NotJustSkin offers the option of requesting a supportive conversation to assist you in reaching toward your goals around connection, mindfulness, flow of communication and general well-being in your relationships. A support conversation can occur in person or over the phone, and usually occupies half an hour to an hour and a half. The bulk of such a conversations often involve the supporter listening to the person requesting support, empathizing with the feelings and needs that are present, and possibly offering additional questions for consideration or responding to requests for new strategies to try.
While support conversations can have a variety of forms, we offer four typical versions:
- A one-on-one conversation.
- A relationship dialogue, which can support relationships not only between romantic partnerships but also between family, friends, and colleagues.
- A support council, a facilitated group process for a person or partnership facing a challenging decision or issue who would like to engage the emotional, intellectual, and practical assistance of friends, family, co-workers, or other supporters.
- Group work: A group that is struggling with a particular dynamic may also invite us in for a support conversation. This is usually a longer process, and requires the consent and interest of all members. We can work with any group, including roommates, families, and co-workers.
Support conversations are a time- and attention-intensive activity for both listener and supporter. To support continued work, we encourage participants in support conversations to consider after the end of their conversation whether and how it has contributed to themselves and their intentions. Participants who have found it useful have the option to choose if and how much to donate to support the continuation of the work and services offered by NotJustSkin.
Currently, support conversations are offered by Ryan McAllister (ryan /the at sign/ notjustskin.org):
Ryan McAllister is a long-time parent- and child-advocate. He co-parents a child with a rare genetic variation and significant developmental differences. Ryan has co-founded several relationship building organizations and projects, including:
- NotJustSkin.org, an all-volunteer organization that supports the physical and emotional well being of parents, children, and communities.
- Maitri House, a family-inclusive intentional community in the DC area that operates by values-based consensus.
- The Human Support Group, a twice-monthly practice and support group for people of all ages.
Ryan has over ten years of experience in Nonviolent Communication, mindfulness, peer counseling, and parenting by connection. He also serves as research faculty at Georgetown University studying the biophysics of a variety of organisms and the bioethics of maternity care.