Collective Voices provides a structured approach to interrupting cycles of misunderstanding by seeking to understand the issues underlying conflict, harm, and strained dynamics. My methods begin with building relationships and trust. Together, we uncover what lies at the root of the dynamics.
Collective Voices offers an innovative approach to clients: limited engagement (for Family Circles and Conflict & Repair Dialogue - typically 3 to 10 sessions), an objective facilitator for your sessions, adaptable custom-designed trainings for what your group needs, and tools and resources to help maintain open, honest, and safe communication.
I use facilitated dialogue to address tension-filled and emotionally-charged topics as a step on the path towards restored relationships. Conflict and harm can be protected by silence, and silence is a protector of many forms of abuse, violence, and relational dynamics that hamper people’s ability to overcome challenges and sustain wellness. My work is grounded in a restorative framework. Restorative practices are a process aimed at healing and promoting peace rather than deepening harm, conflicts, and wounds. These practices empower and build the capacity of
within people to identify and solve their own problems. In short, restorative
services have been found to be more effective and successful for healing and redirection than their counterparts.
"If you're like most people, you probably seek first to be understood; you want to get your point across. And in doing so, you may ignore the other person completely, pretend that you're listening, selectively hear only certain parts of the conversation or attentively focus on only the words being said, but miss the meaning entirely. So why does this happen? Because most people listen with the intent to reply, not to understand. You listen to yourself as you prepare in your mind what you are going to say, the questions you are going to ask, etc. You filter everything you hear through your life experiences, your frame of reference. You check what you hear against your autobiography and see how it measures up. And consequently, you decide prematurely what the other person means before he/she finishes communicating. If I were to summarize in one sentence the single most important principle I have learned in the field of interpersonal relations, it would be this: Seek first to understand, then to be understood."
~ Dr. Stephen Covey, American educator, author, businessman, and speaker.
Many communities and individuals are deeply affected by systemic and generational cycles of conflict, violence, and harm that shock one's sense of self, security, and connection with others. Healing and connection are needs that all people have in common. During facilitated and safe dialogue, each person’s narrative, story, and perspective is viewed as essential to their truth (their position, feelings, and needs.)
Dialogue is a guided approach to healing and restorative action. It enables communities and individuals affected by systemic and generational cycles of conflict, violence, and harm to experience renewed sense of self, security, and connection with others. Words carry power. Learning to speak and listen to what is both being said beyond simply the words (to the underlying feelings and needs of others) can help mend broken relationships, clarify misunderstandings, and allow for sustained healing.