There are many common questions and concerns that arise when one is considering being a student of The Living Course (TLC). Here are some we have received over the years:
Who takes TLC and why?
Adults 18 and over are encouraged to be part of this powerful weekend. Though the course is geared towards individuals, some people choose to attend with a significant other, a family member or a co-worker. Whether attending solo or with others, each student will be regarded as a separate individual with separate needs.
People choose to attend TLC for a variety of reasons. Some may feel as if nothing in life seems to work. Others may be struggling with a particular area in life that eludes them. Many are simply interested in increasing their understanding of themselves and developing new tools with which to approach life and their interactions with others.
My friend suggested that I enroll, but I think my life is fine just the way it is. Why should I take TLC?
People take TLC for all kinds of reasons. This course can be very helpful for those who are feeling stuck in certain areas of their lives. It can also be a catalyst for further developing areas of your life in which you are satisfied and simply see potential for growth. Consider what more you could be getting out of life and use TLC to achieve the breakthrough you’re looking for.
Who else will be in the room during my course?
In addition to the Instructors and your fellow students, and integral to the success of the weekend, the TLC format also includes a support team comprised of previous TLC weekend participants. Known as the Assistants Team, these committed individuals are knowledgeable of the process, have experience with personal development work, and most importantly, help to create a safe and caring environment for the students. The participation of Assistants is completely voluntary and is inspired by their own rewarding experiences as students in The Living Course.
I’m a very private person. Why is it necessary to share my feelings with a group of people I don’t know?
This is a very common concern for people considering TLC. We understand the tendency to feel anxious about sharing private aspects of yourself with a room of strangers. However, TLC is designed as a group experience, and the reason is threefold:
- Many people struggle with issues of fear, depression or shame that keep them isolated from their lives and the people around them. Discovering that others experience the same kinds of feelings can be a very comforting and healing experience. TLC helps students begin to realize that no one is truly alone.
- TLC illuminates how we relate to other people and focuses on the importance of team building. Having the benefit of immediate team feedback informs the student how to be a valuable member of any team—whether at work, in one’s family or just as a part of the team we call the human experience.
- The other people in the room are what make the TLC experience. We create a remarkably safe environment in which to learn and grow. It may seem hard to believe, but we feel confident saying that you may never meet a group of people more committed to your success. Most participants say that they’ve never felt more nurtured or supported in their lives.
I just realized that my friend or family member is going to be assisting during the weekend, and I’m not sure I feel comfortable sharing personal things about myself with people I know in the room.
This reaction is a very common one. However, our experience tells us that most of the anxiety about “being known” in the course room dissipates once the course commences. While it is normal to feel nervous about sharing intimate details about yourself, most students report after the fact that it was comforting to have a friend or family member there to support them.
Y’know, I might not admit this to anyone, but the idea of doing TLC scares me.
Fear can be a real obstacle to taking TLC. For many people, “the unknown” can feel very scary. Many times, fear is a “protection mechanism” one relies on in order to stay safe in what’s familiar—even if that familiar place is not a particularly happy one. A person might hold onto a feeling of anger, resentment or fear because it is, paradoxically, a “comfortable” feeling, no matter how uncomfortable it actually may be for them.
We take responsibility for creating a safe and accepting environment for your self-exploration, and we encourage you to approach the unknown with curiosity and embrace the idea of change as an adventurous opportunity for growth.
What sort of “exercises” will we be doing during the weekend?
The structure of the weekend consists of many different types of facilitated exercises. These vary from course to course because we use only those exercises that will be meaningful for a particular student group. They consist of activities such as discussions in dyads or small groups, role play and even games if it serves a purpose for learning or demonstrating a point.
I’m already in therapy. Why would I need TLC?
TLC is different than most “talk-based” therapies in that the learning is experiential as opposed to analytical. While it’s helpful to be intellectually aware of our negative patterns, it is of greater benefit to engage in an active process that is emotionally driven to begin to change them. TLC can be a great complement to individual therapy, especially with regard to areas where you might currently feel “stuck.”
TLC could be described as a therapeutic intensive—roughly equivalent to six months of regular therapy in three days. Consider that if you were to see a therapist for a typical 45-minute session every week, it would take more than 30 weeks to equal the 30 hours of condensed learning that takes place during a TLC weekend.
We encourage you to talk to your therapist about TLC, and if it would be beneficial for him/her to have a conversation with one of our instructors, we would be happy to arrange it. Many students come to TLC by recommendation of their individual therapists, and we are always eager for the therapeutic community to know about our work.
Is TLC affiliated with some religion or theology?
No. The concepts taught in TLC are based in psychology, having been designed around the studies of Alfred Adler and his protégé Rudolf Dreikurs, both notable psychologists of their time.
All persons of any or no religious belief are welcome. In fact, we have instructed students of almost every religious or non-religious persuasion: Christian, Baptist, Catholic, Jewish, Mormon, Buddhist, Muslim, atheist, agnostic and more. TLC is a course focused on helping you develop skills to assist you on your path, whatever your beliefs may be.
Is TLC a cult?
No. Participants of TLC do not have a secret liturgy or agenda, nor are they required to tithe anything or solicit donations. TLC is simply a group of people dedicated to improving their lives in a nurturing, supportive atmosphere of trust and compassion.
Because TLC can be such a powerfully transformative experience, it happens frequently that former students wish to share it by helping to enroll the people who are close to them. However, participants receive no monetary compensation or “status promotion” for enrolling someone—only the joy of knowing that their friend, family member or colleague is on a path toward a more fulfilling way of living.
Will all of my problems be solved after TLC?
TLC does not claim to be a magic pill or a quick fix. Doing personal development work is like peeling an onion: Once you peel back a layer, there are other layers underneath. TLC is only the beginning of the process. It’s up to you to implement and practice your new skills outside of the course room to continue seeing results. Fortunately, there are other ways to stay engaged in your development process even after your initial course weekend. (See “What happens after TLC?”)
What happens after TLC?
Continuing to revisit and renew the skills you learn during your initial course weekend is a key factor to successfully integrating their application in the outside world. We recommend taking advantage of these opportunities to stay engaged in the process:
- Attend the Follow-Up. Two weeks after your initial course weekend, a Follow-Up will take place. This essential 3-hour completion session offers you the opportunity to review your progress, fine-tune what you have learned, get answers to questions that may have come up and reconnect with others involved in your course.
- Serve as an Assistant. As an added advantage, all TLC participants are eligible to return as an Assistant during future TLC weekends at no additional charge. Many people say they gain great benefit through assisting, as it affords them the opportunity to reinforce the work they began during their initial course weekend.
- Stay connected. There are a number of ways to keep your process going even when you’re not in the course room. Many former students establish and maintain strong, supportive friendships within the TLC community and choose to stay in contact, whether by phone, email, social networking or in person.
Three days?! Why does it take the whole weekend?
Time flies when you’re having fun! Seriously, though, most TLC participants report that the hours go by very quickly and that they wish they had more! We work diligently to manage time in all sessions of the weekend to make sure that each student receives individualized instruction and feels complete at the close of the weekend.
$795?! Why does it cost so much?
Unlike other personal development programs, it’s not necessary to continue paying for “advanced” or “master” classes. Once you’ve taken TLC, you are welcome to return as an Assistant as often as you wish. In other words, you’ll keep growing and gaining new tools for free. If you decide down the road to re-enroll as a student to work on other things, you are eligible to do so at a discount of $200 off the current price of the course.
Are there TLC courses anywhere else?
Yes! The Living Course is also offered at our partner center in Monroe, MI. Please visit The Center for Life Enhancement for more details.
I still need to know more.
If you’d like more information or would like to speak personally with a manager or an instructor to determine if The Living Course is right for you, please contact us and we will gladly get back to you.