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Building Bridges, Managing Conflict: What We Can Learn from Neuroscience


A one-day training sponsored by the Oregon Mediation Association, Friday, June 17th, 2011,  8:00 a.m. – Networking & Check-in; 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. – Training

Westminster Presbyterian Church, 1624 NE Hancock, Portland

NASW CEUs and Oregon State Bar CLEs are pending.

This exciting workshop is perfect for people who are curious about how our minds impact our conflicts, and you don’t have to have any previous background or interest in science or neuroscience to enjoy the session! This cutting-edge workshop draws on expertise from the fields of neurobiology, mediation, law, communication and social work to help you look at conflict and conflict management through the lens of neuroscience.   The human brain is continuously in action, sending both conscious and subconscious physical, chemical and emotional cues for behavior.   It is also remarkably flexible with an amazing ability to grow, learn new patterns, and shift from fear and anger to creativity and resolution.   What happens in the brain when a person experiences conflict?  What happens in your brain when you try to help others solve conflicts? What can neuroscience teach us about how to facilitate conflict resolution?  What lessons does the brain have for preventing future conflicts?   Explore these questions and learn how to integrate practical tools into your daily work, increasing your ability to help others shift from “stuck” to engaged. 

Who Should Attend -  Community activists, social workers, non-profit staff, mediators, attorneys, therapists, counselors, managers, human resource staff, and other professionals who help people manage conflicts. 

Workshop Objectives

  • Identify major areas of the brain and how they function and influence conflict.
  • Understand how subconscious or involuntary physical, chemical and psychological responses impact us and how we respond to conflict.
  • Recognize the brains’ distress signals in ourselves and in others.
  • Identify how the brain communicates & learns, and how that’s affected by stress, fear and conflict.
  • Explore the impact of our brains’ processes on acting ethically during conflict and mediation.
  • Use knowledge of neuroscience to craft new solutions and methods of solving conflicts.

Presenters: Lydia Byhardt Bollinger, MSW, LCSW & Erin Ruff, J.D. - Lydia Byhardt Bollinger is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with certificates in both Marriage & Family Therapy and Trauma Counseling, and has extensive training in child development, grief and loss, and interpersonal neurobiology.  She has trained many groups including parents, teachers, public employees, and supervisors to incorporate neuroscience into their professional and personal lives.  Erin Ruff is a conflict resolution specialist, mediator, trainer, and public policy advocate.  She worked with the Oregon courts for 12 years, serving as the Oregon Judicial Department’s primary conflict resolution expert.

Registration & Fees

Register soon. This training will likely fill to capacity!

OMA Members: no lunch: $115 until June 7; $125 after June 7 

OMA Members: with lunch: $126 until June 7; $136 after June 7

Non-OMA Members: no lunch: $155 until June 7; $165 after June 7

Non-OMA Members: with lunch: $166 until June 7; $176 after June 7

Fulltime Students: A limited number of discounted registrations ($65) are available for fulltime students until June 1st. Contact [email protected] first to see whether any student slots are still available.

Join OMA and take advantage of member benefits. Visit www.omediate.org and click on "Join OMA".

To register for the training, visit www.omediate.org or call (503) 872-9775.  Make checks payable to the Oregon Mediation Association, P.O. Box 40041, Portland, OR 97240. For more information, email [email protected] or call (503) 872-9775.