Much of my peacemaking counselling has been where relationship breakdown has occurred within families and groups. The ensuing estrangement of individuals from each other, from the family, or the group has been sad, traumatic and tragic for those who have been alienated. The experiences of loss and grief are often felt powerfully; especially the loss of a relationship. My approach is to work towards enabling the parties to feel safe, and ensure that the solution allows them to not lose face. I strive to remain positive that a solution is possible.
Peace in its many forms is something that humans desire – inner peace, peace in our relationships, and in our surroundings. Without peace, we often feel incomplete. Conflict can develop from the expression of various character traits including:
- Emotional insecurity
- Low self-esteem
- Primitive urges for survival
- The desire for power and control
There are many elements which can contribute to the breakdown of relations. Peacemaking through counselling seeks to help each party recognise any miscommunication and misinformation. Such factors are what often lead individuals to formulate a negative understanding of the situation, which is then carried, maintained and reinforced in the absence of alternative approaches. Through the peacemaking process, the aim is to heal the relationship in order to develop a new and viable understanding of each other. An essential requirement for the peace process is that the parties involved have, and maintain their motivation to achieve the goal of peace.
Conflict hits between parents and children, between spouses, siblings, friends, colleagues, workmates, neighbours, countries, religions and political groups. Individuality is a precious and rich resource. We all have a contribution to make, and we could not make that contribution if we were all the same. The goal is not to squash the other in order to eradicate differences, rather the goal is the harmonious integration of difference with each other. Part of the process involves allowing the individuals to express and explore the negative elements of the conflict, which may involve vitriolic venting as there may be a great deal of pain. The focus then needs to move to exploring the possible solutions. Sometimes part of the solution is distilling what is in it for them.
Conflict and its associated stress can be seriously harmful to your physical and emotional health. Aiming for a life where we proactively pursue peace and lessen our involvement in disharmony and conflict, will contribute to our holistic wellbeing and to a better life.
If you are experiencing conflict in your life and seeking to make peace with a person or situation, please feel free to call me on 0438 345 770.