Inspired in part by their participation in Not In Our Town’s Continuing Conversations, local-area trainers Eliane Geren and Kathy Wilcox are planning to offer a four-session series training for white allies this fall.

Emotional First-Aid:­ the Missing Prerequisite for Empathy

This workshop is a pilot program designed for eight people. If participants who complete the course find it useful, we will offer it again in the future.

Dates:             September 13, 20, & 27 and October 4 (Tuesday evenings)

Time:               7-9 pm

Venue:             (to be determined)

Contact:           eliane (at)

September 13th: Listening to Others beyond Reflecting, Part 1

We’ll introduce the difference between pure reflective listening and reflective listening enhanced by guesses about values and motives.

September 20th: Listening to Others beyond Reflecting, Part 2

We’ll practice of the skills introduced in Session 1.

September 27th: Giving Myself Emotional First-Aid

When we hear criticism (regardless of whether the speaker’s intention is to criticize us), we often respond by defending ourselves. At this session we’ll demonstrate an alternative way to react. We’ll specify steps we can each take, silently, to lessen our discomfort and keep us connected to the conversation in the room. During this session we’ll practice these steps—which involve talking to ourselves—out loud.

October 4th: Listening to Painful Messages

We’ll practice incorporating the emotional first-aid skills learned during last week’s session into the goal process: non-stop listening to hard-to-hear messages.

(For more information, please see