Learn the Art of Facilitation
Good facilitation fosters greater effectiveness, creativity, and vitality in our workshops, meetings, projects and possibilities. It helps us act and interact with intelligence, awareness, care, and vision. Well-facilitated sessions -- whether a business team meeting or a community creative workshop -- make optimum use of our time, expand our imagination, and help us reach our goals.
We both make our living from facilitation: workshops, classes, meetings, coaching sessions, and more. Yet we also have a passion for personal transformation -- for changing lives and cultures and even the world -- one person at a time. Would you like to do the same? Or perhaps you already facilitate, but would like more guidance, tools, and resources.
Whether you want to facilitate better writing workshops, meetings, coaching sessions, therapy groups and more, we can help. That's why we offer four classes you can do from anywhere and an Art of Facilitation certificate program. See classes here.
Listen to Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg's interview on the Art of Facilitation
with NPR correspondent Jacqueline Froelich. Click here.
What You'll Learn
Our classes meet you where you are. We'll offer you practical approaches adaptable to your facilitation practice, across a wide span of meeting and workshop methods. Learn how to:
Make your meetings or workshops hospitable and inclusive.
Open and close sessions in innovative ways that build group cohesion.
Understand your role as a facilitator and how to hold healthy boundaries.
Pace your sessions in rhythm with the work of the group.
Balance individual and group needs while creating a welcoming atmosphere.
Mediate challenging situations and personalities respectfully and effectively.
Guide your team, group or community toward deeper listening, creativity, and connection.
What You'll Receive
We believe writers, creatives, educators, therapists, coaches, entrepreneurs, leaders, and others can benefit from our four core Art of Facilitation classes. If you choose to complete all four courses, you'll receive an Art of Facilitation certificate. In each class, you'll receive:
Weekly Sunday Zoom sessions (5 p.m. PT/6 p.m. MT/ 7 p.m. CT/ 8 p.m. ET).
Accessible and artful online site with guiding essays and best resources.
Weekly podcasts just for you, often featuring expert guest teachers who are visionary facilitators in the arts, business, nonprofits, and beyond.
Reflections and practices for the care and feeding of the facilitator.
Discussion forum to help you coalesce what you're learning.
Art of Facilitation Resource Hub with lots of carefully-curated, best-of-the-best resources.
Please join us for our supportive, skilled, and compassionate classes for a one-of-a-kind transformative experience.
Upcoming Mini Sessions
We offer regular mini sessions, 60-minute workshops to give you a taste of our approach. Please join us for one of these upcoming workshops to ask questions and dream your facilitation possibilities. Scroll down for our transformative classes
Using Writing in Therapy Sessions & Groups
Facilitating expressive writing in therapy can be a powerful tool for healing and change. In fact, scientific studies show that writing has psychological and physical benefits as well! Joy Sawyer worked for many years as a licensed professional counselor and trained journal/poetry therapist. She’ll guide you through tips and tools on effective facilitation, and why further facilitation training can help both you and your clients! No writing experience necessary. One hour for $39.99
Thursday, September 1
7 p.m. CST/ 6 p.m. MST/
5 p.m. PST/ 8 p.m. EST
Meetings That Won't
Bore You to Tears
Join us for a dynamic workshop with Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg on how to facilitate and design effective, inspiring, and invigorating meetings that draw on the collective wisdom of the group. We'll share some of the vast possibilities and have time for your questions and quests, plus more information about our upcoming classes. Only $9.99 for this 60-minute workshop.
Tuesday, September 6
7 p.m. CST/ 6 p.m. MST/
5 p.m. PST/ 8 p.m. EST
Who Our Classes Serve
Our classes bring together people who work in writing and the arts, business and entrepreneurship, public policy and social change, education and training, coaching and therapy, medicine and healing arts, spirituality and social change on the basis that we can learn far more from expanding our horizons. Some examples of people who have benefitted from our classes include:
Writers, artists, or expressive arts facilitators
Team leaders and managers
Therapists, realtors, and others ready to expand from one-on-one work to groups
Community and neighborhood leaders
City, county, or state staff
Clergy and spiritual teachers
Classroom teachers and college faculty
Join Us For a Free Discovery Call
About Your Facilitation Path
We're delighted to visit with you one-on-one to find out more about your facilitation experience, goals, questions, and quandaries. Our 20-minute Discovery Calls with one of us are a chance for us think through, discuss, and dream on your facilitation possibilities. We also can talk about your questions about our upcoming classes.
About Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg & Joy Roulier Sawyer
With more than 50+ years of multi-venue experience between us, we're passionate about empowering you to do excellent facilitation work in your community--and to help you earn a "right livelihood" (as the Buddhists would say) as you do so!
Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, founder of Transformative Language Arts, she has been leading community creative, healing, and social change arts workshops for years, and she's trained and supervised many graduate students in facilitation. She studied meeting facilitation and organizational development through Quaker, bioregional, and grassroots traditions and teachers, and over the last 30 years, she's facilitated hundreds of meetings for groups and businesses and trained dozens of community groups and entrepreneurs. She is the past Kansas Poet Laureate and author of 24 books of poetry, fiction, and memoir. Read more here.
Joy Roulier Sawyer has been facilitating counseling groups, community gatherings, spiritual congregations, and writing workshops since 1995. A retired licensed professional counselor and poetry/journal therapist and supervisor, she now uses her therapeutic expertise to facilitate writing outreaches to those experiencing homelessness, mental health challenges, addiction, and women transitioning out of incarceration. A widely-published author and poet, she recently revised and updated the third edition of Biblio/Poetry Therapy: The Interactive Process, a seminal textbook for writing and healing practitioners. Read more here.
Transformative Classes That Meet You Where You Are
You can take one or more of our four-week classes from wherever you are! Our online and Zoom-based approaches provide you with ample guidance, supportive interaction with peers, ampe resources, and real-time human interaction. You'll also have access to our facilitation sources hub, a private online center with best practices bundles for workshops and meetings, plus links to tried-and-true and cutting-edge resources. Complete all four classes and earn a certificate in the Art of Facilitation.
Good Facilitation = Better Meetings, Workshops, Retreats & More
Let's make the most of our work together through more focused, productive meetings and more transformative workshops, classes and retreats. Our classes embrace both meeting and workshop facilitation because creative approaches enhance meetings, and people who do workshops find value in good meetings. See our four classes here, plus information on taking all four.
Welcoming & Inclusive
Workshops & Meetings
Sept. 11 - Oct. 15, 2022
Transforming Conflict & Challenges in Workshops
Nov. 13 - Dec. 10, 2022
How to Design Transformative
Workshops & Meetings
Oct. 16 - Nov. 12, 2022
Workshops & Meetings That
Change You & the World
Jan. 8 - Feb. 4, 2023
Visiting Podcast Teachers
We're thrilled to feature guest podcast teachers -- visionary facilitators in the arts, business, and nonprofits -- who share their wisdom, advice, and insights in special podcast interviews with Joy and Caryn just for students in our classes. Guest teachers include -- from left -- Bea Briggs, Vi Train, Marianela Medrano, Jerry Jost, Vanita Leatherwood, Caleb Winebrenner, Seema Reza, Callid Keefe-Perry, Suzi Q. Smith, and Ken Lassman. Read all about them here.