Communicating authentically is vital to our well-being. How do you know if you’re being authentic? Is your body language congruent with your words? Do people move toward you or away from you? Does your intention match your impact?
What is an Authentic Communication Group?
The purpose of our sessions is to open our hearts. The group is a powerful way to work directly on interpersonal issues as they arise in the moment. In a learning laboratory, group members interact freely with one another in the here and now. Instead of talking about what happened last week, or worrying about the future, you talk about what is happening right now. Rather than talking about your partner, your boss or your child, you talk about what’s alive in the group. Keeping it real, you describe how you feel toward each other and what happens when you receive feedback from each other.
In this experiential learning lab, you work in a small group of 8 participants with a seasoned facilitator.
“This is my online family where I totally come alive. It’s surprisingly deep. Unlike other zoom meetings, I am fully engaged, leaning into my relationships with people I truly value.”
We’ll rely on two practices to support connection: Internal Family Systems by Richard Schwartz and Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg. One of the most powerful ways to connect, grow and heal is to learn to speak for your parts as they arise in the moment. Expressing what comes up supports self-awareness, connection and healing. You also may find it useful to name clear observations, share your feelings, express your needs and make requests.
- The group meets on Zoom twice a month for 2 hours
- Each meeting is recorded, so you can watch the recording later
- You can meet privately on the phone with your facilitator once a quarter to discuss your learning or any challenges you’re facing
- This long-term ongoing group has no more than 8 participants, plus a facilitator
“I joined the group because I never knew what to say… until later. In getting to know my fears, I’ve learned to take risks. I am much more connected to myself, and to others.”
In the group you might practice:
- Naming what you noticed about power dynamics
- Experimenting with new behaviors to get the results you want
- Raising difficult issues with care
- Exploring how gender, race, class, and ability impact the group
- Empathizing with yourself or others
- Giving and receiving honest, consensual feedback
- Communicating mindfully, even when you are emotionally triggered
Experimenting with new behaviors requires taking risks. When you say something about the impact of someone else’s behavior on you, you give the group a gift. You learn not only how to communicate more authentically, but also discover that doing so allows you to raise issues live and resolve them for the benefit of the whole group.
When you reveal your unique qualities, including the shadow sides of yourself, you can release shame and heal your wounded parts. As everyone in your group becomes more and more authentic, you may find that you care deeply about each member of the group.
“This sacred gathering space is with people around the world. I appreciate the healing process of true Self responsibility.”
One of the more powerful outcomes is that members build a high-trust, open-hearted, supportive group.
As the group develops ease with being present in the moment, you enter a state of flow and aliveness. In this space you can build better relationships by:
- Getting in touch with your parts
- Expressing your vulnerability
- Finding the courage to bring up and work through difficult issues
- Communicating your anger or hurt with care
- Receiving support and care from others
Our intention is to create diverse groups. Because NVC and IFS have primarily attracted white folks, and because people of color sometimes experience tokenism in these settings, we are intentionally creating groups that include people of many ethnicities, genders, sexual orientation, and social class.
Bring a colleague: To support diversity, we request that you bring a person from an ethnicity different from yours. If you have the means, consider offering to pay for someone with less access to resources.
“In the safety and openness of our group I come alive with energy, clarity, creativity and courage to explore, experiment, and express. The process of self-discovery and integration is accelerated.”
Learn about new groups starting soon!