AVP workshops seek to assist people in personal growth and change, but AVP is not psychotherapy. In our workshops we join together – participants and facilitators both – to explore our own corners of violence and seek more satisfying ways to respond. Under the AVP model there are three different workshops: the Basic Workshop followed by the Advanced workshop and the Training for Facilitators workshop (for those who are interested in leading workshop sessions). Each workshop takes place over three consecutive days and generally consists of 12 – 20 participants and 2-5 trained facilitators to lead the exercises. These experiences in small groups and one-to-one interactions build a sense of community and trust.
The Basic AVP Workshop is an intensive, three-day learning experience which teaches interpersonal conflict resolution skills through a series of step-by-step processes. Small groups and one-to-one interactions build a sense of community and trust through exercises focusing on:
Community Building & Cooperation
We begin with introductions, agreeing on boundaries for the workshop, sharing names, and getting to know the group. Group construction and trust exercises help build a sense of community, as do fun games and shared storytelling of experiences. Doing such exercises together is fun, and also teaches us a lot about ourselves and others. AVP workshops are great team building tools – participants get to know each other much better, and build a valuable basis of trust and understandi
Affirmation & Self-esteem
To care about others, we must first take care of ourselves. We create an atmosphere promoting sharing of what is good about one another, positive feedback, a secure environment and trust.
Improving Improving communication skills forms an essential part of our workshop, both listening skills and assertive methods of expression. Learning to communicate assertively and clearly does wonders to break the barriers of conflict. Active listening skills are important to learn as the experience of being heard at a deep level is very rare in our lives.
There is no perfect community or a group of people who agree on everything, but once sharing starts, you can create and experience the power of coperation. Reflecting on what we learn from our experiences, and listening to what others have learned, helps us to grow as a person and develop cooperative attitudes that avoid competitive conflicts. Learning to co-operate in a group can take different forms, even without communicating verbally!
Creative Conflict Resolution
Conflict is part of each and of life itself, without conflict we live a static and monotonous life. To deal with the conflict need to learn ways to treat it without denying it. A key element of AVP is pre-emptive conflict resolution by creatively transforming unhealthy relationships through sharing, caring, improved communication skills and sometimes even surprise and humor. We will focus on getting in touch with our inner Transforming Power to resolve violence . Role plays provide an opportunity to explore this power and learn new and creative ways to respond to real life conflicts in our lives.
The AVP Advanced Workshop
The Advanced AVP workshop focuses on the underlying causes of violence, both in ourselves and in the world we live in. It is designed to give participants opportunities to rebuild community, review in depth the concept of Transforming Power and proceed to set individual and group goals for the focus of the remainder of the workshop. (Prerequisite: Completion of Basic Workshop)
Such a focus topic might be:
Fear — Reveals the hidden fears that usually underlie anger, jealousy and prejudice.
Anger — Results in a deeper understanding of the personal situations that trigger anger.
Power — (And powerlessness) Helps individuals understand power structures and get in touch with their inner power.
Communication — Develops the skills and the ability to communicate in tense and stressful situations.
Forgiveness — Builds the groundwork for true reconciliation and freedom from guilt.
Bias Awareness — Builds awareness of stereotyping, bias and prejudice in personal relations.
Racial Justice — Exploring the challenges people of color face.
Man-woman relationships — Explores issues of fear, anger, power and powerlessness.
Manly Awareness — What is it to be a man?
Re-entry — Addressing the difficult transition from prison to community.
And others — Whatever the group finds most compelling.
The AVP Training for Facilitators Workshop
To Become an AVP Facilitator, begin by completing the Basic and Advanced AVP Workshops. If you find that this is an experience you would like to share and you would like to become an AVP facilitator, take the Training for Facilitators Workshop. This workshop is reserved for those who expect to be active volunteer facilitators in community &/or prison workshops.
This workshop focuses on developing team building, leadership methods, and group process skills. You will work in a small group, actually functioning as a facilitator. You will receive guidance and practice in facilitating all parts of a Basic Workshop:
Team Building & Team Contract
Exercises, brainstorms, and discussions
Transforming Power Talk (key AVP philosophy
Light & Livelies (Change-of-pace & mood games/activities)
As the last step in the training, you will apprentice with workshop leadership teams in other Mini, Basic or Advanced AVP Workshops.
Correctional officers are invited to become trainers and lead community workshops. However, it is AVP policy not to use correctional officers as leaders of prison workshops.