Juan José Beúnza: «Mutual Appreciation and Respect for Independence Are Key to Resolving Conflicts»

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On Saturday, 10 May 2014, a talk and workshop on resolving family conflicts was given by Juan José Beúnza, a doctor and expert on conflict resolution, teamwork and communication at Harvard Law School. The event was attended by 50 people from the fields of education, mediation and therapy.

Juan José Beúnza: «Mutual Appreciation and Respect for Independence Are Key to Resolving Conflicts»

Pilar Lacorte, the Director of the IESF’s new Master’s Degree in Mediation and Conflict Resolution, spoke at the start of the event about the importance of the programme’s theoretical grounding and the efforts made by the academics involved to align its theoretical content with the practical sessions.

The objective of the workshop was to identify conflicts that arise between couples, investigate the role of subconscious emotions and develop assertiveness techniques in order to create an environment of independence and freedom within the relationship. Beúnza pointed out that one of the most common errors is trying to resolve emotional conflicts by rational means, and vice versa. “What arouses emotions? Vested interests. Over 200 of these have been identified, but we can reduce them down to five: appreciation, role, status, type of relationship (enemies, friends, etc.) and respect for personal independence within the relationship. When someone in the family acts violently, one of these five interests is being threatened”, he said.

During the workshop, Beúnza and the participants tackled issues such as the use of exterior and interior silence in communication, as well as the key role played by body language and the volume of one’s voice in determining the nature of the final message. “The stereotypical notion of “soul mates” is the source of many pathological relationships. The key to love is not finding someone to satisfy your needs, but finding someone who is capable of working with you to build a shared project that is compatible with the life project each partner has as an individual”, Beúnza concluded.