Our Work


Our Practice

Our root practice is the Relational Inquiry Approach, an emerging modality that combines elements of Circling, Authentic Relating, Shadow work and Jungian Psychology, and Internal Family Systems (IFS).

The search for meaning and depth is something that drives all humans, and the more we live into our potential and begin to self-actualize, the more that quest becomes the guide for our whole lives.

Our mission is to create a more compassionate and empowered world through training courageous leaders in the arts of effective communication and group facilitation.

The Connection Institute specializes in teaching leaders how to leverage their passion for personal development to create a career through teaching what they know and love.

We train leaders who are passionate about helping others and we are committed to serving these brave souls on this journey.


What is


A relational, in-the-moment, presence-based group conversation and meditation with intent for “shared reality”.

Circling is a form of meditation. As such, it involves bringing attention to what is arising in the present moment, welcoming everything – even resistance to what is arising – without trying to change it.

It is also relational. Therefore, what we attend most closely to – rather than the breath or a mantra – is the experience of being with, the quality of the relationship, the feeling-flavor of the moment in connection. (Or disconnection – what’s that like? Noticing.) 

Our Practice


What are

Authentic Relating Games?

Authentic Relating Games are a collection of extensively tested, masterfully led experiences that give players a hands-on taste of both the joy and skills of interpersonal connection. 

Authentic Relating uses exercises, or games, to teach and facilitate the skills, like curiosity and empathy, necessary to quickly create deep, meaningful human connection. In a period when loneliness is increasing, as our avenues for connecting expand, practitioners tell me they are drawn to a community that makes conversing and relating with one another an intentional activity—one with guidelines and structure designed to elicit intimacy. 

We challenge you to listen and reflect in realtime, to share your emotional state, to notice and reach into your desire, and to become self-aware within connection. From meditative depths of presence and ecstatic heights of joy, to somber melancholy and heart-pounding fun, we guide an experience all the way through the human condition.

Our Practice

Our Story

The Connection Institute was founded 2016 by Peter Benjamin and began as a small group of facilitators running public events on relational intelligence a few times a week in Somerville, MA.

Week after week, the community grew with more and more people that wanted to step into a deeper, more real way of relating. As we grew and spread our reach with intensives and trainings across the United States, we found that more people were hungry for this kind of work and access to each other than we could serve.

This April 2021, we launched our new modality, the Relational Inquiry Approach, and are rebranding ourselves as the Relational Leadership Academy to integrate our other inspirations and modalities to create a comprehensive training for leaders.



"We filled these events in my living room on couches, cushions and floor jacks with several young, vibrant millennials tired of impersonal online dating culture and boring networking events."

-Peter (left)

circling w peter.jpg

Our Mission:

Our mission is to create a more compassionate and empowered world through training courageous leaders in the arts of effective communication and group facilitation.