Marathon 16

Marathon 16

Marathon 16

Marathon 16

Excerpt

The purpose of this book is to give the essence, the guts, of an actual marathon encounter as it was experienced by ten participants within an unbroken time span of sixteen hours.

Over the last several years, psychologically oriented group sessions have expanded in concept and intent. Whereas once they were conducted to treat neurotic individuals for an hour or two each week, they are now being used to deal with the so-called "normal" person who may simply wish to get a bit more out of life; and while traditional Freudian techniques have, thus far, stressed the analysis and "talking out" of difficulties in living, encounter methods offer participants a chance for new experiences. Growth is seen as learning new ways of relating rather than being limited to the dissection of old patterns of behavior.

This new concept of group treatment requires a more extended period of time than hourly sessions in order to make its impact felt. "Workshops" are often held over weekends, or for full weeks, in settings far removed from the distractions of familiar environments; or in nonstop marathons lasting anywhere from ten to thirty hours. It is this latter type of session which forms the basis of this book.

Our ten participants were, for the most part, "cocktail party" acquaintances of Martin Shepard and were, by and large, unknown to each other. Dr. Shepard spoke randomly with twenty people in the three weeks prior to the enactment of Marathon 16, asking if they would trade this free experience in return for . . .

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