and then I was taught how to use many tools to counter those actions. I was made a "Proud Mary", which most people don't know what that is but like the song name I am proud to be a Mary. I have since graduated a year and some odd months ago. I have had many people tell me how much of an impact on their lives I have made and the funny thing is I didn't realize I was doing anything special. People have told me that I am a joy to be around and that seeing my process was very powerful. People could see I needed and wanted a change and that I was going to get it. Nothing was going to stand in my way!
I am by no means "fixed" or "cured" because that is not what this training does, it helps you realize the areas you need to improve on in your life or where you've gotten yourself into a rut. Nobody can do the work for you, if you're never willing to step up and take control of your life someone will always be there to write your story for you.
Since I have graduated I finally moved away from home and started my own life. I am getting all of my ducks in a row slowly. I have made so much progress and am very thankful to the organization and the people who have helped me along the way. Even though I miss my hometown I wouldn't trade my decision for the world. I stopped living for other people and I started trying to find my passion in many different ways. I have been purging my life of negative people and actions, I even started working seriously as well (which is a feat in itself). Simple things are actually simple. I just tell myself when I don't feel like doing something that it's ONLY hard. After the training things that stopped me only propel me forward because now I have a fear that if I don't at least try it then I will wonder "what if" and I am tired of those. I used to never do things because my fears of the unknown would paralyze me. Anyways I do know if I hadn't gone through Pathways I honestly don't know where I would be today but I can tell you this it wouldn't be anywhere good.
In my opinion if you're not ready to look at your life and take responsibility for your own actions then you probably won't make it through the training. I only say this because I have seen many people not ready and not make it, or they were forced in and felt "attacked" or "singled out". This training has to be YOUR choice not anyone else's. I know many people who are blessed to say they graduated and have made amazing life changes since, it's a beautiful experience and I have met many people along the way, many who have graduated before me and those that have graduated after that I still talk to. I have made amazing friendships from this organization and I love it tremendously :)
I graduated in a couple of years ago, and now I volunteer. In fact, all the volunteers are graduates. This training program transformed my life. I was stuck and didn't even know it, until I saw my life through and new pair of glasses. Then I decided to do something different and take accountability for my life. I found my heart, my voice, and my power.
There is no program philosophy to subscribe to except for being true and authentic to yourself and your Higher Self. You get out of it what you put into it.
If you want to overcome roadblocks, this is the place to do it. After searching my whole life, I found my ah-ha moment here.
ALSO, please consider that they negative reviews listed here are from people who didn't complete the program or never attended. The basic idea of the program is that you take a look at yourself. Nobody tells you to think or feel or do anything. They encourage you to find your own answers. You interact with the world they way you want to interact with the world. The whole idea is one of SELF-EMPOWERMENT while being respectful and compassionate to others. They want you out in the world living the life you deserve!
I do not recommend this program. I graduated a decade ago and was very active for several years. These are warning signs from my experience. They recommend that couples do not attend together. The program is 4 months long and the trainees are encouraged to talk to each other. There is so much bonding in the class between both genders. No one is included or accepted in the class. This type of connection especially between male and female causes an emotional bond that is taken away for the boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife that sponsored them that is not in the class. That is emotional cheating that leads to physical cheating. Causing divorce. There is a high divorce rate, as well suicide, and relationships between children and parents are broken. After the program there is no communication between family members for years. People come out more broken and financial broke than when they went in. The program is an addiction. They call it the pathways high. As your going through the program you feel this high because you feel like your helping people (by being there emotionally and financially). If your not part of the class your not accepted by the class because you were not there to see there heart or story. The class bleeds your true relationships on the outside. It's a breeding ground for beggars. When you walk in to the hotel where the program is you see people begging for $$. You see them and hear them in the hotel and these are people in the program. Like an addict. People donate and they graduate with a masters degree in begging. No accountability to make it on there own.
I would say this is a life changing experience but not a
The waiver of liability indeed indicates this is not therapy. I made it until shortly after noon on the Saturday of the weekend. It was not a pretty exit. They use coercion techniques which apparently works for some people but I will have no part of it. They do not handle what is obvious crisis situations. For the time I was there they probe into your parents. With 50 or so participants in the room there is no way to develop anyting close to a relationship with the participants. I want to emphasize this is not therapist/client relationship. Although Laurie Mitchell is an LPC she is not wearing that hat during the session. My therapist tells me this is not illeagal but is certainly unethical. I would avoid her LPC practice like the plague. Likewise the attorney conducts himself in an unethical manner. For those contemplating going at least through mid day on the Saturday of the weekend you will be made to sit uncomfortably close to people and if you do not follow the script you will be escorted out of the room. DO NOT GO TO THIS. Continue in competent professional therapy. If you cannot afford that locate a local mental health organization like Denton County MHMR. I'd sooner return to Wichita Falls State Hospital than go through this again.
I have never encountered a more passionate and caring group of people dedicated to changing the world! It won't work for people who are unwilling to take responsibility for their actions or the power they have over their own happiness. But if you do the work, it will wipe out distorted thinking, racism, sexism, self-loathing, fear, doubt, judgments, cynicism, and negative thinking. They don't tell you what to think or feel. It is completely driven from the individual's own thoughts and feelings. It's like boot camp for your brain and your heart! You can be scared and dodge this training OR you can be courageous and learn to be a winner and a champion in your own life and in the lives of the people
you love! The people involved are incredibly passionate, gifted, selfless, and relentless about helping others. There is nothing in it for these volunteers other than the satisfaction of seeing others fight their own obstacles and WIN!
I have many friends who have been through Pathways Core Training and they had all been ranting and raving about how life changing it was for them. Every month they would push for me to register and go but I was very skeptical due to the price. In December 2012 I agreed to test it out and go to the Step Beyond which is Pathways training that deals with your spiritual life. For an agnostic like me struggling in my beliefs I found TONS of value in the training. After attending Step Beyond I was convinced that what my friends had told me was true. I registered for The Weekend which is the first of the five training in January and completed the entire training by April. For me personally Pathways has changed my life. I have finally found the self worth I have been missing and have a new sense of direction in my life thanks to the life plan I developed as part of the training. I can see where Pathways wouldn't be for everyone, but for me it has been one of the best experiences of my life. I have learned many tools to assist me in day to day living that allow me to handle difficult situations without resorting to self sabotaging behavior. The most simple way I can think to explain the program is that it teaches you to manage your emotions and navigate relationships successfully to help you get to where you want to go in life. I am very glad I chose to go!
Therapist One, my husband was there the very week you posted your review. I wondered if you were there with him and were one of the ones asked to leave early, because "you just weren't getting it." Don't take that offensively...I haven't been, and frankly, I am afraid to go for the very reasons you posted. He got a lot out of it. Finally realized he had been a complete bully his whole life. Now he seems very passive and talks like a therapist, or like he is on valium. Nothing bothers him, except when he talks about how mean he was to my son...he will start bawling like a child. I didn't realize we were all living in a survival mode and it was taking it's toll on all of us. I started having severe anxiety about a year ago and didn't know why. My son has very low self esteem and has started getting in trouble at school...It's all become clear now. From the way my husband describes it, it is like a mental bootcamp and they will break you, but then turn around and give you the euphoric high of "the new you." I already feel broken and beaten. I don't think I would survive that kind of "training." And if I "don't get it," who will be there to pick up the pieces? Not Pathways. They seem very limited in their abilities. They are not psychologists or psychiatrists. He said the facilitator is a lawyer...personally, I don't want a lawyer messing with my psyche! I know I need help, but Pathways sounds dangerous to me. It sounds like a quick fix, but at what cost? When I asked if they had any recommendations for my son, who is 12, they just said "no, he is not old enough for teen camp." Again, they seem very limited. They follow a script and it only works for certain people. I got some self help books and am looking into counseling, but I have done a lot of counseling in the past and I'm thinking it doesn't work if I still ended up with this guy that treated me like crap and I stayed as long as I have! He plans to continue through the whole program, and by the time he's done, I'm sure he will be "'cured" and I'll look like the crazy one.
Garbage - quasi therapy help in hotel basements based on Dr. Phil McGraws decades old book. In theory it would be a good organization, but it's run by a bunch of groupthink wanna be therapists and is a breeding ground for depression, negativity and toxicity. Many many lives ruined by this cult like organization. Cannot get shut down by the state because it is not officially labeled as "therapy". Please do not solicit this organization.
Review from Guidestar
I first became acquainted with Pathways CORE Training programs over a year ago. As a professional counselor I was looking for good programing to help clients improve their lives and develop and work towards life goals with confidence and self-direction. I went through the training myself to test it out and evaluate it for soundness of practice. I found that professionally it is a well run, clinically sound, powerful program for helping people clear out old beliefs and roadblocks to building a successful life. As a result I have referred many clients, and had over 13 complete the program to date, with some currently participating in the training. The reviews I have received from them, and the evidence in the changes they have made in their lives, is powerful evidence of the effectiveness of this training. On a personal level, I found it to be transformative for me. Long held self-sabotaguing beliefs and behaviors have been cleared and I have learned powerful new tools to help me move forward in my life both personally and professionally. I have developed a life plan and am living it out. I have volunteered in support of this program and have made substantial donations to it's ongoing work. They run on a shoe-string and are a well organized and responsible non-profit, making a huge difference in people's lives. I highly recommend this program as a good investment financially, as well as personally. I was a sceptic, and am not easily convinced of efficacy in an area like this. But in this case, I consider this program and this organization to be life-changing.