Training, workshops and in-service opportunities

Core Training (offered in 6 to 12 day training time frames)

The primary training experience provided within Concentric Journeys is a comprehensive training in the facilitation of the mediated dialogue process for victims and offenders in crimes of severe violence. The principles and skills of the process, however, are relevant and applicable to all efforts to engender healing dialogue and interaction at any level or in any context-- dialogue first within yourself and then with others. Everyone can learn from this process. As we learn to face whatever pain has invaded and imprisoned us, we learn more about the healing process for us all.

A training experience can be designed to provide only selected segments as identified below, with the potential of offering each training component independently; but for optimum value, a major commitment of time and self to an experience of all the process components is strongly encouraged. Much of the training is experiential, extremely personal, if not intimate, which requires the ability to deal with deep-seated feelings and your own grief journey; it will illicit an open-ended array of questions, opinions and introspection; it is intended to be emotional, intense and demanding--a challenge to your personal assumptions and world view; an opportunity for genuine self-awareness. Those who have completed the training have characterized it as “personally edifying,” “fulfilling,” “growth-producing,” “inspiring,” and “life-changing.”

***A pre-training/screening segment should precede this core training to include reading, journaling and the writing of a personal story/history, personal reflection, and completion of a life-inventory and other preparation materials as well as several interviews with supervising staff.

***Within the body of the training, an absolute critical component is the structured group-time for incorporating and assimilating into one’s self the just-completed training exercise or experience. It is intended for the participants to personally experience the importance of the work of “process” and for confirming first-hand the guidepost: “Trust the Process.”

Basic Training Components:

  1. The center, core beliefs, principles and value-based practices of the process
  2. Exercises regarding self-awareness, feelings, and creation of a safe place
  3. An experiential segment on the saturation and processing of intense feelings
  4. The victim experience and you
  5. The offender experience and you
  6. Denial: a natural process
  7. Personal stories: experiencing the process
  8. Spirituality and Forgiveness
  9. Tools of the trade: inventories, exercises, impact questions and other introspective materials for empowering victims and offenders in identifying and clarifying deep-seated feelings and key issues, and supporting them in their grief-work and related processing
  10. Understanding Position and Interest: the key to true communication and common ground alternatives toward healing and justice
  11. Case studies: the viewing and detailed processing of video tape recordings of actual mediations in crimes of severe violence
  12. Identification and Development of program purpose, policies and procedures
  13. File management and case development
  14. Basics in recruiting, screening, mentoring, supporting volunteer mediators

Other Special Training Resources available:

Concentric Journeys seeks to offer the optimum learning experience possible. Therefore you are encouraged to consider additional resources to balance and complement what David can provide.

*Jon Wilson, is Publisher and editor in chief of HOPE magazine and a volunteer mediator within the Texas VOM/D program. He is an extraordinary resource. He understands first hand the purpose and work of this process, especially regarding the critical nature of the mediator’s role in the preparation process. His innate sensitivity, skills and abilities add a special balance and complementary perspective to applying the nuances of the process. His interest in mediating crimes of severe violence began as he researched the Texas program. He was so moved by what he learned, he became a volunteer mediator, having now completed a case in the Texas program as well as a case in his home state of Maine. Since that time he has become one of the primary training resources for two special Texas VOM/D Training and Awareness Symposia and presents regularly in a variety of venues around the country. Jon has used his knowledge and experience to initiate the establishment of this process in Maine, using the Texas program as the development model.

*Other resource persons with a variety of expertise and experience can also be accessible through Concentric Journeys. Topics for consideration include circle sentencing and other pre-adjudication opportunities, healing circles and family group conferencing, mediations using surrogate offenders and victims, victim impact panel programs, continuum-of-care programs, mediated dialogue opportunities for juvenile offenders and their family members, prison accountability groups and parallel free-world victim healing groups using mediation preparation materials to facilitate interaction, and other restorative justice programs that provide opportunity for victim and offender small group and one-to-one interface.

*Actual victims of violent crime who have participated in this process and a limited number of their offenders may also be available in order to provide for the optimum training experience. The actual mediator in a particular case study may also be accessible

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For Information Contact David Doerfler in Austin, Texas
Office: (512) 263-7442 or
Mobile: (512) 659-8356