March is a busy month for training, with our workplace mediation program coming to a close while the next in-person in Green Gulch, California, gets ready to begin. This month, we are looking toward the future with an eye toward growth, adaptability, and sustainability as we open our board to new members that can bring new perspectives while helping advance the understanding-based approach to conflict. 

For those on the East Coast who have taken our training, we invite you to help us get the word out about our Working Creatively with Conflict: 40-hour Conflict Resolution and Mediation training in White Plains, New York, beginning May 3rd. Word of mouth is our most vital form of outreach, and we appreciate your help in sharing this program with others who could benefit.

Thank you to our program participants, teacher trainees, and CUC Connect members for your support and efforts to bring understanding to conflict in the legal, professional, and personal spaces.

Katherine Miller



The Center for Understanding in Conflict seeks new members to join our Board of Directors. The Board meets on the second Wednesday of each month, and the time commitment is approximately 2-5 hours per month.

We are particularly looking for individuals with a financial, mental health, ombuds and/or human resources background. Most importantly, we seek people familiar with the Center's training and enthusiastic about the understanding-based model. Experience with and interest in non-profit governance is helpful for the Board's work of making thoughtful strategic decisions on behalf of the organization. People of color, LGBTQI+ people, and people with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply. We do not have set expected financial contributions or donation requirements for board members. If you are interested and want more details, please complete a questionnaire and send a resume and a short narrative/statement of interest to

After we've collected responses, we will ask select candidates to meet with the Board for 10-15 minutes for a discussion, most likely the week of March 27. We expect to get in touch about scheduling those discussions around March 8.



The New Rules of Divorce: Twelve Secrets to Protecting Your Wealth, Health, and Happiness By Jacqueline Newman

By James Dykeman

Just as the Understanding-Based Model of conflict resolution was initially born out of a desire to provide an alternative to longstanding assumptions about settling disputes at the barrel of the court system, new and innovative approaches to overcoming the challenges of divorce have evolved over the years to meet the change in family dynamics. Financial considerations, where favor lies by custody determinations, and even the definition of the modern family have changed in America.

Author Jacqueline Newman, who is also the managing partner of the matrimonial law firm Berkman Bottger Newman & Schein LLP in New York City, has written a humorous, insightful, and utterly relevant guide in The New Rules of Divorce: Twelve Secrets to Protecting Your Wealth, Health, and Happiness. Newman’s 12 steps, or secrets, gleaned from decades of experience in litigation, collaborative law, and mediation, tackles topics that couples may not have considered when thinking about divorce through the lens of how things used to be rather than how they are today.



Whispers in a Headwind: Making Space for Different Voices

By James Dykeman

Many people understand that when the boss is in the room, that person holds sway, at least in a workplace setting, with many other hierarchies to be aware of, formal and informal. Outside of apparent hierarchies in legal and professional spheres, a common assumption could be that in a room of people, all are equal when speaking up and speaking out. The reality, though, can be far more complex. Even absent formal authority, a host of personality traits can define the social rules of engagement in ways that participants may not even be conscious of it. Others may be pushed aside or caused to wither, even when they are shouting inside.

In conflict situations, where two people or groups are already at odds in a highly charged, adversarial state, these personality traits can create added complexity for everyone involved and derail any likelihood of a resolution, especially a mutually beneficial one. Of course, it is easy to understand that a loud-mouthed hothead will take over the room and bully someone with their assumed air of gravitas and certitude. That is undoubtedly one personality type to identify and understand. Many other personality types and dynamics are also at play, which can be harder to see and wreak havoc on even the most well-intentioned conflict resolution professionals’ efforts to find an amicable solution, even at times within the person charged with helping guide the conversation.



Mediating in the Digital Space

A lot has changed in the past few years, and video conferencing technology has increasingly become the standard for conflict resolution and mediation practitioners to work with clients.

Join attorney, mediator, and teacher Hansa Patel on The Other Chair as she discusses best practices for navigating this relatively new medium, overcoming technical issues, and maintaining authentic and meaningful connections with the people no matter where they may be when it comes time to tackle the conflict between them. 



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

East Coast - White Plains, NY

May 3 - 7

West Coast - Green Gulch, CA

March 23 - 26

November 15 - 19 


Sept. 27 & 28 and Oct. 5 - 7

Your Next Steps:

Launching Your Understanding-Based ADR Work

You have taken a conflict resolution training and want to add consensual dispute resolution to your existing practice or start a new practice, what next?

This three-part series will help you explore your motivations, professional goals, opportunities and challenges. This will be an interactive process with exercises and briefings on practical aspects of starting and/or incorporating ADR into a practice or your work and bringing people in the door. You will leave with a concrete action plan to develop the next phase of your work.




Every individual who walks into a conflict resolution process brings their style quirks and ways of relating to others. When pairs or groups form, unique patterns of interaction develop between them. How can we support a process that acknowledges the power dynamics created by these personality differences and relationship patterns and create the opportunity for parties to negotiate a sustainable agreement and possibly even change their relationship?

Join Catherine Conner and Melanie to learn about building awareness, identifying patterns, developing a process for managing internal reactions, and best practices for guiding change through personality differences.


Resources come in many forms, not just material possessions. In a conflict, the party with more knowledge, time, money, social capital, or something else can wield outsized control and power in the process and outcome.

Join Katherine Miller and Gary Friedman on April 18th to learn what we, as conflict professionals, can do to create balance, ensure active, meaningful participation in the process, and promote developments that serve both parties.



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

CUC Connect Members

March Featured Webinar

What might you be missing and what can you do differently that will enable you to help your clients solve their problems and bring you greater job satisfaction?

Katherine Miller discusses 3 mistakes that you are probably making that are getting in the way of more satisfying results.

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