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Self-Reflection for Conflict Professionals Intensive (SCPI) 2024

January 20 at 9:00 am - June 8 at 12:00 pm PST

CUC invites you to join our first online introductory cohort of SCPI, where conflict resolution professionals commit to exploring together practices of self-reflection that are constructive for ourselves and productive for our clients.

Together we will:
  • Learn about compassionately connecting with and understanding, in the context of our various histories, positions, and intersections,  our deeper impulses fueling our commitment to working with people in conflict.
  • Recognize barriers to self-understanding and constructive presence, such as general reactivity, judgment, insecurity, anger, or the desire for control.
  • Work with those barriers in ways that bring us closer to ourselves and our clients.
  • Explore SCPI concepts and skills through the specific experiences of cohort participants.
  • Discuss how to integrate inner experience and external action.
Participants will practice various self-reflection methods during six group online sessions over six months (approximately 1 three hour group session monthly) and in-between sessions individually (daily) and 1-1 peer meetings (weekly).
This program is for anyone whose work includes helping people navigate conflicts, including mediators in various community and professional contexts, human resource managers, team leaders, volunteer coordinators, ombudspersons, lawyers, mental health and financial and fiduciary professionals, and other similar professionals. Participants can be previously trained in or identified with the CUC understanding-based model, but it is not a requirement.
While we wish that everyone who wishes to attend could, there will be a limited number of participants to ensure everyone has an impactful and productive experience and maintain strong connections between group members.


9:00 AM – 12:00 PM PST on the following dates in 2024:

January 20th
February 10th
March 8th**
April 26th**
May 11th
June 8th
All dates are Saturdays except those marked**, which are Fridays.


The cost will be $750 per participant for the 6-month program.
Participants will also need to access for themselves:
  • A copy of Inside Out: How Conflict Professionals Can Use Self-Reflection to Help Their Clients, by Gary Friedman. Paper copies are available for purchase through online stores for approximately $35 – 55.
  • Their own self-selected or crafted paper journal for use throughout the program.


Registration is now closed. Please email [email protected] to inquire about the waitlist. Thank you for your interest!



Heba Nimr has worked in various capacities for more than 30 years with families and organizations challenging systemic barriers to equity, as well as navigating interpersonal conflicts and abuse. Heba brings and builds on those experiences in her current practice, based in Oakland for ten years and counting, as a lawyer and mediator focused primarily in the areas of family law, and life, legacy and death planning.  She has particular strength and interest in conflict resolution in multicultural and multilingual settings.


Gary J. Friedman has been practicing law as a mediator with Mediation Law Offices in Mill Valley, California since 1976, integrating mediative principles into the practice of law and the resolution of legal disputes. Co-founder of the Center for Understanding in Conflict (formerly the Center for Mediation in Law), he has been teaching mediation since 1980. Prior to his work as a mediator, he practiced law as a trial lawyer with Friedman and Friedman in Bridgeport, Connecticut. After several years as an advocate, he sought a new approach to resolving disputes through increasing the participation of the parties in the resolution of their differences. At that time, he and his colleague, Jack Himmelstein, began to develop the Understanding-based model that is now practiced extensively in the United States and Europe.


Norman Fischer is a poet, author, Zen Buddhist priest and former abbot of the San Francisco Zen Center. As founder of the Everyday Zen Foundation (www.everydayzen.org), his work with meditation practice has taken him into many corners of contemporary American life including the arts, education, hospice training, education, and lawyering as a spiritual path. Recently, he began offering meditation training to engineers at Google. Norman has worked with the Center for Understanding in Conflict on inquiries that focus on bringing the calmness and insight of meditation practice directly into conflict situations. Norman has written 29 books. His latest books are Untitled Series: Life As It is and The World Could Be Otherwise: Imagination and the Bodhisattva Path.


Hansa Patel is an attorney, mediator, and teacher.  As an attorney, Hansa zealously advocated for abused and neglected children or defended their parents’ rights in the San Francisco juvenile dependency court for fourteen years.  Hansa is passionate about serving the underprivileged community.  Feeling depleted by the court system, Hansa explored new ways to empower her clients to resolve conflict.  Mediation empowers Hansa’s clients to choose how they want to engage with conflict, co-create resolutions, and even transform a relationship.  In the USA, Canada, and Africa, Hansa teaches mediation, including integrating mindfulness skills into conflict resolution.  Hansa wants her clients to have the same tools she cultivates in her children:  a mindful approach to resolving challenges in life.


Jennifer Sullivan is a mediator, facilitator, and litigator who brings the power of understanding to her work. Jennifer’s background as a commercial litigator informs her focus on mediating civil and business disputes. She presents and teaches regularly on mediation techniques, is a member of the ADR Section of the Colorado Bar Association; a co-owner of a litigation, mediation, and corporate boutique law firm; and is the Senior Assistant Dean for Administration and Program Development at the University of Colorado Law School. She is a strong believer in second chances and is involved in a Boulder non-profit that supports formerly incarcerated individuals who are re-entering society.


January 20 at 9:00 am PST
June 8 at 12:00 pm PST
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Center for Understanding in Conflict