Listening Councils

 

A Circle for Conflict Resolution, Personal Growth and Community Healing

 

Vision

 

We envision a world where communities provide love, support and deep compassion to those in conflict and/or personal crisis. We envision a community where everyone feels like an insider, everyone’s gifts are seen, valued and contribute to the wholeness and health of the community.

 

What we offer

 

We work as a team or individually, facilitating Listening Councils. If you are in a conflict and would like a Listening Council for yourself, or if you are in a situation involving others that also are interested in a resolution, we would hold Listening Councils with all involved parties separately and then together.

 

What they look like

 

Listening Councils consist of anywhere from 3-10 people including at least one trained facilitator. Specific listeners may be invited by the person requesting the council, or facilitators will provide trained listeners. Councils may meet only once, or several times as in the case of conflicts with others. Each council generally lasts between 1-2 hours.

 

Training in Listening Councils

 

We also can come to your community and teach this method of conflict resolution. Let us know, if you are interested in learning

  • how to set this up, how the Listening Councils are facilitated,
  • how the listeners in the council are trained, and
  • how to make this service available in your community.

 

History

 

Listening Councils were started after 9/11 as a new model for healing conflicts within our communities. Brian Berman along with Therese Charvet developed this model seeing the need to listen to the suffering of those in conflict, and as a means of preventing future violence. Listening Councils offer

  • a safe place to express emotions,
  • are an opportunity for the depth of the difficulty or conflict to be revealed and accepted,
  • a way to get through the suffering into a new freedom where the gifts of the situation can be identified and appreciated.

Contact us for more information.

 

Intentions

 

• To create a new approach to conflict resolution

• To create a healing environment, a safe space where transformation can occur

• To offer Compassionate Listening rather than advice and problem-solving

• To help each person discover his/her own inner wisdom

• To dig deeply into what is underneath conflicts and challenges

• To see what there is to learn in challenges and conflicts; to “find the pearl”

• To identify and release blame and judgment toward oneself and others

• To help speakers to identify and articulate unmet needs

• To catalyze growth, spiritual, and emotional evolution

• To heal the isolation of modern communities

 

Values

 

Listening Council is not aligned with any particular religion or brand of spirituality; it is not therapy. It is built on the following universal truths:

• Full hearted listening generates healing, transformative energy

• Challenges and conflicts provide an opportunity for self-discovery

• The outer life is a reflection of the inner life

• A common cause of suffering is personal thought patterns that hold us as “victim”

• Humility, acknowledging how much we do not know, is a key to conflict resolution

• Personal freedom comes from forgiveness and reconciliation

• The heart, not the head, is the place for healing to happen

• Mindfulness is an essential pathway to healing

• Nonjudgmental peer listening models how to be compassionate with ourselves

• Acceptance of “What is” is the key to healing

• We are all both students and teachers in the lessons of life

 

Next Steps

 

We offer skilled leadership and facilitation training for communities that want to start Art of Listening practice groups and Listening Councils.

Contact us. http://dev.bermanhealingarts.com/?page_id=58  for more information.

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