family, community, and workplace dispute conferencing, victim-offender mediation, one-on-one conflict coaching

Conflict Resolution | Supportive Setting | Positive Solutions

Experience

Susan’s mediation practice, community training sessions, and conflict coaching are based on the principals of restorative justice:

What harm has been done? To whom? Why? What needs to happen now to make things right?

In the wake of a crime, what are the victim-identified needs? Where there is conflict, how do the impacted parties have a voice in determining what needs to happen next to go forward? Together we can address the issues, determine the damage, and right the relationships that have been thrown out of balance.

Since 2002, Susan has been mediating personal injury, youth offender, and community disputes for the Juvenile Mediation Program of San Mateo’s Superior Court, the Community Boards of San Francisco, the Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center, and the San Francisco Police Department’s Office of Citizens’ Complaints. She is also a restorative justice trainer for the San Francisco District Attorney’s Neighborhood Courts program, which adjudicates criminal violations impacting city neighborhoods. Recently she has been conducting classes on conflict resolution at San Francisco State University and San Quentin State Prison. Susan worked formerly in public radio as a broadcaster, producer and union steward on behalf of employee/station relations.

At the heart of conflict mediation are the essential elements of deep listening and storytelling.

Providing a safe place for dialogue and problem-solving can play a therapeutic part as well, as it has in creative writing classes throughout Bay Area juvenile halls, where Susan works with youth offenders on their website titled IfTheseWallsCouldTalk.org. Here, the kids are posting reflective stories and art, revealing who they are and hope to become. Their personal narratives speak to the people or events critical to acknowledge so they can move forward with their young lives, and one day return to home and community.

“For years, Susan has brought superb competence and real life experience to the mediator trainees she has coached in my mediation / conflict resolution training courses.  They, and I, benefitted from her presence each and every time.”

Marvin L. Schwartz, JD

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