What Does a Facilitated Dialogue Look Like?
We will begin by introducing ourselves over the telephone. You’ll have a chance to explain the circumstances and the impact they have had on you and your family.
We often find a visit from a facilitator, after the first call and before a meeting is scheduled, is helpful for everyone. When all parties are comfortable with the idea of a dialogue, we select a location and a time that works for everyone. A decision about who attends the dialogue is jointly made, with the final determination made by the victim.
When you arrive at the location at which the dialogue is to be held, you will have a chance to meet with the facilitator again to discuss any thoughts you’ve had since your first meeting. You will also be asked to sign forms which require confidentiality of all participants.
When the dialogue begins, the facilitator asks the victim to explain their experience as fully as they need to, their experience of harm. This process creates a context where offenders are able to take in the true impact of their actions. For one who has been harmed, witnessing meaningful remorse is often a profoundly healing experience. Dialogues provide an opportunity for a victim to ask all the questions he or she might have. It often leads to specific plans for reparation.