Emotional First Aid

What greater wisdom is there than kindness?

Jean Rousseau

In everyone’s life, times of crisis are not only inevitable but necessary. It’s how we face these times — especially as a community — that matters. Every crisis is an opportunity for connection: for deepening relationships with each other and ourselves.

Our culture doesn’t always put relationships first. It’s made for getting the job done at any cost. And the price, when we’re not there for each other, can be high. Fortunately, each of us has the power to heal each other with no more than deep, mindful attention. By simply listening, we can show people that they matter. We can remind each other of what makes life worth living before it’s too late.

Being truly present for someone lets them know they are not alone. It lets them know there's hope. It says, without words, “you’re going to get through this. It won’t last forever. You’re going to be ok.”

Our natural ability to comfort and relate is called empathy. Empathy is the basis of Nonviolent Communication (NVC). For nearly fifty years, NVC has been used to successfully de-escalate crisis situations in over sixty countries, including Rwanda, Palestine, and Afghanistan. It can work at your workplace, with your family, and in your romantic relationships (for examples, see here).

Come learn how to face life’s challenges and to help others to do the same. Through a variety of group games and exercises, stories, movie excerpts, and honest sharing, we’ll explore:

Emotional crises can be some of the most painful and the most rewarding times in a person’s life. If you can simply hold space for people, things will change for the better — every time. You will have less drama in your life, experience more mutual support, and prevent tragedies before they happen. Together, you can make your community more compassionate, your home a more loving place to be.


Take courage friends. The way is often hard, the path is never clear, and the stakes are very high.
Take courage. For deep down, there is another truth: you are not alone.

Wayne B. Arnason