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A special program for
all people who work in Maine schools.

About E4E

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Empathy for Everyone (E4E) is a free and effective way to enhance and expand empathy capacities to all people who work in Maine schools.

So often we tell people to be more empathic, yet we don’t teach them how.

Empathy For Everyone (E4E) offers easy to learn ways to expand our empathy for both ourselves and others.  

Based in current neuroscience and developed by neuroscience educator Sarah Peyton, the elements of Resonant Language will support all people who work in schools in learning new ways of self-regulation and helping others regulate.

Our Offerings

We offer tools based on the latest Relational Neuroscience which school personnel can easily use to reduce workplace friction, mitigate conflict and intentionally minimize stress.

Our trainings are experiential and engaging for all adults in the school community. The content integrates current Relational Neuroscience in a practical usable form. All offerings are provided at no cost to Maine schools.

Offering 1:
Essential Empathy for Everyone

Participants will learn practical strategies for helping calm strong emotions in themselves and others. Together, we will delve into verbal and somatic strategies to move away from brittle reactivity and into resilient responsiveness. Participants will leave this course with practical strategies to implement Relational Neuroscience and Resonant Language.

Topics we will explore:

  • A light overview of trauma, where does it come from and how is it stored.

  • foundations of Relational Neuroscience and its importance to increasing emotional regulation and flexibility,

  • Key roles of the two brain hemispheres and how our use of language can support both.

  • What is Resonant Language? We will practice using elements of Resonant Language to defuse everyday reactivity.

Offering 2:
Connecting Across Differences: using Nonviolent Communication for connecting dialogue

Empathy for Everyone provides all levels of training in Nonviolent Communication. This
approach helps us see into the heart of what people are expressing even when we don’t agree
with their thinking. This gives us a way to
de-escalate the level of conflict and be able to shift
into our relational brain to find
mutually based ways forward.

Offering 3:
Facilitated Group Processes

When schools have received Offer 1 or 2 we offer further support for integration of new skills.

 

It can be challenging to use brand new skills and awareness effectively amidst the high pressure of day to day operations. And sometimes using new tools within an old system can feel like trying to fit a round peg into a square hole. 

We guide you in considering how you would like to support yourselves and each other in effectively and sustainably bringing your new insights to the way you carry out your roles. Groups of staff who are similarly positioned (such as bus drivers, guidance, educational staff, etc) can benefit from our facilitated processes that help the group consider what would be supportive and realistic within the realities of schedules and responsibilities. 

Some possible considerations:

  • exploring how to build in ways to hone skills & share experiences?

  • reflecting on what might stand in the way of using these skills? Are there obstacles in day to day operations that can be adjusted or worked around?

  • establishing a way of supporting each other after someone has experienced challenging reactivity?

  • planning for when new staff is hired, how would we like to share these skills and understandings with them?

Our facilitated processes provide structure for thinking together in a way that prioritizes every voice being heard and sets the conditions for ideas and plans to emerge that are both creative and realistic.

During the school year of 2022-2023 Data Innovation Project designed a research project to evaluate the effectiveness of our training program to approximately 170 staff in one school district. Please view the results HERE.

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Chris Britting

I am humbled to have been asked to be a part of Empathy for Everyone. I have been working in the Department of Corrections for 12 years and been teaching/learning NVC with residents and staff for much of that time. We have found it to be a powerful tool in creating a culture where it is okay to be vulnerable and where our residents can try to be the best versions of themselves without fear of judgment.

Elinor Redmond

Elinor Redmond has worked programming computers, teaching high school Math, teaching yoga, as executive director of Wayside Soup Kitchen as well as a number of volunteer jobs including with Hospice of Southern Maine. Her experience with Peggy Smith and Leah Boyd’s teaching of Nonviolent Communication convinced her that tools are available and satisfying to improve our relationships and support our work, whatever that may be. Elinor has particular care for what is happening in schools in the post isolation period. She sees Empathy For Everyone as meaningful, tangible support for our school communities.

Noah Bragg

I am honored to serve on the board of Empathy for Everyone. I am a two-time participant and one time program assistant for Peggy and Leah's Nonviolent Communication Integration program. I believe that learning and practicing foundational empathy skills can improve our wellbeing, relationships, and social systems. I currently work as a theater of the oppressed facilitator with Maine Inside Out and lead our programs in the Lewiston Public Schools. I also volunteer with Jericho Circle as a circle participant and facilitator. I hold a B.A. in English & Theater and Latin American Studies from Bowdoin College and am an alumni of the National Theater Institute at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center.

Our Board of Directors

Sarah Mattox

When asked to serve on the board of Empathy for Everyone, I offered an immediate and whole-hearted "Yes". Believing that the practice of empathy is the bedrock of human connection, mattering and safety, I have worked for 20-years in the field of restorative justice, I have seen first-hand how many people walk around hungry to express themselves and to be understood yet lack the skills for how to offer empathy either to themselves or people around them. If we are to progress towards a world where all people experience safety and belonging, cultivating empathy is a core component.

Terry Lee Cookson, ND, MSOM, L.Ac.

I am very excited to have the opportunity to serve on the Board of E4E. I have been learning from Peggy for over 15 years and I routinely use the information and techniques I learn from her in my work as a Licensed Acupuncturist and Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine. I have used Nonviolent Communication and Interpersonal Neurobiology to help patients recover from a range of disorders, from anxiety to chronic pain to hormonal disorders. I am thrilled to be a part of Peggy and Leah’s vision to bring empathy to everyone—a powerful tool for healing individuals and systems, and changing the world.

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