Hello Friends and Supporters,

Summer is a time for reflection and preparation, so a review of Inside Out seemed appropriate as we plan to announce our next SCPI and Teacher Training program for 2024.

Our podcast interview this month features a special guest from a youth mediation center in India, which is championing the understanding-based approach, and our featured article explores why non-directive techniques are crucial to guiding parties in conflict to find a resolution together rather than leading them to a solution. Amanda Ripley, author of High Conflict, and Gary Friedman are working on a project inviting community members to participate in free conflict coaching with Gary to help address conflict encountered in everyday life.

Our September MIT Online program is just about 90 days away, with space available if you know someone who can benefit from our flagship training program in an online format, broken up over two weeks to accommodate busy professional schedules.

I hope everyone finds some time to relax and reflect in the summer sun, and as always, don't hesitate to reach out if the Center can support your conflict resolution journey.

James Dykeman

Executive Director


Inside Out: How Conflict Professionals Can Use Self-Reflection to Help Their Clients by Gary J. Friedman

Inside Out is an insightful and thought-provoking book authored by a renowned expert in conflict resolution. This book serves as a valuable guide to understanding the crucial role of self-reflection in helping clients navigate challenging conflicts with a focus on the personal and internal dimensions of conflict resolution. When working with clients, Friedman emphasizes the importance of conflict professionals examining their biases, beliefs, and emotional responses. By delving into self-reflection, practitioners can better understand their triggers and how they may influence their interventions. This awareness ultimately enhances their ability to guide clients and effectively manage conflicts neutrally and empathetically.

Written in an engaging and accessible way, Inside Out makes the concepts and ideas presented throughout easily relatable, and real-life case studies and practical examples effectively demonstrate the application of self-reflection techniques in conflict resolution scenarios. These anecdotes help readers connect theory to practice, making the book a valuable resource for experienced professionals and those new to the field. One of the most compelling aspects of this book is its emphasis on the interconnectedness of personal and professional growth.



A Thousand Doors: Only Those in Conflict Know Which One Will Lead Them Out

The role of a mediator in conflict resolution is to facilitate productive communication and guide parties toward finding mutually acceptable solutions. Understanding-based mediators avoid telling people what to do, opting for non-directive techniques that empower the parties involved. This approach recognizes the transformative potential of giving individuals the power themselves, allowing them to shape the outcome of their conflict resolution process. The understanding-based model is rooted in the belief that individuals can understand their needs and interests better than anyone else. By refraining from imposing solutions, mediators create an environment that encourages active participation and ownership from the parties. This approach recognizes that the parties are the experts in their own lives, experiences, and perspectives.

Mediators who resist the urge to provide solutions or advice foster trust and respect from parties while creating an environment where concerns, motivations, and underlying interests can be deeply understood while actively listening and empathizing with the parties. This approach allows mediators to guide the conversation toward uncovering common ground, exploring potential options, and jointly developing creative solutions. 



Leading Change in India through Mediation with Guest Aditya Aryan

On this episode of The Other Chair, guest Aditya Arryan, mediator and chief of staff for YCM, talks about the work members are doing to create a culture of dispute prevention and resolution in India through co-creating conflict management policies, providing training, and mediation and conflict coaching services to uplift the community and avoid a difficult to access legal system which can take decades to give a ruling.

YCM is India's first conflict management and mediation center for youth focused on promoting a more just and equitable future through understanding-based conflict resolution and prevention.


Want to share your experience bringing together parties in conflict? Contact


Looking for (pro bono) help with a conflict in your life or work?

We all have conflicts in our lives and work. And unfortunately, we can’t always bring in an outside mediator.

So what then?

Gary Friedman is looking for people who might be interested in one-on-one conflict coaching to help them navigate a work or personal conflict on their own.

He may use what he learns from the coaching to help inform his next book, including a possible podcast in cooperation with Good Conflict (co-founded by journalist Amanda Ripley, who wrote about Gary in her book High Conflict).


Working Creatively with Conflict

40-Hour Basic Mediation and Conflict Resolution Training

Our flagship experiential certificate training program centered around the Understanding-Based Model. 

Realistic simulations, in which participants work through mediations from beginning to end, with coaching from our teachers, offer participants the chance to hone their skills and experience the emotional challenges faced by parties in dispute. Participants describe these different learning modes and their interplay as enjoyable, engaging, and rewarding.

2023 Training Dates

West Coast - Green Gulch, CA

November 15 - 19 


Sept. 27 & 28 and Oct. 5 - 7



Explore why understanding-based mediators refrain from telling people what to do and uncover the transformative potential of giving the power to the parties, using non-directive techniques rather than imposing solutions. Even when we might really want to step into the driver’s seat, supporting individuals to take ownership of the decisions will foster more lasting resolutions.

Join Catherine Conner and a guest speaker on July 11, 2023 and gain a deeper understanding of why it’s worth taking a consistently non-coercive approach and how we can do it.



Explore the transformative impact of integrating conflict resolution and mediation practices within your organization while fostering a culture of open communication, looping, and collaborative problem-solving to enhance employee morale, increase productivity, and create a harmonious work environment.

Join Catherine Conner and Pat Lau August 24, 2023 and learn practical strategies that empower teams to address conflicts constructively, resulting in improved teamwork, reduced stress, and enhanced organizational effectiveness.


Delve into the critical importance of organizations adopting a measured and informed approach to conflict resolution, shed light on the detrimental consequences of mishandling conflicts, and highlight the value of proactive and strategic interventions.

Join Katherine Miller and Jennifer Sullivan on September 11, 2023 to learn how conflict assessment tools and effective communication strategies can support a conflict resolution culture, which helps teams unite when faced with stressful situations that could threaten an organization.


Support the Center for Understanding in Conflict with a CUC Connect Membership and enjoy free interactive webinars, training discounts, and more!

CUC Connect Members

July Featured Webinar

A common question and concern of mediators is how they can maintain their neutrality, particularly when strong emotions are either pulling the mediator towards a party or pushing the mediator away from a party. 

In this webinar, Gary Friedman and Catherine Conner will discuss positive neutrality, moving towards each party to strengthen the mediator's connection to and understanding of each party.


The Center for Understanding in Conflict, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Learn how to support our efforts to bring together parties in conflict.

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