I have been going to 'Here and Now' groups for 20 years and continue to be enthusiastic about how the situation provides me with the opportunity to be surprised, to get to know myself, to relate instead of switching off, and to connect with myself and others in unexpected ways. I hope you'll join me in a group meeting soon. Below are some more details about what's on offer here.
This group provides a space for people to come together and relate authentically with each other in the 'Here and Now'.
The invitation is to:
• Stay in the here and now, to stay present, and notice your thoughts and feelings.Try to avoid talking about ‘there and then’.
• Say anything you like
• This is an exploratory group with no fixed agenda: allow space for the unexpected.
• Experience a group of equals where there is no leader to show you what to do. (The group will be peer-led, and once the group meeting has started I (Richard Mills, your host and group organiser) am an equal participant.)
Group meetings have a beginning and an end time, plus time for a break, but other than that have no structure, so as to allow an open space for the participants to use as they wish: there is no set task or division of roles.
The experience will be both interpersonal and intra-personal. This means that there is an element of relating to others in the group, so it's inter-active, but it also provides an opportunity for internal reflection, about how you are, in the moment.
The invitation is to avoid saying "What do you do?", "Where do you live?" etc. and instead to explore "What's really going on for me/you, right now?"
At times there may be silence in the group broken only when someone feels moved to speak.
This group is for those wishing to be part of a supportive environment whilst making authentic connections with others.
This group is not a therapy group, and you are responsible for your own wellbeing. The group is not suitable for people who are very emotionally fragile or disturbed, nor for anyone whose life is in chaos. Having said that, it should be fine for you as long as you welcome the opportunity to reflect on how you are in the present moment, and can tolerate the fact that we won't know what will be said. Whilst it may help you if you have had some experience of group-work, this is not essential. Please read the warning at the bottom of this page.
I can’t talk about the benefits that you will get, as we are all unique. But I can tell you about the benefits for me:
• Authenticity • Aliveness • Getting in touch with myself…feeling ‘connected up’ • Getting in touch with others…connections • ‘Uncertainty training’ • The ability to wait • Getting feedback from others • Self-knowledge
For more detail about that, see the page called 'The Benefits of Here and Now Groups' in the section marked 'Pages' - the link is towards the top of this page.
The group will be held in a private secure location, usually
A joy, a depression, a mean-ness, some momentary awareness
Comes as an unexpected visitor
Welcome and entertain them all! Even if they're a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture
Still treat each guest honourably. He may be clearing you out for some new delight.
That dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.
Further opportunities for Here and Now groups
I first found out about these groups in the CCI co-counselling network where I go to 3 or 4 residential events each year, and I go to one or two Here and Now groups each time. To find out more visit www.co-counselling.co.uk
This group is not suitable for absolutely everyone, and may not be suitable for you if:
You rarely smile at anyone
You feel that the world is against you
Your accommodation and work and social live are all in a state of chaos
Your behaviour is significantly extreme
Eye contact feels almost unbearable
Your life has big highs and lows, over which you feel you have little control
You frequently experience overwhelming despair
If it is your first time at one of these meetings and you are in any doubt please phone me, Richard Mills, on 07984002495