Thursday, June 4, 2021

"Neurocollaboration" course starts next week!

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Again this year I’ve been invited to teach in the Straus Institute Dispute Resolution Skills Training Program in Malibu, CA (June) and Woodstock, VT (October). As many of you know, the course I’m offering this year is called “Neurocollaboration.” My co-trainer will be Tom Lewis, M.D., a psychiatrist and clinical faculty member at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, who has a special interest in the evolutionary biology and neurochemistry of human emotion and behavior.

Tom and I are putting the finishing touches on an 18-hour intensive course (two and a half days) that will teach collaborative lawyers to understand how the human brain actually operates with respect to social and “ultra-social” emotions and behaviors during family breakdown and restructuring. Tom brings to this course a profound understanding of the neuroscience of human behavior and a dynamic, highly engaging teaching style. You may have read an elegant book for general readers that he and two psychiatrist colleagues wrote several years ago about the meaning and purpose of love in the evolution of the human species, called A General Theory of Love. Tom has previously taught much of the material which we are integrating into this Neurocollaboration course in a program he presented at Google University, the educational arm of Google operated on their campus here in the Bay Area, as well as to University of California physicians and medical students, for the very practical purpose of helping participants ground their work with patients, clients, and customers in a more accurate paradigm for how and why the human brain causes people to behave as they do.

For this Straus Institute course, Tom and I are organizing this emerging understanding of how our brains actually function, into the four-part “paradigm shift” matrix that you will be familiar with if you have ever attended one of my introductory two day collaborative trainings, or have read my A.B.A. book, Collaborative Law: Who Am I? Who Is My Client? What Is The Task? How Do I Do the Task?

Participants in this course can expect to learn not only new understandings of why we and our clients behave as we do during conflict and conflict resolution, but also ways of implementing these perspectives from the neurosciences to make our collaborative conflict resolution work more effective and satisfying to ourselves and our clients. The course will include multimedia presentations and interactive exercises and discussions, and given what I have seen of Tom’s previous teaching on related subjects, I expect the Neurocollaboration course to be not only challenging and practical, but also quite entertaining.

This course will provide 18 hours of California Mandatory Continuing Legal Education credit for lawyers; many states recognize for their own CLE purposes courses that are accredited by the State Bar of Calfornia. California State Bar Certified Family Law Specialists can earn 18 CFLS credits for attendance at this course, all of which qualify in the category of “psychological and counseling aspects of family law.” I would expect that collaborative coaches and child specialists might individually be able to obtain continuing education credits from their own professional associations; we can provide a course syllabus and proof of attendance.

While the course will focus specifically on applying understandings from the neurosciences in collaborative family law practice, it would be of potential interest to any conflict resolution professional working in the area of divorce. To keep the courses in this program highly interactive and “hands-on,” enrollment is strictly limited by the Straus Institute to a maximum of 25 to 30 participants, and to the extent possible, preference will be given to collaborative practitioners if the course is oversubscribed.

I’d be delighted to see this first-ever Neurocollaboration course fully booked by collaborative practitioners, as I am convinced this is the new frontier for taking our collaborative conflict resolution work to the next level. It would be great to see friends and colleagues in attendance. There are still some spaces available for the Malibu course, which takes place June 11-13. The Pepperdine University Law School campus, where the Straus Institute is located, is set in perhaps the most beautiful location of any law school in North America, on a coastal hillside overlooking the beaches of Malibu. Malibu is only about a 45 minute drive north along the Pacific Coast Highway from Los Angeles International Airport. Brad Pitt sightings at local restaurants have been reported.

For further information, or to enroll, you can contact Straus Institute administrator Lori Rushford, or look at course information and enrollment forms online [click on the title of this post, above, or use the url shown below]:

Lori Rushford

Professional Education Program Administrator

Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution

Pepperdine School of Law

24255 Pacific Coast Highway

Malibu, CA 90263

((310) 506-6342

Fax: (310) 506-4437