Free From Conflict; Collective Trauma, Conflict Resolution and Communication

Free from Conflict Workshops /trainings are for everyone who desires to resolve conflicts- large or small, at the spousal, family, community, national or at the international level, as well as to be a great communicator. The program is particularly relevant for mediators, community leaders, journalists, diplomats, peace activists, psychotherapists, family lawyers, clergy and SEPs.

These workshops offer a new paradigm to understand and resolve conflicts successfully. In order to communicate effectively during conflicts taking place across cultural and other differences we need to be able to listen attentively and openly and with calm, free of overwhelming emotions.  We need to know how to calm ourselves when our emotions take over; understand our needs and worldview and those of the adversary. We need to identify our commonalities, our differences and incompatibilities, and learn to use words that reach reason and heart.

Free from Conflict Workshops comprises of two parts: EmotionAid and Universal Basic Needs (UBN).


Role of the Nervous System in Conflict Resolution

Our individual and collective nervous systems are constantly adjusting to our feelings of safety or threat in different situations. When they are thrown off-balance and our Universal Basic Needs are not met, either as individuals, or as groups or nations, we lose control over our physical, emotional, mental states and over our behavior; and resort to harmful ways of meeting our needs.

At individual or collective levels, we become easily triggered and unable to handle strong emotions in ourselves or in others; we go through intense and exaggerated feelings and actions, or feelings of numbness and passivity. We cannot contain our frustrations. Our thinking becomes confused. We become inflexible, obsessive, extreme and critical. We either communicate our needs harshly and aggressively, unleashing backlash against us, or in meek ways, attracting predatory behavior. We assert ourselves in a demanding way or we freeze, in both instances unable to manage our needs, feelings and ideas calmly or firmly. We easily fall into conflicts and become mired in the trauma vortex.

When our individual and collective nervous systems are balanced and we feel grounded, we function better at all levels: our thinking is clear and flexible. We manage difficult emotions in ourselves and in others well; and we handle frustrations and difficulties without dysfunction.  Our actions are appropriate and constructive. We are able to recognize our needs and those of “the other”. We are able to communicate successfully: we can assert our needs- meeting them in healthy ways, and managing the feelings that come up; we can communicate our ideas calmly and firmly and hear those of the other calmly and openly. We successfully manage conflict, and avoid intractable ones.

EmotionAid is our ticket to diminish the impact of the trauma vortex. This vortex has a life of its own but also will eventually run out of steam: it is important to catch it before it ravages individuals and society.  We must discharge the threat and trauma energy and recover healthy instincts of survival or the spiral will be re-triggered over and over if left unresolved.

Universal Basic Needs (UBN)

The program of Universal Basic Needs is composed of three parts: Universal basic needs and their distortions by trauma, cross-cultural understanding and communication skills.

Recognizing Threatened Needs:

Unmet needs already generate tension, anxiety, and helplessness. Added to trauma-driven fear and anger, they create a foundation of frustration turned into rage, hatred and disgust, which creates a deep sense of separation and alienation.

The path to humanize the “adversary other” is to recognize the universal basic needs (UBN) in oneself and in “the other;” to make an honest self- assessment of our priorities, aversions and attractions, blind spots and boundaries and to discover the same for “the other.” The techniques for recognizing the UBN can be done individually or collectively.