NVC-Based Empathy Group for Therapists
For many years I have been envisioning a group of therapists who meet regularly to give and receive empathy to one another. Our professional and personal lives can be challenging at times, and being able to share our struggles (and joys) with one another and be received with understanding and compassion can make us more resilient, self-compassionate, and more effective as therapists. At the same time, residing in an empathic space is also challenging, and there's nothing like consistent practice with support to enhance our capacity to be present and empathic in the face of suffering.
With these goals in mind - 1. To create a space for therapists to come together to share struggles and receive empathy, and 2. To create a space for therapists to get support practicing and deepening their empathy skills - I warmly invite you to join my NVC-based Empathy Group for Therapists.
What is an NVC-based Empathy Group for Therapists?
NVC - Nonviolent Communication - was developed by a psychologist and peacemaker named Marshall Rosenberg in the nineteen sixties. Rosenberg studied with Carl Rogers and Rogers' influence on NVC can be seen in the way NVC teaches practical skills for presence, empathy, and being with people in a compassionate, trusting, respectful way. By supporting us in listening for the feelings and needs that are alive in one another, we train in listening to each other's hearts. We practice returning to the present moment, to what's alive in ourselves and each other, rather than engaging in our conditioned responses that tend to lead to separation: blame, criticism, advice giving, problem solving, fixing, comparing, analyzing, diagnosing, assessing, theorizing, reassuring, etc. With practice and real-life evidence, we learn to trust in the innate human capacity to move towards wholeness, and learn how to provide empathic companionship for that organic unfolding to take place. We learn, gradually, that nothing is wrong with us, nothing is wrong with each other; we learn that we're always trying to meet beautiful, universal, human needs, and so is everybody else.
The group is a place to both practice NVC-based empathy skills AND receive this style of empathy. It's a place where you will have time devoted to your own personal sharing and have the experience of being heard and understood. It's a place where you will be supported in giving others an experience of being heard and understood. It's a learning experience (practicing your empathy skills) and a healing experience (receiving empathy) all in one.
This facilitated group will meet for two hours, twice a month, for six months to start. To support emotional safety, continuity of connection, depth of learning, and sustainability of the group, this will be a closed, committed group. Space is limited to six participants, and it is open to therapists (and counselors) who have had at least an introduction to Nonviolent Communication and know what NVC-based empathy is. If you're interested but don't have this experience, I'm happy to direct you to resources to learn more.
When: Round 1: July thru December, 2018, 2nd and 4th Mondays of each month, 9:30 - 11:30 a.m. The first round of the group will start in July and meet for six months, on the following dates: July 9, July 23, August 13, August 27, Sept. 10, Sept. 24, Oct. 8, Oct. 22, Nov. 12, Nov. 26, Dec. 10, no meeting on Dec. 24.
Where: 1600 Shattuck Ave. Suite 200, Berkeley, CA 94709
Cost: $75.00 per group (payable monthly)
How to join: If you're interested in joining or have questions, I'd love to hear from you! Please email me at email@example.com or call me at (415) 820-1433 and we can schedule a time to talk.
Here's to more support, empathy, and connection during these challenging times!
About the facilitator: Ali Miller, MFT (MFC 44090) helps adults live more authentic, empowered, and connected lives through psychotherapy, couples counseling, women's groups, and communication coaching. She has been studying and practicing Nonviolent Communication intensively since 2006 and loves sharing NVC with therapists and others through workshops, trainings, consultation, and groups. She is also a Guiding Teacher for the Mindful Communication course at Mindful Schools.