Elena Ipatova comments on the first Lifespring trainings as follows: “The mass nature of this event, the obvious stereotyped action and the clear direction in the rough and straightforward style of” working with the audience “is typical for the primitive performances of American preachers. The training was completely absent from real psychological, real psychotherapeutic, and simply, in a human way – a really interested individual approach to the participants. The hysterical “hysterical” emotionality, as a condition for the “only correct” behavior in the training, the complete absence of true dialogue, the unification of exercises and the dangerous depth of the topics covered in the process of work, is alarming.
In the mid-90s, personal growth trainings are held at full house and reach the peak of popularity and. Along with the income of the American-Russian enterprise Lifespring, the appetites and ambitions of its leaders are growing. In 1995, the conflict in matters of management and financial policy reaches a crisis and ends with a break in relations between the parties, aggravated by the refusal of the Russian partners to fulfill their previous obligations. The company went through several splits and by the end of 1997 divided into five independent centers with branches in Belarus, Ukraine and the Baltic countries, where Lifespring trainings are conducted in free interpretations.
For more than twenty years of Lifespring’s existence in the post-Soviet space, its structure, cut according to the American pattern, has hardly changed. The same exercises, meditations, mass repentance of participants and rhetorical questions of trainers. The external form of the seminars has been transformed, becoming more rude and cynical, and therefore, by definition, less professional, which is fraught with unpredictable consequences for the psyche of the participants. The characteristic features of the Lifespring of the 2000s were everyday rudeness and rudeness, the use of profanity and primitive anal and genital associations, unacceptable for a professional psychologist. Not to mention the obvious coercion to participate in the training and cases of assault, which are criminally punishable actions. The reasons for all this are in the mass cloning of newly minted coaches, only a few of whom have a higher medical or psychological education. The rest received a coaching certificate after completing a short paid training course.