T-group Description

by mihai on November 28, 2011

Come play!

The spirit of the game: get curious about the emotional impact you have on others and vice versa, minimizing distractions like opinions, stories, past tense and defensiveness.

We’ve been doing a lot of these lately, but invite only. This is the first time I’m sending out a wider invite, because it’s awesome and I want to share it. I’m leaving for CA the next morning for 5 weeks, and hopefully we’ll have more open ones when I get back in early January.

If more than 8 folks show up, we’ll likely split up into multiple groups.

What t-group IS NOT…
– therapy (absolutely no agenda, no healing, no process)
– a bitch session (negative emotions are welcome, but you agree to care about the impact your speaking has on others)
– circling (getting someone’s world is a more involved process; this is getting only a sliver of that world)

What t-group IS…
– relational practice (for a specific, in-the-moment kind of relating)
– meditation (helps me clarify my own feelings and how I’m impacted)
– stubbornly committed to the present moment (“that was so 30 seconds ago!” is a phrase we’ve started using)
– usually pretty intense
– uniquely different every single time

Hope this clarifies it… Feel free to ask questions here.

This t-group is free, unless we need to have it somewhere bigger like Boulder Integral, in which case I’ll ask folks to chip in $5.

————– Rules, as handed to me by Karim a while ago ——-
When we use the word T-group we are referring to a group of about 4-9 people, most often with a leader (called a trainer or facilitator), who have assembled for a finite length of time for the agreed purpose of exploring the interaction of the group while it is happening. There is no agenda and no task, nothing to do and nothing to talk about except what is going on in the group. It is an opportunity for the members to examine their own internal processes when in a social situation and also to examine the processes of the group. With the task and agenda absent for once, those processes may be examined in the clear.

T-Group Rules:

1. The sharing of feelings is more valuable than the sharing of opinions

2. Each of us is the world’s leading expert on our own internal affairs. I cannot know what is going on inside of you unless you tell me.

3. Straight talk demands that I lay my cards on the table before I ask you to. Therefore question-asking may not be helpful, but telling the feeling which prompts the question is helpful.

4. The bulk of attention needs to be directed to the HERE and NOW. Communication is thwarted by ignoring or avoiding these present-moment feelings.

5. A major communication block is defensiveness which is here defined as my refusal to listen to and accept another’s feelings about me. EXAMPLE: Arguing, explaining, refusal to listen, counter-attacking.

6. If I want to confront you I had better do it directly and be available for your response rather than doing it indirectly, in passing.

7. Communication that serves relationship requires that I take risks in exposing myself to you.

8. It is devastating to communication for me to take advantage of another’s openness to one-up him/her.

9. ‘Openness’ and ‘truth’, do not have value on their own. They must be employed in a context of sensitive responsibility for the needs of the other. Otherwise they are simply new one-up weapons.

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