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ERIC Number: EJ871297
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1053-8259
Sweat Therapy Theory, Practice, and Efficacy
Eason, Allen; Colmant, Stephen; Winterowd, Carrie
Journal of Experiential Education, v32 n2 p121-136 2009
The purpose of this article is to examine the potential application of sweat rituals to group counseling, adventure therapy, and other forms of group work by describing a theoretical model for how sweat rituals work and presenting the results of a randomized comparative outcome study on the efficacy of sweat therapy. The theoretical model proposes five factors that reciprocally interact to produce the positive effects of sweat rituals: cultural priming, exercise, self-regulation, metaphorical and contextual elements, and interpersonal factors. To investigate efficacy, 85 university students were randomly assigned to either a sweat condition (group counseling in a sauna), or a non-sweat condition (group counseling in a standard office setting) for six weekly sessions. Measures included the Critical Incidents Questionnaire, Therapeutic Factor Inventory, Exercise Induced Feeling Inventory, and the Subjective Exercise Experiences Scale. Results indicated that participants in the sweat condition perceived a greater availability of therapeutic factors, especially for group cohesion and interpersonal learning, and had better attendance, less attrition, and reported sessions to be more useful. Implications for future research and practice are discussed. (Contains 1 figure.)
Association for Experiential Education. 3775 Iris Avenue Suite 4, Boulder, CO 80301. Tel: 866-522-8337; Fax: 303-440-9581; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A