Mental Illness in Dispute Resolution
Online Training
 (Enrollment Closes Soon)




Be Ready for Challenging Behaviors
Online Training
 (Get on the Waitlist)



Watch On-Demand

These programs are viewable on-demand, but only open during seasonal time windows.  Below please find our open programs:




Resolving Family Conflicts
in Mental Health

Resolve Family Conflicts teaches families to understand the kinds of conflicts that occur in mental health situations, the opportunities to overlap, and the skills needed for resolution.  We explore three types of agreements – communication, living, and sensitivities.  This 60 minute training will teach you to:

  • Appreciate Sources of family mental health conflicts
  • Understand the Overlap across different sides of family conflicts
  • Validate different points of view
  • Add Options by elaborating without agreeing
  • Reach Agreements about communication, living arrangements, and sensitivities

Click here to learn more about the training and schedule your personal replay


empoweredPreparing for Clients with
Mental Health Needs 

This training will prepare you for challenges communicating with clients who have mental health needs.

  • Respond to challenging behaviors without stigmatizing mental illness
  • Say the right things without offending clients
  • Explain unconventional choices when advocating for clients
  • Reality-check clients without upsetting them

Click here to learn more about the training and schedule your personal replay



TEDxCooperUnion (2017) – How to Talk About Mental Health Without Offending Everyone


Public Events 



Cutting Edge Roles for Peer Specialists in Promoting Community Inclusion
2017 Summer Institute on Community Inclusion
July 25, 2017 (Philadelphia)

This all-morning seminar explores the roles that the growing number of peer specialists can play in promoting the community participation of service recipients, with a review of the fundamentals of community inclusion and the growing army of peer specialists who can promote community participation.  The session reviews strategies for transforming peer specialists’ own experiences into effective strategies for supporting others, the usefulness of conflict resolution skills, and the array of peer specialist training programs preparing peer specialists for these new roles.



Mental Health Communication Training
Center for Conflict Resolution
July 21, 2017 (Chicago)

Dan Berstein, a mediator living with bipolar disorder and an expert in mental health communication, has trained mental health service providers, conflict resolution professionals, attorneys, government agencies, around the country.  This course will teach you to:

1) Be Sensitive to People With Mental Health Experiences
2) Be Empowering to Parties With Mental Health Needs
3) Be Ready for Challenging Mental Health Conversations

You will leave this program with a certificate and with actionable takeaway tools including a Sensitivity Checklist, a Tipsheet for Empowered Practices, and a Challenging Conversations Template.  You will also receive follow-up support from Dan.



Tools You Can Use: A Panel for Peer Specialists
NYC Peer Specialists Conference (New York)
July 13, 2017

What tools do you have for self-care? Do we just talk the talk or do we walk the walk? We will hear our panelists’ recipes, recommendations and secret sauce for health, wellness and self-advocacy and we will also hear from you.  MH Mediate presents on conflict resolution resources.



Mediating with Parties Protected by the ADA
American Bar Association Section on Dispute Resolution CLE Webinar
June 13, 2017 (Online)

Mediators work with all kinds of parties, including some who live with disabilities.  This program will explain your responsibilities to parties with disabilities and provide examples of types of accommodations you may consider making so the mediation process works for them.  The program will also explore ways to develop accessible practices, which are designed to be adaptable to people with diverse abilities without requiring a request for accommodations.



Let’s Work It Out! Constructive Approaches to Conflict
The Supportive Housing Network of New York
June 1, 2017 (New York)

This interactive workshop introduces basic concepts of conflict resolution and ways to apply these techniques in supportive housing. We will focus on different types of mediation, share information on how to access free and low-cost mediation resources in New York, and engage in hands-on practice of alternative dispute resolution skills.



Tools for Reflective Practitioners
American Bar Association Section on Dispute Resolution Conference
April 20, 2017 (San Francisco)

At the last Annual Conference, the Mediation Committee introduced the Dispute Resolution Section to its newest member service—the Reflective Practitioner Group (RPG). RPGs are a vehicle for sharing mediation experiences and insights to help address the angst and loneliness of being a mediator while increasing mediator skills and effectiveness. Since then, the Committee has set up a monthly RPG call available to its members. This Annual Conference we invite everyone to join in exploring RPGs and in developing the tool kit necessary to support them. We are open to all ideas. Indeed, we need them. Come join us.



What Mediators Need to Know About Mental Health Concerns
Academy for Professional Family Mediators
April 11, 2017 (Online)

1 in 5 American adults have a diagnosable mental health problem each year. Are you ready for these issues when they impact your cases? Do you know what to do when a party discloses a mental health diagnosis? Or when one party accuses another of having one? How about when you, the mediator, suspect that a mental health issue is at play? Dan Berstein is a mediator living with bipolar disorder and an expert in helping conflict resolvers become sensitive, accessible, and impartial toward parties with mental health needs. Join us to learn what you need to know about mental health concerns in dispute resolution.



How to Talk About Mental Health Without Offending Everyone
April 1, 2017 (New York)

In this TEDx talk, Dan shares how we can use conflict resolution techniques to make room for the other story in mental health.  Learn to overcome the problematic assumptions, paternalism, and stigma that often push us apart in mental health conversations.


bubble-iconIntroduction to Challenging Behavior
Association for Conflict Resolution
December 1, 2016 (Online)

Conflict resolution professionals are often confused about how to handle the challenging behaviors that arise in their sessions. What are the best ways for us to address emergencies, disruptions, and “capacity” issues? This 60-minute webinar will help you appreciate your options for addressing these behaviors. Dan introduces:

-A framework for understanding emergencies, disruptions, and communication disconnects (aka “capacity” problems)
-A summary of mediator preferences and practices for handling these behaviors (based on data)
-An overview of the benefits of advanced planning versus relying on gut feelings
-Ideas to help you begin planning for your personal practice

This webinar is adapted from a more extensive program Dan is presenting over the next six months across several New York county mediation centers.



Reaching Agreements About Treatment
Behavioral Health Peer Conference
November 18, 2016 (New York)

People often have differing views about what treatment might be best for the client, leading to conflicts and tensions within a team. Participants in this workshop will be able to appreciate the client, supporter, peer specialist, and clinician perspectives of a treatment conflict. Participants will be able to communicate effectively during these conflicts, and they will be able to reach verbal agreements about how to navigate these different views on treatment.



Becoming Accessible to a Wider Audience 
National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation
October 27, 2016 (Online)

Accessible processes are equally appealing to people with diverse abilities and needs, including people with disabilities. After we explore a universal design framework for creating accessible dialogue processes, we’ll apply key accessibility principles to some examples. Finally we’ll discuss how to communicate your accessible practices to constituents and organizational partners.  This accessibility webinar was presented for members of the National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation (NCDD) to make up for our inability to attend the conference.  



Before it Escalates: Infusing Organizations with Conflict Resolution Norms
10th Annual National Peer Support Conference
September 28, 2016 (Baltimore)

The skills and tools we have as conflict resolution professionals can help organizations prevent conflicts from escalating. MH Mediate has been training mental health organizations to infuse their cultures with principles of impartiality, self-determination, and validating multiple perspectives. This workshop will use stories from past trainings to teach you how to replicate his model. You will receive tools you can use and share when helping organizations adopt conflict resolution norms.



Reaching Agreements in Mental Health Conflicts
New York Public Library
September 20, 2016 (New York)

Mental health is confusing and there are so many conflicts.  Families disagree about how to talk about mental health, what treatments to pursue, and what lifestyle choices are best.  Peer specialists have conflicts with co-workers, clients, and others on their treatment team.  Even clinicians disagree about the best ways to deliver mental health care. Mediators have tactics for reaching agreements, and MH Mediate has adapted them to mental health settings. Come here to learn how to create realistic, sustainable agreements to resolve mental health conflicts.



Reducing Conflicts Among Peers: Learning from Mediators
10th Annual National Peer Support Conference
August 26, 2016 (Philadelphia)

Peers have conflicts with co-workers, clients, and others. How do we stop them from escalating? Mediators have tactics for addressing conflicts, and MH Mediate adapted them to mental health settings. Learn to validate different beliefs, appreciate diverse perspectives, act impartially, and demonstrate neutrality. Receive resources for addressing conflicts.



Managing Conflicts a a Working Peer 
10th Annual Conference for Peer Specialists 
July 14, 2016 (New York)

Peers encounter many conflicts because mental health is confusing and because they engage with diverse peers, supporters and professionals—all living with their own unique points of view. Conflicts can be related to living together, working together, or making mental health decisions, amongst other topics. This workshop helps to define and teach conflict resolution skills for managing conflicts as a working peer.



Skills Session: Accessibility
Co-Sponsored with CUNY Dispute Resolution Center
May 19, 2016 (New York)

We’ll focus on becoming accessible to parties/clients with various needs ranging from disabilities to different communication styles.   A process is accessible if it works well for everyone without anyone having to ask for special treatment. Accessible practices are flexible, equally appealing to diverse users, intuitive, and tolerant of mistakes.  MH Mediate hosts skills sessions in collaboration with the CUNY Dispute Resolution Center at John Jay College. These sessions dig in deep to focus on a particular conflict resolution skill that people can use as practitioners or during their everyday lives.



Keynote Remarks: Conflict Resolution to Overcome Mental Health Stigma
Mental Health Stigma Conference 
March 26, 2016 (Columbia Teachers College)

In this interactive keynote, Dan briefly shares his personal and professional experiences navigating mental health stigma as an introduction to diverse stakeholder perspectives in mental health. After exploring how stigma can affect our interactions about mental health, Dan shares how conflict resolution skills can foster empowered conversations.



Keynote Remarks:Making Sense of Mental Health
All Ivy League Mental Health Conference
February 14, 2016 (University of Pennsylvania)

In these interactive closing remarks, Dan will briefly share his experiences with bipolar disorder at Penn as an introduction to the question of how we make sense of the many different decisions and perspectives in mental health.   Learn how a conflict resolution approach can foster empowering mental health conversations at your school



Skills Session: When People Yell
CUNY Dispute Resolution Center
February 11, 2016 (New York City)

We’ll focus on understanding different kinds of yelling, and what do do when it occurs.   People can raise their voice in excitement, enthusiasm, or – perhaps the most frequent connotation – in anger. Different professions have had to address the difficult issue of yelling – conflict resolution practitioners, human resources managers, therapists, and more. We’ll begin by discussing different kinds of yelling and then, after that short presentation, we will discuss strategies for dealing with it.  MH Mediate hosts skills sessions in collaboration with the CUNY Dispute Resolution Center at John Jay College. These sessions dig in deep to focus on a particular conflict resolution skill that people can use as practitioners or during their everyday lives.



Skills Session: Impartiality
CUNY Dispute Resolution Center
December 10, 2015 (New York)

 We’ll focus on ways to measure impartiality and demonstrate it to others.  Some use the terms “fair,” “unbiased,” or “evenhanded” as synonyms for impartiality. It is a value prized by many professions, not just mediators, yet it can be confusing to implement. What are the tangible ways we can gauge impartiality? And what are the ways we can demonstrate it to others – both as mediators, or in any area of life? This skills session will explore impartiality, and participants can join our follow-up online community to discuss it further. In addition to a short presentation and a collaborative discussion, all participants will also receive a checklist tool to help them be impartial.  MH Mediate hosts skills sessions in collaboration with the CUNY Dispute Resolution Center at John Jay College. These sessions dig in deep to focus on a particular conflict resolution skill that people can use as practitioners or during their everyday lives.


Are you looking for an event not listed above?

It may be from before December 2015, or it may be sponsored in collaboration with another organization.

E-mail to ask for details about these private events.