This is a by donation drop-in NVC-inspired Practice Group. This is the heart's work of Jim Thompson, who started this group in November 2012 and was the sole facilitator twice weekly until 2014. Since then, Jim and other facilitators from the East Vancouver Compassionate Communication Community (EVCCC) take turns leading the group.
Note: the group is unrelated to the Treatment Centre other than that they generously offer their space free of charge (donations welcome! see below). The Centre's clients do not participate in the Practice Group.
When and Where do we meet?
· Monday and Tuesday , 6:30-8:50pm.
· Please feel welcome to attend one or both evenings when you are able. You may come as often or as seldom as you wish. We also meet on some statutory holidays -- check the calendar before coming on those days. All sessions are free and don’t require registering. Any donations you are comfortable making go to Pacifica Treatment Centre for providing the space and occasionally are used to cover facilitators' costs (supplies, etc.).
· Pacifica Treatment Centre, 1755 E 11th Ave. The Skytrain is close, and there is ample bike parking and car parking out front.
Pacifica is a residential treatment centre, so you will be asked to sign in as a visitor and wear a name tag while in the building. Pacifica looks like an apartment block from the outside. A member of our Practice Group will meet you at the front door to sign you in and give directions to the meeting room. Usually we are in room 320, and there is an elevator that goes to the third floor directly opposite the group room.
Because we are guests at Pacifica, we have been asked to follow their guidelines, and we strive to maintain goodwill and consideration of their wishes. We ask each that each Practice Group participant notes the following:
- If possible, please arrive by 6:15 pm to support ease and efficiency for our registration process.
- We start the workshop at 6:30 pm.
- Arrivals after 6:45 will not be admitted (our group member at the door will have left to join the group by then).
- No food, liquids, or gum. Only bottled water is allowed into the building.
- Please adhere to the Pacifica dress code: no bare shoulders.
- Use the front door for entrance and exit.
- Please use only the bathrooms on the ground floor.
- Please do not walk down the halls, as these lead to the residential spaces of the people who live in the building.
- Clients are not involved in our practice sessions – this is an NVC group, not a recovery group.
- Greet the staff at the front and the residents with a smile!
The practice group is designed to support both beginners and more experienced people to practice learning and applying NVC as a skill and an attitude to life. No experience is required. Some people have been coming for a long time, some are just starting. You do not need to commit to a certain level of attendance.
What do we do?
Each evening we explore an aspect of Nonviolent Communication, touch on the basic skills, and practice giving each other empathy to the best of our ability. The focus is on practicing and applying NVC skills and attitudes, not so much on "teaching" (although there is some teaching each evening, too).
Our meetings usually begin with a short meditation to clarify our personal intention for the evening and a check in about that. There may be a planned or spontaneous exercise based on NVC, then we often spend time doing empathy practice in pairs, small groups, or in the larger group, reflecting feelings and needs (we have handouts and cards to help with that). We may do role plays and occasionally we watch short videos in which NVC is demonstrated, and then discuss the videos and apply some aspect demonstrated.
Some of the group members also meet as empathy buddies or in small practice groups outside of the regular meeting time.
We also offer occasional workshops on a weekend day or half-day. These workshops are a chance to get a rich experience of connecting with a supportive community, embrace your own critical or self-critical thinking and open up to a more cooperative and understanding-based way of being in the world. Watch the calendar for these events. Also, if you aren't already a member, consider registering as a member of this forum (EVCCC) and then subscribing to Forums so that you will get email notice about upcoming events.
If you would like to read more on Nonviolent Communication, which was founded by Marshall Rosenberg, there are many resources. Marshall Rosenberg's book “Nonviolent Communication; A Language of Love,” is available in libraries and bookstores. You can also see many videos of Marshall Rosenberg on Youtube, along with videos of other NVC trainers.
All are welcome!