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Brenner, Michelle



Holistic Practices
My most recent project is co-founder of a registered Not For Profit Organization, Holistic Practices Beyond Borders; set up to develop and promote coherent and holistic professional practices in the workplace.
I believe in the need to infuse holistic practices in the professional working world. This means giving a voice to presently neglected values and meanings in the workplace:

· Structural Stress Management looks at the environmental conditions and reasonability of the workplace to manage the stress of the workers.
· Connecting to your ‘moral barometer’ is about being genuine and reflective.
· I apply techniques of narrative theory (which values the uniqueness of each person’s life experience, how they are storied by self and others).
· Social constructionist theory recognizes that we live through man made social structures that may or may not serve us.
· Respecting and supporting ‘transcendent emotions’ such as rituals, resonance, beauty, gratitude, compassion and forgiveness.
· Transformative mediation. Provides opportunities for moral growth through decisions that support empowerment and recognition.
As a Conflict Resolution Consultant, I have witnessed the impact of regulations, standardization, competency based work performance and evidence based practice – although these do have a legitimate purpose in creating consumer confidence/ accountability. These, however, can stifle creativity and reflection which are key aspects of communication and relationship development. At the heart of many conflicts is an imbalance between task focus and relationship development.

My Background
I have worked in Conflict Resolution for over 20 years. I was one of the first to obtain postgraduate qualifications in Australia in the field of conflict resolution. My work has included consultancy in areas such as workplace, community, family, government, and environment. I was the Mediator for Marrickville Council for over 3 years, which was one of the first full time positions for mediation in a traditional government institution at the time (1995-1999). I taught holistic mediation for 10 years, (a subject I developed) at UTS, Masters of Dispute Resolution, as well as what I call the third wave of Assertive Communication at a community college. I have authored a book, Conscious Connectivity –creating dignity in conversation. I have developed a holistic model of mediation/conflict resolution practice for high conflict in the family and workplace.

Short version Bio
As a pioneer in the field of Conflict Resolution, I have been teaching, mediating and consulting for around 20 years. Post Graduate in Conflict Resolution Macquarie University.