Discussion article for the meetup : Berkeley meetup: Rationalist group therapy
The Berkeley meetup tomorrow (Wednesday) will feature an activity that I hear is popular with the New York meetup. The way it works is this: One person shares with the group a problem they're having in their life, or a goal they want to achieve — it could be about their career, their family life, their romantic life, or health; it could be a habit they want to form or to break, or something bigger about themselves that they want to change. Then the group discusses the problem and offers insight and advice.
I did this with the Mountain View meetup and it was great! It's so nice to be able to get advice from a room of particularly sane people.
The most important thing is to listen to the individual's problem non-judgmentally. We don't want to punish each other for talking openly about our problems, and a normative reaction like "You're perpetually late to meetings? Ugh, I hate people who do that" is a strong enough punishment to thwart the whole activity.
We'll be able to put a handful of people in the hotseat, one at a time, until we get tired and hang out for the rest of the meetup. I won't be there this time but Shannon will be around, and I'll make sure someone is in charge of getting the meetup started.
The meetup will be at Zendo. Doors open at 7pm and Rationalist Group Therapy begins at 7:30pm. For directions to Zendo, see the mailing list or call Nisan at .