Pathways to Relational Resilience

A 2-part workshop featuring the use of the arts and reflective dialogue to create relational resilience in the midst of conflict. Hosted by Taos Institute Vice-President Sheila McNamee and Taos Institute Associate Deb Nathan.

May 31 & June 1, 2024
12:00-2:30pm EDT each day

Whether it’s conflict between nations, within families, between partners, or with colleagues, it is challenging to find ways to move beyond conflict towards greater understanding and an appreciation of difference. However, it is not impossible, and hope can be found even amid the deepest of divides. How do we hold on to our beliefs while making room for other perspectives? As the political and social aspects of the world in which we live become more polarized, how do we learn to tolerate difference and listen to viewpoints that differ dramatically from our own? How do we work together and learn to value difference?

This online workshop features relational alternatives to more traditional approaches to conflict resolution. Participants will explore a unique approach to engaging with conflict that encourages the development of relational resilience in participants by helping them learn to think critically and creatively, and to appreciate the value of difference. 

We will engage in interactive experiences that incorporate the utilization of art and reflecting dialogue to illustrate how the two can work together to shift from conflict to curiosity and generate constructive understandings of difference.


  • Learn how a creative process can enhance engagement in constructive dialogue
  • Learn how reflecting dialogue is uniquely suited to working in conflict situations to help parties engage in constructive conversations about difficult topics
  • Develop an understanding of the synergistic qualities of the arts and reflecting dialogue
  • Come to understand that agreement is not a necessary outcome of conflict
  • Develop an understanding of how constructionist ideas are uniquely suited to working in deeply conflictual contexts


Sheila McNamee, Ph.D. is Professor Emerita of Communication at the University of New Hampshire and co-founder and Vice President of the Taos Institute. She has held visiting professorships at the University of Parma, Italy; Utrecht University, Netherlands; University of Sao Paulo, Brazil; and City University of Hong Kong. Her work is focused on dialogic transformation within a variety of social and institutional contexts. More details at

Deborah Nathan, Ph.D., LMHC, ATR is a psychotherapist specializing in art therapy, conflict mitigation and trauma. In 2008, Deb founded Artsbridge, Inc. – an organization that utilizes a unique methodology to bring together teens from communities in conflict. Artsbridge has primarily focused on Israelis and Palestinians, while lately expanding its work to the United States and other regions of the world.  More details at


Standard: $350
Reduced: $275 (for students and those for whom the standard fee presents a financial hardship)

Registration open until May 15, 2024.
To register at the Standard Rate, click here.
To register at the Reduced Rate, click here.
Note: you will be prompted to sign in (free) to the Taos Institute Commons online community before accessing the registration page.

50% refund for cancellations received up to two weeks before the starting date.
No refund for cancellations received within two weeks of the starting date.

Continuing Education Units:
Certificate of participation available upon request.