Emotional Intelligence & Non-violent Communication

Kelowna's first STOP group has seven participants, all of whom will finish the program. All seem to be gaining some benefit, though one man is obviously struggling with literacy issues. We (Bill and I) have tried to make the evenings as interactive as possible, getting the men to move around the room, using practical illustrations and exercises. 

In Units 5-8, we built on a foundation of Self-talk and meaning making. All of the men were given the each unit in advance of the coming week's group, and all figured out after the first session that they'd better read/review the unit because we DON'T read it, or go through the information in a linear fashion. This has resulted in some really interesting and productive discussions centering around the application of the information in a practical way.

In addition to the information in the units, we've added illustrations and pages from www.getselfhelp.co.uk (free downloadable resources, most of which are relevant to this group); www.compassionatemind.org (great exercises for developing a positive sense of Self); and these two videos (Drama triangle https://youtu.be/ovrVv_RlCMw and Locating Yourself https://youtu.be/fLqzYDZAqCI). 

In the pictures, the men are participating in a mindreading exercise (yellow postits); and an exercise based on the non-violent communication model of Observations; Feelings; Need; Request. The exercise is "Seven Desires of the Heart" by Mark Laaser and modified by Bill for group use. This process sparked a lively discussion about the differences between 'expectations' 'demands' and 'requests.' Productive for most of the men, triggering for a few. :)

The group has become quite cohesive, correcting and challenging each other when appropriate, and Bill has managed the role of coach really effectively. I teach/facilitate the learning process, and he coaches by challenging the language used, the dichotomy between words & actions, and the sometimes evident discomfort with my teaching style or data presentation. Members are past the point of "best behaviour" so Bill and I have had some mentally and emotionally exhausting evenings, providing containment. We're hoping we're modeling assertive communication while challenging the misconceptions and errors of attribution but some nights we're not sure how successful we were.

So far, this has been an exciting and satisfying process. The program is stellar and solid, and it's been fun (really) to work through it.

*photo here* I can't seem to upload either photo, so you'll just have to use your imagination (photos used with permission of course.)

 Susannah-Joy (and Bill)

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