Emil Aarseth on Acem’s Training in Interpersonal Communication:

“I went to the course as one person and came back somewhat changed. In a sense, I’ve become a different person. I think I understand both myself and others better now. I also see better how I function in my relationships with others, and I’ve become much more aware of the importance of good interpersonal relationships. This will certainly influence me in many situations outside the course.”

Emil Aarseth lives in Oslo, where he works as an architect. In 2019, he signed up for Acem’s Training in Interpersonal Communication. It turned out to be an overwhelming and groundbreaking experience.

Behind the words, between the lines

“I’ve taken the opportunity to practice how I can be more direct with others. I’ve never done that before to the same extent. In addition, I got a lot of training in how to listen to others—to understand what lies behind the words and between the lines, not always taking what people say at face value.”

Which part of the course was most important?

“For me, definitely the communication groups. Eight participants and two leaders sat in a circle with no set agenda. At first, we were cautious, but as the process evolved, we became much more open toward each other, and many personal themes began to emerge. I received more direct feedback on how I function than I’ve ever experienced before. We ended up being very honest with each other.

There were many different program activities. Even in everyday situations, in dialogue with another person or when the group was having a meal together, we couldn’t just turn off the process. It was extremely intensive!”

What it means to be human

What do you take home from the course?

“A better understanding not only of myself and others but also of what it means to be a human being. Not all of this is easy to put into words, but I can make use of it in many different situations in my life ahead: at work, with family and friends, and even with people I meet for the first time.

I would never have missed this opportunity, and I definitely want to continue what’s been started. It feels very meaningful.”

Read more about the training.

Language editor: Ann Kunish