Transformational Groups are meant to be a microcosm of how you interrelate with people. They can reveal, and facilitate the transformation of, emotional structures that block your authenticity, empowered communication, emotional accessibility, and so on.

In the context of relating to each other in the group (just as happens outside groups), people tend to settle into emotional defense systems or structures that to them feel safe and familiar. The purpose of the defense system is to defend against feeling the pain of unconscious limiting decisions* made in early childhood (such as decisions you are not love, respected, accepted, intelligent, safe, etc.). A limiting decision* is some very devastating negative belief about yourself or the nature of life. So the purpose of the defense system is to avoid the here-and-now truth, because of the fear that the here-and-now truth is going to somehow be negative and against you.

Since you can't be present when you're in that state, you can't learn, and you can't really relate to another person. Therefore defense systems block the transformational potential of each here-and-now moment. They block people from evolving forward in life.

In addition, our defense systems are hard on the people around us because they are not in alignment with the flow of life. So when someone's defense system is coming out in the group, it affects the other participants. People may get bored, or angry, or frustrated, because they can feel that the energy is stuck or distorted. The defense system may not leave space for whatever is potential in that moment to occur. But when other group participants put in the picture what really matters to them, as opposed to going along with what is currently happening, it can expose the defense system, and be a catalyst for transformation.

People hold on to their defense systems to various degrees depending upon how vital they feel to them. But the defense system is holding in place an impossibility. It is hiding the gold that is the real person. It's keeping the amazing self that's underneath defended walls from being known, and from being loved, and from being connected with. And so when that defense system is penetrated through, then the painful limiting decision* comes up, which you think is true. But in this transformational process, you find out that people do not respond to the real you the way you were afraid they would. And they do not have the response that the limiting decision* is true, because it never is true. So when we get through the defense system, we unearth the limiting decision and get to the real self. And it's very transformational because you find out the way you thought the reality was, is not that way at all. You find out that the here-and-now truth is positive, and filled with love.

* For a description of limiting decisions go to: http://www.janecohencounseling.com/Services.html#Limiting_Decisions

© 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: http://www.JaneCohenCounseling.com/Transformational_Group.html . For a free consultation to decide if this work is for you, you can reach Jane at: (760) 753-0733. Her website is: http://www.JaneCohenCounseling.com. Her blog is at: http://blog.JaneCohenCounseling.com