Trauma Release

I am busy with material updates for 2016 for our ADR and Mediator Training

Although mediators do not assume the role of counsellor, it is important that they understand how individuals and groups behave during trauma and what the residual effects of trauma might be.

Trauma is said to be anything that overwhelms our natural coping skills. So whether we are dealing with parties going through a divorce, workplace conflict, business dissolution or more patently high conflict community or political disputes, we are dealing with probably dealing with traumatized individuals or groups

A book I have found very useful in its practical application in restorative circle work as well as personal practical application (as a mediator one is regularly exposed to high conflict and traumatic circumstance) is Trauma Release Exercise by Dr David Berceli. It’s easily available on Amazon Kindle.

Happy holidaying and much peace

Sheena Jonker

Mediation Training including Court Annexed Mediation:

Mediation Processes:

ADR, Restorative Justice and Arbitration processes:

Access to Justice and public interest matters:



Am I violent?

As a proponent of non-violence and non-adversarial methods of getting to justice, I spend a lot of time looking around me, glancing within and recognizing the violent impulses that I too have to dismantle and unlearn that obviously emanate from living in a violent world.

On our mediation training programs one of the first things we do is a bit of soul searching. We ask ourselves the big question: am I violent? We are invited to take a few steps back and think, really think about this.

Do I entertain violent thoughts?

Do I use violent words?

Do I ever act out violently? Violence is not limited to punching someone in the face or stabbing someone in the heart. No. Violence lives on a spectrum.

Do I ever use anger to subdue or control others?

Have I ever put my foot down on the accelerator in a rage and with passengers in my car?

Do I call people names?

Do I ever intentionally or recklessly cause others to feel “less than” or humiliated?

All of these things are born out of violent impulse that we have learned to use to survive or to navigate the world around us. There is plenty more I can add to the list.

But as a would be mediator or even as a seasoned mediator, this is one of the most crucial journeys we can go on. The journey of “am I violent” and “in what way am I violent?”. We cannot obliterate violent impulse in an instant. What we can do is be aware and go about intentionally limiting the permission we give ourselves to think violently, speak violently and act out in violent ways.

And it’s one of the most powerful ways we can go about building peace in the world around us.


Sheena Jonker

Mediation Training and ADR Training:

Mediation processes:

ADR Processes including arbitration and restorative justice settlement processes:

Access to justice and public interest matters:

Lawyers as Peacemakers Conference and Upcoming Training


1. Lawyers as Peacemakers

The lawyers as peacemakers conference takes place this Wednesday and Thursday at UNISA in Pretoria. Hosted by the Africa Centre for Dispute Resolution this conference brings together changemakers in the world of legal practice and peacemaking: Lawyers, mediators, activists and others. You can still register today. There is no cost, all you have to do is get your registration in and show up. Please email me at if you would like an invite and registration form

2. 40 hour mediator training

Our next training takes place next week, Monday to Friday (19-23 October) in Durban, Joburg (at Constitution Hill) and Cape Town

If you still wish to register either for the whole week or for court annexed mediation on the Thursday, please email All employees of SAPS< DSD and Correctional services get a 75% discount



Upcoming ADR Network SA-Accredited Mediator Training


A reminder of upcoming 40 hour mediator training from 3-7 August in Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town.

The cost is R 11 999 with monthly payment options and up to 50% subsidies on motivation of financial need.

The Thursday of each program covers court-annexed mediation and can be done as a one day program for those with prior training and at a cost of R 1000

For Registration Packs please email


Sheena Jonker

Latest News: ADR Network SA and Access to Justice

Hi Friends

A quick note to say that last week the Chatsworth Refugee Camp closed after 3 months negotiations with displaced foreigners. A group of 150 refugees were not willing to accept the offered repatriation or re-integration packages primarily since it would involve either going back into SA communities or returning to Burundi or DRC which they had all previously escaped from under war or emergency conditions. So either option is terrifying. Access to Justice lawyers secured their release from prison last Monday after they were arrested following their refusal to leave. They are very temporarily accommodated on a farm in KZN with all kinds of collateral considerations. On Friday we initiated a mediation process which seeks to generate options and find solutions. We are still in the fact finding or story telling phase and we urgently need more volunteer mediators to help listen and transcribe stories. Some have never ever got to tell their stories before. Not only will it strengthen our approach to UNHRC special interventions unit, but the process of being heard for the first time individually has powerful implications for all. If you can help, please get in touch at
For mediator training enquiries, please email

Sheena Jonker