CMM Intensive at Fielding Graduate University Summer Session in Chicago: Mindfully Engaging the Heart with CMM – from the individual to the global, and back again!

CMM Intensive at Fielding Graduate University Summer Session in Chicago: Mindfully Engaging the Heart with CMM – from the individual to the global, and back again!

By Ilene Wasserman and Bart Buechner


As we began our day together, we asked our participants why they were there. When we heard the response “my heart told me to come,” we knew it would be a special day… and it was.


We had coordinated ahead of time about what we wanted to accomplish, and had our PowerPoint deck ready. That said, we decided to let the process be shaped by who showed up, where their interests where and how they wanted to engage. We were mindful about having the process model the content and have the content name and frame the process.

Along the way, we talked about how Barnett Pearce impact on us as individuals (scholarship and practice), Fielding Graduate University, the communication field, and beyond.


Frank Barrett, Fielding Professor and Barnett’s colleague, joined with us at lunch to share his heartfelt memories of Barnett. He recalled the emotion that Barnett expressed knowing that CMM would live on in Fielding.  We shared our hope that this day was part of the process of doing that.  Frank also spoke about his current research, using examples from CMM to look at the patterns that might lead some military members to suicide. We saw, through engaging with Frank’s research, an example of how CMM can be a part of restoring meaning and healing where it is much needed.

Ilene brought a colleague from her recent trip to Israel into the room by video as another real-world example to illustrate the dynamics and complexity of social identity through the lens of social construction. Dalia Fadila, in her TEDX story, illustrated some of the complexities of identity construction in the middle east. (Dalia’s engaging talk can be viewed at


For the last episode of the day, we shifted the energy to applying the concepts to personal story one of the participants offered to the group for exploration.   Just as we began, Placida Gallegos, another Fielding faculty member, joined us. We moved deeper into the heart of the work supported by the spirit of circular questioning.  As the story unfolded, all the participants engaged with applying the concepts and tools while creating an empathic process with the generously shared story.


We ended with the shared feeling that emergence had happened, each of us walking away with something we needed (but perhaps could not put into words). We were able to be nimble with accommodating the questions, energy shifts of curiosity, confusion, clarity, and each left with new paths to explore.


More articles from the 2015 Newsletter

Honoring and Celebrating the 2015 Fellows

CMM Community Members Practicing to become a Deliberately Developmental Organization (DDO)

CMM Europe – A Day Together in Norway

Short Article on Practicing CMM Series: Co-creation, deliberate development, and practical application!

Updates about CosmoKidz

The Adler University Military Psychology Program - Considering “Cultural Competency” through the Communication Perspective

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