by Andru McCracken

Robson Valley Support Society – McBride Office. /RMG file photo

May 27 marks the beginning of Victims and Survivors of crime week, and to mark it the Robson Valley Support Society is hosting the two day workshop on non-violent communication.

The theme is ‘Transforming the Culture Together.’

The workshop’s focus is how to transform conflict into connection and is open to the public. At its core, non-violent communication involves four steps: Observing what is going on without judgment, becoming aware of your feelings, getting in touch with the needs behind those feelings and sometimes making a very clear and actionable request from the person you are communicating with.

It’s a technique that’s been used to diffuse tensions in war-torn countries, brokering peace between age-old enemies.

Non-violent communication was developed by American psychologist and mediator Marshall Rosenberg who developed the concept in the 1960s. Proponents say it’s a process for supporting partnership and resolving conflict within people, in relationships, and in society:

“It is based on the idea that all human beings have the capacity for compassion and only resort to violence when they do not recognize more effective strategies for meeting needs,” one description reads.

Eric Bowers, who will assist facilitator Jenna Card in delivering the program, said the workshop will cater to the Robson Valley Support Society and its work.

“We’re going to work on how to deal with stress and strong emotions, to deal with conflict, as well as managing your own stress, and helping others with their stress,” said Bowers.

The workshop will be held on May 29 & 30 from 9.00 am to 3.30 pm at the Best Western hotel in Valemount. The cost is $45 per person and lunch is included.

“We hope to raise awareness for that as well as create the opportunity to learn some important relationship tools and techniques,” said Shona Thorne, Valemount’s Safe Shelter Coordinator.