Some groups hold in place what already is, perhaps set up for accomplishing a goal that is already defined, or for supporting something from a set position. When a new participant comes into a group, they generally assume that what the group is about is what they walk into, what is currently happening. Or they try to figure out what the group is about, in order to see if they fit into it or not. And then they either try to conform to that; or, if it feels incongruous enough, they leave.

But what interests me is the transformational and evolutionary potential of groups, which brings people beyond what they have previously conceived of, outside of human egoic control. In a transformational group what the group is about is determined moment-by-moment by what is most important to each of its members, and to what degree they are able to reveal what that is.

Transformational groups are primarily about present-moment relating between people, which is where the real and transformational material can come up. The group process facilitates this when each person in the group is there with their authentic self, expressing what matters to them in the moment in the context of what is happening around them -- which takes a lot of courage. Every input of every person participating, wherever they are at that moment (which can keep changing), is a part of the continual transformation of the group. That's what makes it so exciting.

Often, when what is important to two or more people, conflicts, there is the most potential for transformation. When this occurs we are entering into the realm of "live material," where people's emotional defense systems get stirred up, emotions comes to the surface, unconscious responses emerge, and what really matters to people become more activated. From within the perceived conflict resides the potential for transformation, which will open up the consciousness of each party concerned, as well as all who witness it. (It's the facilitator's job to hold the space for that to happen, and to bring clarity to the situation.)

So in the group, whatever your response is, you give it, and then other people respond to your response. And if everybody stays in the present moment with where they are at, allowing themselves to be connected with or affected by what happens, and reveal that -- the whole process goes deeper, bringing out truths that have been hidden, and putting the experience into a larger context beyond the distortions of the unhealed issues. In that process, your whole experience of reality can shift and evolve forward.

© Jane Ilene Cohen 2009

Author's Bio: 

Jane Ilene Cohen is an Intuitive and Transformational Counselor, specializing in relationships. She is an NLP & TimeLine Master Practitioner, and comes from a spiritual foundation that includes A Course in Miracles and the Abraham-Hicks work. She has a private counseling practice in Encinitas, CA where she works with couples and individuals, and facilitates transformational groups. She also does phone counseling sessions. Her current group is called "Shifting into Your New Consciousness," a weekly group experience for those who want to shift into a more empowered, conscious life. This is a living teaching in the context of transformational group interaction and dialogue. The flier for this group is at: . For a free consultation to decide if this work is for you, you can reach Jane at: (760) 753-0733. Her website is: Her blog is at: