Paul Rebillot (May 19, 1931 - February 11, 2010)
was a leader in the human potential movement, an expert in the design and facilitation of personal growth journeys and a creative force in psychotherapy and experiental education in Europe and the United States. He obtained degrees in philosophy, education and communications arts. With his extensive background in theater, classical mythology, ritual and Gestalt therapy he has developed his imaginative exercises over fourty years leading workshops at Esalen Institute and around the world. He created very powerful structures like the Hero’s Journey, Family Circles, The Lovers Journey, Owning the Shadow, Death and resurrection, etc.
Influenced by his study of Gestalt therapy, the performing arts, and his association with the renowned mythologist Joseph Campbell, Paul Rebillot has created a dynamic new rite of passage for anyone experiencing personal challenge or a life transition the Hero’s Journey.
His personal crisis in the age of 37 and his own stormy search for meaning, which took him dangerously close to the edge and prompted his exploration into the healing process, was the base for his development of the Hero’s Journey. Since then he toke hundreds of participants through the archetype of transformation and healing. He created the rites of passage for personal challenges when moving from one stage of life to another: adolescent’s awkward approach to puberty, leaving school to start a profession, marriage or divorce, change of career, unemployment or retirement, death of a beloved. On each threshold something old dies and a new gestalt is born.
"Again and again, I have seen the suffering and confusion caused by the lack of significant rites of passage in our society.
Without shamans or ritual masters to guide them, modern women and men must find their own lonely and usually traumatic paths from one stage of life to another--whether it be a child's discovery that there is no Santa Claus, or the adolescent's awkward approach to puberty, or marriage, or the ending of a marriage, or a change of career. Each such change requires a movement from one level of being to another.
Seeing this need, I created a rite of passage universal enough to allow people to discover the pattern of change, whatever the change might be. That pattern is exemplified in the myth of the Hero. This new stage of life to be reached calls forth a heroic action on the part of the person taking the journey. At the same time, as soon as a new goal begins to emerge, all the resistance to that goal begins to emerge as well. I call these two forces "the Hero" and "the Demon." In order for the new stage of being to be realized, these two forces must discover how to communicate with each other and how to work together. The old forms must fall away so that the new form can emerge.
My purpose is to give each individual a chance to experience a rite of passage so that each can go into the changes with a sense of joy and greater contentment. My hope is that through this process these Heroes will awaken to their own creative genius and enter into the drama of their lives with imagination and delight."