About Us

Put simply, Authentic Relating is a set of communication practices designed to bring us into deeper connection with ourselves, one another and the world around us.

Authentic Relating creates a safe, intentional space—rooted in play and supported by clear boundaries—to create meaningful and enjoyable connections with self and other. By learning Authentic Relating practices, you can drop your conditioned relational habits, and learn to relate with yourself and others from a deeper, more authentic expression of your truth.

This results in more meaningful relationships in all domains of life, from the bedroom to the boardroom, with intimate partners and perfect strangers and everyone in between.

Authentic Oakland is a new community where we learn about Authentic Relating, play authentic relating games and create connection.

Curious to learn more? Subscribe to our announcement list (1 – 3 emails/month) to be notified about our upcoming events.

Our Team

Ryan Brown
Lead Facilitator

Ryan is a lead facilitator of Authentic Oakland. As a lover of vulnerability and human connection, Authentic Relating was a natural match, leading him to co-facilitating as a way of being more involved and learning more. He believes practices like AR that encourage humans to really, truly connect are medicine for the ailing aspects of our culture. Since the first Authentic Oakland meetup he has been totally loving both participating and co-facilitating. He can’t wait to be able to meet in person again.

Ahran Lee
Lead Facilitator

Ahran Lee is a lead facilitator of Authentic Oakland. She’s a 1.5 Korean American multidisciplinary artist, improv actor, and event designer and facilitator based in Berkeley, California. As an active practitioner of authentic relating, cultivating interconnectedness and kinship is central to her work as an artist, facilitator, and community organizer. Ahran loves designing community spaces where she can facilitate collective creativity and vulnerable sharing to alchemize trauma into collective healing. Themes found in Ahran’s creative work range from AAPI women empowerment, raising mental health awareness, to exploring decolonization of oppressive systems. Ahran wants to be the first generation in her lineage who boldly breaks away from oppressive patterns by creating and occupying space loudly and proudly. Ahran is an energy mover. Ahran is an ancestral pattern shifter.

Dakota Quackenbush 
Lead Facilitator

Dakota has been taking up space in the Authentic Relating world for the last 5+ years. Her background working in addiction and mental health already had her rooted in vulnerability, depth, and analyzing social dynamics when she found AR. Once discovered, she quickly began incorporating this technology into her everyday living. She is actively researching Authentic Relating’s Impact on Social Emotional Skills in Intrapersonal and Interpersonal Relationships. Her focus in life is reducing stigma surrounding mental health and making authentic, vulnerable connections the norm. Dakota regularly closes her eyes to connect to her emotions and physical sensations. When she’s not facilitating connection, she can be found writing poetry, or dancing any time a beat comes on.

Aïcha Doucouré
Lead Facilitator

Aïcha is a lead facilitator of Authentic Oakland. Originally from Paris, she has lived in the USA for 19 years. As an integral coach and nonviolent communication (NVC) coach, Aïcha supports people in their human experience and personal growth. She has five years of experience doing improv and contributing to immersive experience projects. Aïcha is also co-designing a relational game-experience to be released next year. In 2022, she will be an assistant for an 8-month BayNVC Intensive immersion program with Oren Jay Sofer and Roxy Manning.

Phil Epstein

Phil is a facilitator of Authentic Oakland. As a nurse and full-time traveler, Phil is constantly meeting new people in intense situations, where small talk can more easily give way to intimate connection. He finds Authentic Relating a wonderful way of sharing and practicing this art of open, non-judgemental, reflective communication in a safe, supportive and welcoming environment.

Doug Bozick

Doug Bozick is a facilitator of Authentic Oakland. Doug became a facilitator for Authentic Oakland after attending the initial series and falling in love with the concept. After a career in corporate finance left Doug feeling burnt out, he found his current position with Global Citizen Year, a nonprofit with a mission of transforming the pathway from high school to college. He is excited to explore the practice of authentic relating further and spreading the joy to others.

Joshua Kaufman
Founder and Advisor

Joshua is on a mission to support more love and connection in the world through transformational workshops and coaching. After spending 20 years in tech as a designer and manager, he discovered Authentic Relating and was immediately intrigued by its potential to improve communication and support connection. Since then, he founded Authentic Oakland, where he was the lead facilitator during its first year, running numerous events in Bay Area, California. He’s continued his authentic relating training with Authentic Relating Training (ART) International, and is currently enrolled in their Certified Facilitator Program. In addition to his relational facilitation, he’s also an Integral Coach, certified by New Ventures West, helping people gain self-awareness, identify blind spots, navigate obstacles, and bring their whole selves to life.

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