Trauma, stress and mental health - in the dispute resolution context

with Gerard Hoffman, Alex Zuur and Jon Everest

This session will be run hand in hand offering a psychological and practitioner lens (both mediation and restorative). Gerard Hoffman will help us to understand the signs and symptoms and Alex Zuur and Jon Everest will offer practitioner voice about 'duty of care' and boundaries in our dispute resolution role. Alex has worked in trauma informed practice within restorative settings and Jon will bring in particular his mediator trainer role to speak to boundaries and ethics for the mediator.

Some of the questions considered in this workshop will be:

· How to define and identify trauma, stress, mental health (good and bad)

· How does / can it manifest for the individual?

· What might be the signs for the dispute resolver to identify, for their parties? For themselves?

· How might it impact in a dispute resolution context?

· What are the boundaries and responsibilities for the dispute resolver if they identify these signs or symptoms for themselves or their parties?

· What might the dispute resolver do differently or additionally if they identify these signs or symptoms for the parties?


Gerard Hoffman
Counsellor, Facilitator, Trainer, Wellbeing Consultant, Registered Clinical Social Worker

Gerard has spent the past 35 years working in a range of clinical social work, counselling, therapy and leadership roles in justice, health and tertiary education settings in New Zealand and Australia. This has included clinical work in child, youth and family mental health services, relationships counselling services and family violence and sexual violence treatment and prevention.

For the past twenty two years he has also been in leadership and management roles within hospital/district health board and University health and counselling services.

Gerard has also worked extensively in the areas of restorative practice, suicide prevention, wellbeing promotion and in presenting and providing training in the areas of sexual violence prevention, suicide intervention, psychological first aid, coaching, and individual and organisational mental health and wellbeing promotion.


Alex Zuur
Restorative Justice Facilitator, Social Worker, Research Fellow (Vic)

Alex Zuur is a restorative justice facilitator, researcher and social worker with significant experience in designing and implementing trauma informed responses to harm in front line and institutional contexts. She has a strong foundation in front line street outreach, advocacy and case facilitation and is now passionate about the application and implementation of restorative frameworks to different situations of sexual harm in workplace and university settings.

She has also been involved in developing and facilitating a number of large scale restorative projects related to complex trauma and historical harm, such as a nationwide listening circle process with people impacted by surgical mesh and police community reconciliation processes in the United States.

Alex holds a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of British Columbia, a Masters of Science in Social Work from Columbia University and is an accredited Restorative Justice facilitator.


Jon Everest
Mediator, restorative practitioner, trainer, supervisor

Jon is an independent restorative practitioner, mediator, and professional supervisor. Until recently he was Senior Consultant, Practice Development at the Diana Unwin Chair of Restorative Justice at Victoria University of Wellington.

He is a Fellow of the Resolution Institute, an advanced accredited mediator, family dispute resolution provider and restorative justice facilitator, with endorsements for working with family violence and sexual offending. Jon is a trainer for Resolution Institute in Mediation, Restorative Justice and Restorative practice.

Jon’s first career was as a Police Inspector in the Royal Hong Kong Police before completing his Masters in the area of crime and violence, and further studies and training in dispute resolution.