What It’s About

Our Community Project seeks to bring people closer together because connection is vital to well being.  In the same way that we need food every day for our survival, we also need daily connection with others to sustain our health and prevent despair.

The Challenge

When we don’t receive connection as often as we need, we become discouraged and lose hope. Eventually we can end up settling for unsatisfying relationships that actually make us feel disconnected. We might even avoid connecting with people altogether. As much as 40% of our country reports feeling disconnected most of the time. When that’s our daily reality, research shows that it actually shortens our lifespans.

The Solution

To live long and healthy lives, we need to learn how to improve the way we connect with each other. When we improve connections, we improve health. We need restored communities that demonstrate the power of connections to create health. We need spaces-like this Community Project-where people can gather to deepen empathy, support one another, and share responsibility for the wellbeing of all.

How It Works

Our Los Angeles headquarters is home to our Community Project and staffed by counselors in our Leadership Institute’s clinical training program. This project’s goal is to demonstrate the role that community participation and leadership play in health and wellbeing. There are many opportunities here for you, your friends and family, and the communities you are connected to. Our Community Project is here to help you take steps towards wellbeing through healing and community involvement. We can do it… together.

Strategy

Healing Support

Anybody who is feeling disconnected, distressed, or disenfranchised can show up at our Community Project to access healing support. We make our support groups, community gatherings, yoga, and meditation classes immediately available to those who sign up for an affordable monthly membership.

Community Connections

Then we connect people to one another so that they can forge strong relationships characterized by mutual empathy, inclusiveness, and interdependence. We know that we all need a vibrant, diverse, reliable social fabric to hold us in health and creativity.

Shared Leadership

Ultimately, we want this community to feel inspired and equipped to share responsibility for shifting the culture toward values of mutual care, social justice, and stewardship for future generations. We encourage community members to find their leadership contribution and take action in whatever ways are possible from where they are standing.

Healing Support

Our Community Project is here to help you take steps to end disconnection. You can come on your own, bring a friend or partner, or join a group of people who are struggling with the same feelings. What step are you ready to take?

We offer counseling for individuals, couples, families, and families of choice. Our approach to counseling works to build mutually supportive relationships and community connections, which we believe are the most important resources for sustainable wellbeing. There is no neutral; our values are front and center in our counseling work. We must work together to end the harmful effects of isolation, consumerism, and violence. Your distress is a signal of the difficulties you are encountering in your relationships and communities. Together, let’s increase our collective abilities to practice empathy, include diversity, and collaborate on thriving together.

Whether blood relatives, or the intimate networks you have come to call your family of choice, all relationships require patience, skill, and support. In couples/family counseling, we can help you and your partner/you and your family to…

  • relate to each other with empathy
  • navigate challenging communication issues
  • deepen intimacy
  • design your own creative relationship arrangements

If working in relationship with family or your partner is outside the scope of what you currently need, you can opt for one-on-one counseling. We can help you to…

  • understand your needs more clearly
  • tolerate and value intense feelings
  • expand your capacity to navigate complicated relationships
  • build enduring connections with a wider network of support
  • engage in healthy community

Community Connections

Our Community Project is here to help you take steps out of disconnection and into community. Here you will find many other people who are taking steps to overcome isolation. One of the best ways to connect with them is by joining a group. Our groups focus on building relational skills that help people practice mutual care. You can also participate in group wellness activities like meditation, yoga, and movement practices.

The groups we offer support the practice of relational skills that promote greater levels of interdependence among participants. We believe that sustained mutual engagement supports human strength and wellbeing. Opportunities to build relationships are sparse in our culture, therefore we are committed to hosting groups that are innovative and relevant to our community members.

We offer a wide range of groups for you to connect with others, many of which integrate important educational components that are critical to our long-term wellbeing. Some groups focus primarily on emotional processing and building skills. A few examples of group themes are:

  • Learning how trauma lives in your neurology and body
  • Understanding how food influences your emotions
  • Storytelling to discover your core values and leadership
  • Women’s and men’s drop-in groups
  • Making meaning of grief and loss

We want holistic wellbeing to be accessible to all of our community members. We offer one affordable (sliding scale) monthly plan that includes yoga classes, meditation groups, nature hikes, and other diverse programming that engages the body, starting at just $20 per month. Since we believe that counseling is most effective when integrated with wellness practices, we can combine the two costs for a further discount.

Shared Leadership

The more you do to promote connection, the more connected you will feel. In fact, you alone cannot end disconnection for yourself. People need to learn about the harms of disconnection and how to overcome them, therefore we encourage you to share stories of how you are overcoming these harms every day. This kind of story-telling brings us into deeper connection, by reminding us of the values worthy of our struggles. We offer a workshop series to help you craft these stories. Here you will get to share your stories with others and hear theirs too. You can also join a Citizen Circle, where you can share your story with even more people and build the ground for taking action in support of social justice.

The need for a strong social fabric is crucial to our collective wellbeing. Individuals in isolation cannot sustain wellbeing if their environment is not well. At our Community Project, we collaborate with people to take action and improve everyone’s quality of life. We also work with local businesses, schools, and the neighborhood council to better understand the struggles and hopes of our local community.

Learn how to tell your story using our key leadership and organizing strategy, Stories of Connection. As you discover your story through our resonance practice, you will begin to start connecting and resonating with others’ stories and building community!

The purpose of this group is to increase civic awareness, develop leadership skills, build community, and ground participants in relational theories and practices. We collaborate to take action for social change through both group study and volunteer opportunities that serve our communities.

“A morally and civically responsible individual recognizes himself or herself as a member of a larger social fabric and therefore considers social problems to be at least partly his or her own; such an individual is willing to see the moral and civic dimensions of issues, to make and justify informed moral and civic judgments, and to take action when appropriate.”
— Thomas Ehrlich, Civic Responsibility and Higher Education, 2000.

There are many ways to get involved at our Community Project. We always need volunteers to help with a variety of roles:

  • Teaching yoga classes, meditation groups, dance classes, etc.
  • Orienting new members of our community to what we offer.
  • Intake and risk assessment for potential counseling clients.
  • Leading workshops, teaching art classes, hosting movie nights, etc.

We would love to have your skills and leadership in our community. If you have ideas not listed above, we want to learn about them and talk to you about getting involved.

Call us: 323-935-1807
Email us: volunteer@relationalcenter.org

Schedule

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