6-Week Advanced T-Group Cohorts
The opposite of recognizing that we’re feeling something is denying our emotions. The opposite of being curious is disengaging. When we deny our stories and disengage from tough emotions, they don’t go away. Instead, they own us, they define us. ~ Brené Brown
Even if we are among perfect strangers, our vulnerability is always right under the surface:
You remind me of someone I used to love; I can’t look you in the eyes very long because I don’t want you to see the well of emotion that comes up for me
I am comparing myself to you and I feel inadequate; I have an impulse to make sarcastic jokes as a way to throw you off and establish power in the group
You’re different from me and I don’t know how to connect with you; I’m keeping things light and playful because I’m afraid of going any deeper than that with you
I’m seeing you as the most powerful person in the group and I really want your approval; I’m ignoring you altogether to try to convince us all that I don’t care
I’m afraid of you; I have an impulse to provoke you and glare at you to scare you away before you can scare me
I’m attracted to you; I can’t look at you and I feel an impulse to poke your insecurities
I feel ashamed and worried that I don’t belong here; my impulse is to align myself with the person who I think has the most power in the group
I’m convinced you wouldn’t understand me; my impulse is to write you off altogether and avoid connecting with you
If you’ve ever been in a T-Group and felt the longing to “go deeper,” this is it. And “this” is simply the willingness to reach more deeply into yourself than you ever have before and gently coax out of the shadow the things that perhaps even you don’t want to see.
These are the “tough emotions” that will "own and define you if you choose to deny them and disengage.
The practice is to look each member of your group in the eyes and ask yourself something like this:
How is my vulnerability showing up in this connection?
What part of myself am I protecting?
What part of my experience do I not want them to see?
What would feel really scary to reveal to them?
And what am I doing, what are the impulses I have, in response to that vulnerability?
Differentiating Feedback: Saying Hard Things in ways that Strengthen Relationships
“The person that challenges you and holds you accountable loves you more than the person that watches you stay the same and settle for mediocrity” ~Unknown
There are always things we choose not to say in a T-Group, and it’s often wise to do so if the group is full of beginners or humans that you’ve never connected with before. It’s a good thing to be able to calibrate what level of intensity each connection is capable of sustaining in the moment - otherwise you’re likely to simply blow them up, and that doesn’t help anybody.
In any T-Group 2.0 circle, there are always deeper currents flowing through the group that are either too difficult to articulate, too intimidating to approach, or too murky to see in the first place. And since it is very possible to avoid them altogether, we often opt to focus on things that are easier to see and talk about. The invitation of Advanced T-Group, however, is to begin exploring precisely these dynamics, the things that feel inconvenient, uncomfortable, or potentially contentious, for the sake of each person’s learning and the expansion of connection.
We start LOOKING for the differences, the blockages, the things that are getting in the way.
This is the conversation that people in romantic relationships have all the time: we need to talk about us. People become willing to lean into that discomfort and put forth the effort because the relationship is so important, but we can’t reserve that effort for only our romantic relationships. It is a growing trend in our culture for people to lose other community connections when they get into a primary relationship. So Advanced T-Group is also intended as an arena where we can practice working directly with our differences and the blockages in our connection in a supported, effective, and growth-full way - so that we can maintain deep, mature, and fulfilling bonds with a wider network of community, regardless of our relationship status.
We do this in part with a tool that is simple, but not easy: what has me hold back in our connection is ________.
Sunday, September 22nd 6:30 - 9:30 PM
Sunday, October 6th 6:30 - 9:30 PM
Sunday, October 20th 6:30 - 9:30 PM
Sunday, November 3rd 6:30 - 9:30 PM
Sunday, November 17th 6:30 - 9:30 PM
Sunday, November 24th 6:30 - 9:30 PM
Sunday, September 1 6:30 - 9:30 PM
Sunday, September 15 6:30 - 9:30 PM
Sunday, September 29 6:30 - 9:30 PM
Sunday, October 13 6:30 - 9:30 PM
Sunday, November 3 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Sunday, November 10: 6:30 - 9:30 PM
Location: Berkeley, CA (the same venue as the regular Sunday Night gatherings; a separate space will be designated for closed group)
Size: each cohort is open to only six people
Attendance: you must be able to attend at least FIVE of the six sessions
Pre-requisites: you must have attended at least ONE Sunday Night T-Group 2.0 event
Facilitation: I (Crystallin) will be present for each session, and though I will be engaging fully as a participant, I will also be engaging fully as a facilitator; I will be offering more guidance and coaching throughout the sessions than I have done in the past, so this is an opportunity to learn from both your experience of the group and from my support