Book Reviews -- Experiential Guidelines: Practical Guidelines Edited by Tony Hobbes

Article excerpt

The Freudian Weltanschauung held that humans are objects in the universe--subject to unalterable natural and psychological laws. Modern behavioral science, in sharp contrast, has placed humans at the center of the universe--as much the lawmakers as subjects of natural and social laws. We are seen as capable of choice. However, this worldview recognizes that the freedom to choose necessitates a struggle with the conditions of one's existence. Choice requires an intimate awareness of one's social and psychological realities. Small groups have been recognized by behavioral scientists as the meeting ground between personality and culture.

The aim of Experiential Guidelines is to provide a purview of the benefits offered by experiential training (also called "participant learning") in workshops over didactic learning. The contributors to this volume are in accord with the ethos that didactic learning usually is restricted to information inculcation. As a unidirectional, passive reception, it does not encourage the recipients to examine their emotional attitudes and responses to the material taken in. The editor of the volume indicates that this consideration is a crucial one for many of the participants of the workshops conducted by the contributors. Their workshop attendees are to a large extent medical personnel involved in life-and-death situations. These are people who need to take initiative and active roles in their professional work. …