In this "about me" you'll find an over-explanation of this encounter group. I'm over-explaining because if I haven't met you, I don't know what you're looking for from this group. Having done this for a long time, I've found that people's experiences of encounter groups differ widely, even though they're sitting in the room together at the same room. I'll start with my pitch:
There are many ways to describe encounter:
The easiest is it's physical layout: about twelve people sit in chairs and talk. Generally, one person talks, speaking to another person, and everyone else listens. There's no rule about interrupting; any one person can talk at any time, but everyone's listening to one person talking.
Another way is three parts: a felt experience, the building of relationships, and communication skills learning.
Another way is the chronological process: forming, storming, norming, performing.
Another is the result: "I've never been this excited about anything!" "changed my life" "It'll all weirdly work out and come together in the end"
In this group we focus on communication styles and choices: When someone (call her Alice) chooses to talk to Bob and says something about Bob that has to do with Alice, everyone learns about Bob and Alice, and learns a lot more than if we were talking about the weather (not that there's anything wrong with that). Now you can say something to Bob or Alice, and everyone will learn as well.
One difference between this and the real-world (and the reason we call it a laboratory) is we do not talk about things outside the physical room. No jobs, family, sports, religion, "society" in abstract, school, Pittsburgh, the bars; all that is tabled for now. You'll be much more specific when talking if you describe that thing that person did when that person did it, and not "well it's kinda like you know when someone you consider a friend..." Don't worry, everyone starts out learning this more specific, more powerful way to use words slowly.
Why am I not saying, "In this group, we do this and you'll get that from it?" Two reasons: 1) You decide what you want and what you do, and 2) you'll do things you won't expect. Because I've done this for hundreds of hours, I'm prepared to react to what you'll do, and I'll be listening closely to best react. Just as much as this is my project and passion, this is your group.
Email me to indicate your interest. I'm always interested in spaces; email me if you have one one to offer.