Self-Revealing and Acceptance in an Interactive Group

Acceptance is an important issue in an Interactive Group. You want to reveal yourself, but only if you are going to be accepted by the group. You also want to be able to be yourself. You want to show your anger and your insecurity, your tears and your fears, your strength and your neediness. But it is critical that you be accepted as you are. It is also helpful for you to accept other group members as they are.

Sharing About Yourself

It is useful to share things about yourself that you have strong feelings about. Perhaps you need to talk about how you were abused as a child. Perhaps you are gay, or you are going through a painful divorce, or you are having anxiety attacks. It is especially important to share aspects of yourself that you feel ashamed of. These are the hardest to reveal, because you expect to be judged and rejected. But they are also the most valuable because you really need to be accepted with these parts of you. You will discover that when you reveal these parts of yourself in an open way, not only are you accepted by the group, but people actually appreciate you more, because of your courage and vulnerability.

Being Open and Vulnerable

This is one of the magic things that happens in an Interactive Group. There is actually something beautiful about a person when they are being open and vulnerable, whether they are showing deep pain or insecurity or being caring toward others. We all have a great need to show these vulnerable parts of ourselves and be accepted, and in fact the group atmosphere makes it easy for this to happen.

Loving and Compassionate

People want to be able to love each other if only they are in the right environment to bring this out. Group members find it natural to be loving and compassionate toward someone who reveals pain or weakness. The pain is experienced as something precious and beautiful, and people welcome this kind of sharing. It makes them feel closer to you. It’s one of those poignant, special moments in group that everyone cherishes.

Free Drop-In Interactive/IFS Group

Drop In IFS Interactive GroupThis drop-in is designed to give you an idea of how Interactive/IFS Groups operate, including the Therapists Interactive/IFS Group and the regular Interactive/IFS Group.

In a Drop-In Interactive Group, you can be totally honest about your feelings. Everyone is encouraged to share their moment-to-moment experience with the group. It’s a big risk but very exciting!

A small group of people meets to practice awareness, honesty, and connection. Using IFS (Internal Family Systems Therapy), we practice speaking for our parts rather than as our parts. This means being in Self (a calm, caring place) and talking about how a part of you is reacting in the moment, as opposed to dumping your feelings on other people. This helps you to communicate in a more effective manner, and it also makes the group safe for everyone.

I facilitate the group, helping you to tune into what you are experiencing and speak your truth. You may tell others honestly and directly how you are feeling toward them. We create an atmosphere of caring and trust so that this can be done in a safe, connected way. You also have a chance to get honest feedback from people on how they are responding to you.

The group meets by videoconference, so we can all see each other.

Click here for more information about Interactive/IFS Groups.

Wednesday, Jan. 31
10 am – 12 noon pacific time
(1-3 pm eastern, 6-8 pm UK)
Free
Click here  to enroll

Working through Conflict in an Interactive/IFS Group

IFS/Interactive GroupOne of the big challenges for many people in an Interactive Group is the expression of “negative” feelings. It is valuable to express all of your feelings, not just good feelings. It is important to say when something bothers you or to express annoyance, disagreement, hurt, or discomfort. It’s also useful to express stronger feelings such as fear, anger, and jealousy.

Some people find it hard to believe that expressing negative feelings of any kind will be helpful to anyone. They say:

“It will just hurt him unnecessarily, and it’s not a big deal anyway.”
“It’s probably just my own material. I should just work it out myself.”
“It’s not something she can change. Why make her feel bad?”

This is because they are afraid of hurting the other person and feeling guilty about it, or because they are afraid of the person being angry or rejecting them.

In the Interactive/IFS Groups, we work on expressing a feeling by speaking for the part rather than as the part. When you speak as a part, it means that the part has blended with you. You have become the part, so if you were angry at someone, you might just blast them, “I hate you. You are so mean to me.” On the other hand, when you speak for a part, it means that you are in Self and you are describing the feelings of the part, “There is a part of me that is angry at you because it believes that you have been mean to me.” By speaking for our parts, we are owning our reactions to other people. We aren’t attacking them; we are letting them know how our parts are reacting to them. This is good practice for communicating in life, and it also makes the group safer. It is OK for you to express negative feelings toward others as long as you speak for your parts.

In fact, there are a number of good reasons for expressing negative feelings. It gives you a chance to practice asserting yourself. Many people are afraid to bring up difficult reactions, and this is an ideal way to learn how to do it. It gives you a chance to learn how to work through hard feelings that come up by doing this. It also gives the other person useful feedback about how they affect others. When you react to someone, it’s usually not all their fault, and it’s usually not all your fault either. It’s not necessarily anyone’s fault, but the reaction often comes from a part of the other person and a part of you. So both of you have something to learn from the interaction.

For example, Carole says,

“Jan, when you had that interaction with Max last week, a part of me didn’t like the way you treated him. It felt you were being defensive and controlling. You didn’t really give him a chance to explain himself before you attacked him.”

I ask Carole if she is feeling protective of Max.

“Maybe a little, but I was more just scared for myself. I wouldn’t want Jan to do that to me.” Jan responds, “I don’t see what was wrong with what I did. I was just standing up for myself.”

I explore with Jan how she is reacting to Carole, and Jan discovers that a part of her is feeling defensive. She even realizes that she is responding to Carole the same way she did to Max. This helps Jan to recognize a part of her that gets defensive, and she decides she’d like to change it.

In the midst of this, I ask how Carole is reacting emotionally to Jan. She discovers that a part of her feels frightened of Jan’s anger. I check this out with Jan and discover that a part of Jan is indeed feeling a little angry at Carole. But a different part of her appreciates Carole for taking the chance to confront Jan because it gave Jan an opportunity to learn something about herself. So Carole a chance to deal with her fear of other people’s anger. Carole discovers that she can tolerate Jan being a little angry at her.

Sometimes two people have an extended interaction to work through a conflict between them where there may be hurt and anger. I provide extensive facilitation to ensure safety, help the two people resolve their conflict, and also to help them learn from it. They learn what parts of them get triggered, what exiles are being protected, and how to communicate clearly, assertively, and with vulnerability. The rest of group members support both people rather than taking sides, and this makes it much easier to resolve any bad feelings between the people. In fact, often their relationship emerges stronger as a result of this kind of interaction.

Drop-In Interactive/IFS Group

Drop In IFS Interactive GroupThis drop-in group is designed to give you an idea of how Interactive/IFS Groups operate, including the Therapists Interactive/IFS Group and the regular Interactive/IFS Group.

In an Interactive/IFS Group, you can be totally honest about your feelings. Everyone is encouraged to share their moment-to-moment experience with the group. It’s a big risk but very exciting!

A small group of people meets to practice awareness, honesty, and connection. Using IFS (Internal Family Systems Therapy), we practice speaking for our parts rather than as our parts. This means being in Self (a calm, caring place) and talking about how a part of you is reacting in the moment, as opposed to dumping your feelings on other people. This helps you to communicate in a more effective manner, and it also makes the group safe for everyone.

I facilitate the group, helping you to tune into what you are experiencing and speak your truth. You may tell others honestly and directly how you are feeling toward them. We create an atmosphere of caring and trust so that this can be done in a safe, connected way. You also have a chance to get honest feedback from people on how they are responding to you.

Since this is a drop-in group, you will be mainly dealing with what you go through emotionally when you are meeting new people (though my Interactive Groups are long-term ongoing groups and much more than that happens in them).

The group meets by videoconference, so we can all see each other.

Tuesday, Sept. 12
4:30-6:30 pm pacific time (7:30-9:30 eastern)
Free
Click here for more information or to register

Click here for information about my ongoing Interactive/IFS Groups.

 

IFS Classes and Groups

I offer a variety of classes and groups based on IFS (Internal Family Systems Therapy), which are summarized below.

The groups and classes meet by videoconference, so we all can see each other, which enhances the group connection. They meet twice a month, and members of the groups meet with me for an individual consultation on the group every 3 months. Each meeting is recorded, so if you miss one, you can watch the recording.

Advanced IFS Classes

In my Advanced IFS Classes, you learn intermediate and advanced techniques and understandings that go beyond what I teach in the Basic and Exiles Courses. I lead demonstration IFS sessions with volunteers from the class, and you practice with each other in pairs for homework. In addition, the whole group works together on important psychological issues such as procrastination, the inner critic, depression, eating issues, and more. There are separate classes for therapists/coaches, which include advanced training and consultation on IFS.

If you are new to IFS, you can take my recorded Basic IFS Class (make sure to do the homework, preferably with a partner) and then join one of these classes.

There are three different classes, each of which is $50/session, $100/month.

Class 1:
First and third Wednesdays of each month
For therapists and coaches
4:30-6:30 pm pacific time (7:30-9:30 eastern)

Class 2:
Second and fourth Wednesdays of each month
For anyone
4:15-6:15 pm pacific time (7:15-9:15 eastern)

Class 3:
Second and fourth Tuesdays of each month
For therapists and coaches
9:30-11:30 am pacific time (12:30-2:30 eastern, 5:30-7:30 UK)

Click here for detailed information, topics covered, and how to join.

Interactive/IFS Groups 

An Interactive/IFS Group can help you . . .

  • Develop your capacity for intimacy and learn how to make a love relationship work
  • Become more assertive
  • Become more outgoing and socially comfortable
  • Learn what you may be doing to keep your relationships from being satisfying
  • Understand and trust people of the opposite sex . . . or of the same sex
  • Learn how to deal with anger and conflict constructively
  • Become part of a loving community of people
  • Raise your self-esteem
  • Get in touch with your personal power

You can learn these relationship skills:

  • Being in touch with your feelings and expressing them
  • Speaking for your parts, not acting them out
  • Reaching out to others confidently
  • Saying ”No” firmly
  • Allowing yourself to be open and vulnerable
  • Expressing yourself forcefully and spontaneously
  • Being comfortable relating to a group of people
  • Asking for what you really want
  • Having the courage to bring up difficult issues
  • Empathizing with others 

What Happens

  • You work directly on how you are relating to the other group members . . . in the moment. Instead of just talking about how you relate in your life, you practice interacting with others right in the group and get help as you do.
  • You get direct and honest feedback on how people are reacting to you.
  • The group provides a safe place for you to try out new, healthy ways of relating to people.
  • You learn how to feel your emotional responses and identify the parts that are activated while interacting with people
  • You learn how communicate openly, clearly, and assertively.
  • You learn how to access and work with the parts of you that get triggered in interactions with people, using IFS.
  • You see other people struggling with problems similar to yours, and through this you learn about yourself and others.
  • There is a strong sense of support for each person and a warm feeling of community in the group.

There are two different groups, each of which is $60/meeting, $120/month, including consultations.

Group 1:
For anyone
First and third Tuesdays of each month
4:30-6:30 pm pacific time (7:30-9:30 pm eastern)

Group 2:
For therapists and coaches
Second and fourth Wednesdays of each month
10am- 12 noon pacific time (1-3 pm eastern, 6-8 pm UK)

Click here for more information.

Email me at earley.jay@gmail.com for a free pre-group interview

 

Free Drop-In Interactive/IFS Group – February 1

Drop-in Interactive IFS GroupThis Drop-in Interactive IFS group will be a chance to experience what it is like to be in an Interactive Group, so you can decide if you would like to join one. 

In a Drop-In Interactive Group, you can be totally honest about your feelings. Everyone is encouraged to share their moment-to-moment experience with the group. It’s a big risk but very exciting!

A small group of people meets to practice awareness, honesty, and connection. Using IFS (Internal Family Systems Therapy), we practice speaking for our parts rather than as our parts. This means being in Self (a calm, caring place) and talking about how a part of you is reacting in the moment, as opposed to dumping your feelings on other people. This helps you to communicate in a more effective manner, and it also makes the group safe for everyone.

I facilitate the group, helping you to tune into what you are experiencing and speak your truth. You may tell others honestly and directly how you are feeling toward them. We create an atmosphere of caring and trust so that this can be done in a safe, connected way. You also have a chance to get honest feedback from people on how they are responding to you.

The group meets by videoconference, so we can all see each other. 

Wednesday, Feb. 1
10am-12 noon pacific time (1-3 pm eastern, 6-8 pm UK)
Click here to register for free

New IFS Group – Starts January 26

IFS GroupA new IFS Group starts January 26.

  • Are you looking for an affordable way to get IFS therapy?
  • Would you like to learn to use IFS to work on yourself?
  • Would you like to connect with others who are learning IFS and working on themselves?

In the IFS group, you will be able to…

  • Work with me individually in front of the group
  • Learn from other people’s IFS work
  •  Get your parts stimulated by other people’s work so you can dive right in
  • Pair up with other group members for IFS homework when you are ready
  • Engage in group IFS exercises
  • Learn the basics of IFS
  • Share your struggles and learnings with the group and feel supported
  • Participate in a warm feeling of community in the group.

Format

The group is limited to 8 people.
This is an ongoing group, so once you join, you are expected to attend all sessions (if possible) until you choose to leave.
The group meets by videoconference, so we can all see each other.

Schedule

4:30-6:30 pm pacific time (7:30-9:30 pm eastern)
Every other Thursday
Starts January 26
$50/session

Getting Started

  • You meet with me for a free pre-group interview to see if the group is a good fit for you.
  • Then you can try out the group for a month and then decide whether to continue.
  • For more information or a free pre-group interview, email me at earley.jay@gmail.com.