About Elizabeth Bader

Understanding the connection between trauma, spirituality and conflict resolution is the core of Elizabeth Bader’s work.

A mediator who has successfully resolved complex cases involving many parties, Elizabeth also holds a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner (SEP) Certificate — a certificate awarded after more than 200 hours of training on trauma.

Elizabeth has found that even with tough commercial players, spirituality can play a role in mediation — as long as one’s spirituality is exhibited silently,  by deeds and a willingness to really listen,  not empty words.

As a coach and teacher, Elizabeth  has earned high praise.  Some lives have been changed.

“Ego:” A Doorway in Conflict Resolution

Elizabeth was the first person to write about conflict resolution, spirituality, neuroscience, and depth psychology (including the work of Margaret Mahler, Daniel Stern, Hameed Ali (A. H. Almaas) and Faisal Muqaddam) in an international, peer-reviewed journal.

She discovered that in many mediations, parties experience what she calls the IDR cycle — a psychological cycle of overconfidence (inflated expectations), deflation and, if the case settles, realistic resolution.

In her most recent article, The Psychology and Neurobiology of Mediation, published in one of the country’s leading law journals, Elizabeth has explained  how the IDR cycle relates to the neurobiology of trauma.

Letting Go: An Interdisciplinary Approach

In all her publications, Elizabeth Bader emphasizes the way that the worlds of psychology and law come together during conflict. This is due to the way that issues of self and identity — also known as “face” or “ego” issues — create conflict and impede its resolution.

Stated another way, learning to “let go” has practical, legal, psychological and even spiritual dimensions.

Conflict Resolution: An Indispensable Element in Spiritual Practice

Elizabeth believes conflict has a spiritual dimension and we also need a new approach to spirituality — one that includes a psychological understanding of conflict, power dynamics and the tendency toward idealization of “gurus.”

Conflict resolution is a key to this approach. We all must learn to deal with differences without surrendering to top-down, stifling hierarchies and cult phenomena. Collaboration then becomes possible.

Reflective Inquiry: Facilitating Individual Empowerment

In her trauma-informed work with individuals, Elizabeth emphasizes individual empowerment. Reflective inquiry is used to facilitate an individual’s own self-reflection and insight about conflict.

Elizabeth also incorporates recent insights from Peter Levine and Stephen Porges on the neuroscience of trauma, mainly by emphasizing gentleness, mirroring and resonance.

Publications and Honors

Elizabeth Bader’s writings have been published in the Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution (2015), Pepperdine Dispute Resolution Law Journal (2010), the International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies (2011), and mediate.com.

Her writings earned Elizabeth the Margaret S. Mahler Psychiatric Research Foundation’s Literature Prize in 2011.

Elizabeth Bader