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
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!