We are a group of passionate people, who have each experienced the limitations of the usual methods of engaging with conflicts. We want to put our common humanity first and allow that awareness to return to the forefront when dealing with conflicts.
We founded the Foundation Restorative Circles in the Netherlands because we believe that:
• recognizing our common humanity meets a fundamental common desire;
• methods of engaging with conflicts that recognize this fundamental common desire, have satisfactory and enduring results;
• everybody who wants to learn how to engage in conflicts in this restorative manner, can in effect learn how to do so;
• by allowing many to experience this process, we can contribute to a more humane manner of engaging with conflicts in society at large.
Our approach is open: we are curious to hear how you deal with conflict; what works and what doesn’t; and what you might want to change. We can share guidelines, but we do not apply a static model. We do offer the possibility of exploring together various possibilities for dealing with conflict in your own community, amongst which ‘restorative circles’. The Foundation Restorative Circles (Stichting Herstelcirkels) will gladly introduce you to this inspiring, ‘embracing’ approach to conflicts.
The Foundation Restorative Circles (Stichting Herstelcirkels) was founded in 2015.
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Who are we?
carla.houben (at) mintmediations.nl
When I first learned about Dominic Barter’s Restorative Circles, I was immediately stricken. Here there was something going on that I had never seen before1 People get a chance to express themselves fully, and by doing so reach deeper and deeper layers, become strong and clear and discover new insights about themselves and the others involved. That paves the way for a totally new conversation, with new choices and perspectives. And it has an effect, right from the start. The facilitator serves this process: calm clear water gives the purest reflections. In restorative circles, we come to the heart of the matter together. Also see: www.mintmediations.nl
Jgkieft (at) gmail.com
My first encounter with Restorative Circles, during a two-day workshop with Dominic Barter in Amsterdam in 2011, lit a flame in me that has not been quenched since. As a mediator, I often experience distortions in the way people view each other during a conflict and the extent to which they mis-understand each other. A vicious circle seems to arise: people cannot hear or see each other as long as they do not feel seen and heard themselves. Restorative circles break through such vicious circles. Instead of the usual dynamics of attack and defence, you do not have to react to what the other says. Instead, you only have to listen closely. You are able to do so, because you know that you will also be listened to and you will also get a chance to say what is important to you. I will gladly pass the fire on!
Also see www.kieftmediation.nl.
Anke van Mourik
Regenboogtrainingen (at) gmail.com
As conflict avoider, I set out to find a strategy to solve differences of opinion and disputes, to everyone’s satisfaction. Non-violent communication by Marshall Rosenberg helped me on my way by recognizing feelings and needs. For me, Dominic Barter goes a step further, by enabling everyone to provide a positive contribution to a conflict and, if possible, to find a solution and a new way forwards. By practising and facilitating restorative circles over the past five years, I have experienced that Restorative Circles bring a lot more than just a solution to the stalemate of conflict. Understanding, awareness and acceptance of everything that participants feel all grow during a restorative circle That motivates me to keep practising, training and facilitating Restorative Circles. It brings me inner peace and that is something I wish everybody may find.
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