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Transforming Conflicts

Experiential training

Minimum 2 hours

In this training, you will explore conflict through exercises, games, theory, and discussion. You will gain an awareness of your own reactions to conflict and learn how your response can influence the outcome of a dispute. This interactive training will give you specific skills and knowledge of alternative approaches that will help you in resolving both personal and professional disagreements.


Conflict is a part of life. They are often catalysts for change and bring forth innovation. Conversely, they could wreak havoc in our lives and cause tremendous harm. Conflicts are stressful, and the cumulative effects of long-term conflicts have a profound impact on our minds and bodies. Getting beyond what the conflict is about and looking at how we engage with it is essential to resolve it. Raising the awareness of how we deal with conflicts can greatly change the outcome.

We are culturally patterned to bring disputes to attorneys, taking the power to make decisions out of our hands. This system encourages competition, and situations quickly become a “zero-sum” game in which there is a winner and a loser. Everyone hopes to be the winner, but there is no guarantee. Competitive environments discourage mutual understanding: the focus becomes what we want and what the conflict is about, rather than why we want what we want and how we are going about getting it. While some conflicts need advocacy, many could be resolved if we had the skills and understood
the "how."

Developing an awareness of our conflict behavioral tendencies and fine-tuning our listening skills are some of the basic, but powerful tools that one can develop. We listen to respond rather than to understand. Just a simple change in how we listen could shift the dynamic of the conflict. As chaotic and terrifying as conflicts can be, we can develop some comfort and the capacity to be more fluent and skilled communicators. 

Secondary Trauma and Self-care

Experiential training

Minimum 2 hours

This training uses restorative justice principals and process to create a supportive environment for our work. You will learn about secondary trauma and its exposure signs, and, through small and large discussions, you will have the opportunity to reflect on your work and on your work environment. A series of somatic exercises will bring your attention to the mind/body connection. You will find ways to step into strategizing and deepening your self-care.  

When we care for those going through trauma, whether at work or at home, we are profoundly affected. Having an empathetic engagement with trauma transforms us. Over time, we may begin to experience specific emotions from hopelessness to guilt, endure physical symptoms or even develop chronic illnesses. Unless we learn to metabolize the trauma we absorb from our clients or colleagues, it becomes difficult to maintain the balance we need to be our best. We can muscle through our days using sophisticated coping strategies, but how do we move beyond coping to developing deeper resiliency—emotional, intellectual, physical, and spiritual—so that we may continue to care for others in a sustainable way? 


The vicarious effects of trauma show up in specific ways. Learning what they look like and recognizing their impact on
us is the first step. For those of us who work in fields where
the the suffering of our clients mirrors the suffering we ourselves endured, we are at once resilient and vulnerable. Reflecting on our intention to serve and understanding how our service may trigger and/or strengthen us will show the way to reconciling the effects of secondary trauma. One of the most important steps is to assess how we care for ourselves. From the simple act of conscious breathing to a daily practice of taking care of ourselves, finding ways to center ourselves is essential if we are to continue supporting others from a place of joy and gratitude. Sustainability depends on continued acts of self-care. 

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