We gathered for yet another workshop, this time on the topic of Peer-Mediation. The workshop was initiated by centering the body and the mind for the upcoming  discussions; we did Power-Poses. Research shows that within 2 minutes of positioning yourself in a «powerful» pose,  cortisol decreases in our bodies, which is often responsible for causing stress, while testosterone rises. Our body-pose can effect our overall well-being when entering difficult situations.

Seen below: team member Martin and participants doing power-poses.

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We continued the workshop by asking the participants to think of 5 significant people in their social circles. Later we reflected on the common and different characteristics inhabited by the people they had listed. This sparked an interesting conversation about the people we choose to surround ourselves with. The exercise worked as a transition to a discussion on prejudices, and how to be aware of these factors inter-playing in our daily interactions with other people.

Seen below: Participants making lists of their social circles.

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Our team member Felix who is a psychologist, facilitated a session on mental health awareness. Starting with an exercise that asked the participants to position themselves in the room, according to their associations with the word «psychology.» One side of the room represented positive associations, the other side stood for negative. It inspired stories in people who came to Germany as refugees from Afghanistan and Syria. The participants spoke on the collective perception of mental health in their home countries, and their experiences with seeking and receiving mental health support here in Germany.

Seen below: Discussion about mental health.

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Second half of the workshop was focused on circling back to the introductory techniques of Peer-Mediation. The techniques were solidified by enacting a mediation of a dispute  in a role-play exercise.