As a cohousing facilitator, my focus is on relationships. I guide groups toward the processes and mindsets that will build the connected communities they are seeking. In awareness that communities vary greatly in their needs and available resources, I offer a variety of services. If you need a service you don't see here, let me know. I'm always happy to develop a program just for you.
These are workshops designed for entire communities to attend together. Generally the focus is on communication tools that can help to reduce and resolve conflicts, increase meeting efficiency and improve the sense of connection within a community. Workshops include opportunities to practice the skills and get to know other members of your community better. Workshops can be designed to meet the needs of a particular community or selected from pre-designed workshops.
These workshops are designed for community members who facilitate meetings and/or conflict resolution within their communities. Good facilitation shift a community from conflict, aggression, and apathy toward connection, agreement and increased participation. Small shifts can sometimes make big differences. I recommend reaching out to other cohousing groups in your region to share facilitator workshops. In addition to sharing the costs, getting to know others can pave the way for mutual support going forward.
Often facilitators who have taken trainings and filled their toolboxes with useful skills find themselves struggling with application. Caught in the midst of community conflict or faced with an upcoming meeting that is particularly challenging, they find themselves uncertain how to proceed. In these cases a 30 or 60 minute phone call to get feedback and guidance from a trained professional who isn’t enmeshed in the situation can be invaluable. This service is ideal for facilitators or communities who have worked with me before and can build upon that experience. For facilitators who are less familiar with my work, longer calls may be needed to fully address concerns. Support is available on as-needed basis for an hourly rate. For communities who would benefit from an ongoing relationship, a monthly rate for unlimited support is available and includes discounted rates on in-person sessions.
Issue or Conflict Support for Communities
From time to time communities find themselves struggling with their process, stuck on a particular issue or problem, or simply feeling disconnected despite their best efforts to spend time together and talk through concerns. When this happens an outside facilitator can often help to identify underlying (and often unspoken) conflicts, create safe space for conversation and offer suggestions to improve process going forward. When I am invited to work with a community in this way, I begin by gathering as much information from community members as possible, including utilizing a survey tool in which all community members are encouraged to offer confidential input. From there I work with a group or committee to design an experience to help the community move forward in a more connected way. Each program is catered to the needs and resources of the community.
Cohousing is hard work and it brings us into some of the most challenging relationships we will experience outside our own families. Much of the time we can lean on neighbors to help us find our way when we struggle. Other times it is helpful to share frustrations with someone outside the community. In a 60 or 90 minute session on Facetime or Zoom, I’ll guide you through a process or self discovery and problem solving to address questions like, “Why don’t I feel the sense of connection I thought I would?” “Do I really want to live here?” “How to I handle that person?” “It was so great before, why am I not feeling it now?” I work with individuals or couples to help them find their path through the challenges of cohousing relationships.
Communities plan retreats for two primary purposes: to relax and socialize together and to get process work done for planning or conflict resolution. The first step is to be in agreement as a community about the goal. Either way, it can be helpful to have an outside facilitator managing logistics, guiding activities, and designing a program to meet your needs. In addition to offering professional guidance and expertise, a professional facilitator allows everyone to participate as a member of the community. Retreats are generally planned on an individual basis and can include any of the workshops listed above.