Back, Kurt W. Beyond Words: The Story of Sensitivity Training and the Encounter Movement.

 

Back, Kurt W. Beyond Words: The Story of Sensitivity Training and the Encounter Movement.
New York: Russell Sage, 1972.

This is a funny reference, perhaps because it supports every doubt and misgiving I've ever had
about the sensitivity training movement. But, being the psychologist he is, the author cannot
escape trying to make some sense out of it. I cannot decide which facet is more important in this
study of error: the debacle to which encounter groups have been led by sexually overactive
leaders, for example, or the Lewinian ideas which led to the development of the Bethel
Laboratory.

There are useful descriptions of what is supposed to go on in T-groups and encounter groups.
There are useful distinctions between what the Bethel group and the Esalen group tried to do.
There is an awareness of the subtleties of the emphasis in the various centers as they were
developed. However, I can't but wonder if taking any of this seriously can be beneficial.