This is a long-term group that meets at 7 pm ET on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month for 2 hours.
Communicating authentically is one of the most vital competencies anyone can develop, particularly when you have an intimate partner
In this group, you can experiment with how you interact with others and get feedback on your impact. This is an opportunity to connect and learn with other couples who are also on a journey of deepening awareness.
What is an Authentic Communication Group for Couples?
This group, comprised of four couples, 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 dreaming about the future, you get to talk about what is happening right now. Rather than talking about -your family members, your work colleagues or your friends, you get to talk about what’s alive in the group. Keeping it real, you describe how you feel toward each other, what reactions you have, and what happens when you receive feedback from each other.
In this pure form of experiential learning, participants work in a small group of 8 participants (4 couples) with a seasoned facilitator.
Rather than talking about “there and then” we talk about the “here and now”. Mining our shared experience in the moment offers us rich opportunities for self discovery. The process helps us build awareness of group dynamics and share vulnerably about issues of power, identity and culture.
We’ll rely on two practices to support connection: Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg and Internal Family Systems by Richard Schwartz.
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 listen to 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 people
In the group you might practice:
- Naming what you see 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
- Expressing yourself with greater authenticity
- Empathizing with yourself or others
- Giving and receiving honest feedback
- Connecting across differences
- Communicating mindfully, even when you are emotionally triggered
As you distill your learning from what is happening in the group, you’ll begin to experiment with new behaviors. That means 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.
In this group you get to be more fully yourself as you learn with your peers. Despite initial concerns about the feedback you might receive, you can expect to emerge with more choices and a wider range of self-expression.
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.
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 and speaking for them
- Reaching out to others empathically and building trust
- Expressing your vulnerability
- Finding the courage to bring up and work through difficult issues
- Communicating your anger or hurt constructively
- Allowing yourself to receive support and care from others
What You Can Expect
Instead of talking about your outside relationships, you work directly on how you are relating to the other group members in the moment.
You get direct and honest feedback about how people are reacting to you. This helps you understand your interpersonal patterns that aren’t working, and then practice new healthier behaviors in the group.
As you witness others struggling with problems similar to yours, you learn about your deeper issues.
When you get to know each other, a strong sense of support for each person emerges in the group.
Because NVC and IFS have primarily attracted white folks, and because people of color sometimes experience tokenism in these settings, we hope to create a racially diverse group.
We also intend for the group to include different genders, LGBTQ folks, people from different regions and socio-economic class.
Bring a colleague: To support diversity, we request that you invite people from an ethnicity different from yours. If you have the means, consider offering to pay for people with less access to resources.
For more information about the group, read Getting Started and Group Agreements. No matter how much detail we provide, it can be difficult to understand this form of learning until you actually experience it. That’s why we offer a free pre-group interview with the facilitator to see if the group is a good fit for you. If you decide to try it out, you can pay $100 to join the group for a month and then if you want to continue, we ask for a 6-month commitment.
For a free pre-group interview, email Kanya Likanasudh.
Kanya Likanasudh, MDiv, iives in Thailand where she is a pioneer in spreading Nonviolent Communication. She offers transformational programs in communication, conflict resolution, and coaching across all sectors and in prisons. She challenges people with conflicting viewpoints to understand each other deeply which helps them discover creative solutions. Kanya’s joy in life is to create heart-connecting dialogue about power, privilege, and rank. Through humor and playfulness, she helps people use their privilege to create a more equitable world. Kanya combines meditation, body awareness, Nonviolent Communication, Internal Family Systems, the Integral Approach, and Process Work to deepen learning.
The cost is $100 a month per person and includes two zoom calls per month and a private quarterly meeting with your facilitator.