The Ara Pacis Method-7-Step

7-Step Leadership Program for Healing, Reconciliation and Peace Building


We at Ara Pacis developed a training of trainers program aimed at overcoming divisions, initiating healing and fostering reconciliation and peace building in societies torn apart by sectarian violence and conflict.

Our program is centered on transforming the human precursors to, and legacies of conflict – ranging from trauma to hate, from prejudice to revenge, from fear to anger and beyond – into dialogue, forbearance, understanding, empathy and mutual collaboration for a shared future.

We understand based on our own experience that until these human factors are addressed, personal and collective memories of suffering will return, and enmities will ultimately re-emerge to destroy any progress made towards peace and development, re-engaging populations in cycles of violence and revenge.

The 7-Step Program


STEP ONE: Forgiveness and reconciliation


Becoming aware of, confronting, overcoming and transforming feelings of pain, humiliation, division, betrayal, vengeance and rage.


STEP TWO: Psychosocial tools for working with victims of human rights violations in a context of political violence.

Strengthening personal capacities and delivering social and moral support to victims of different types of violence.


STEP THREE: 3 Dignity leadership

Understanding the crucial role that dignity must play in conflict resolution and peace building.


STEP FOUR: Promoting healing and human rights advocacy

Using “Dignity Healing Testimony” to support survivors of torture and other forms of violence in telling their stories for healing and justice.


STEP FIVE: Documenting and processing human rights violations

Learning the criteria for interfacing the Dignity Healing Testimony work with the need to gather evidence to be used for legal purposes.


STEP SIX: Storytelling and community arts production for healing and peace building

Artistic practices for reframing testimonial narratives of suffering and creating narratives of hope.


STEP SEVEN: Inspiring Change

Motivating women and civil society in working for peace and promoting rights and safety.

After completing the 7-Step Program, trainees put into practice the acquired skills and begin to:

  • Initiate neighborhood-based trainings on forgiveness and reconciliation, using the 10 module ESPERE methodology to teach participants how to transform their hatred and resentment and promote concrete actions that lead to forgiveness and reconciliation.
  • Conduct “Dignity Healing Testimony” interviews documenting oral history, human rights violations, and other impacts of conflict while also fostering healing and a sense of justice;
  • Meet with each interviewee to share and process with them their interview recording or transcript, for healing and advocacy purposes;
  • Prepare the interview recordings/transcripts for archival purposes and for use by human rights defenders/lawyers, etc., by creating a shorter, 2-3 page summary of each interview; and
    Develop and carry out a local plan for story- and arts-based community building activities, with a focus on processes for reconciliation and peace building.

To have more information about our workshops, email us [email protected]
See more about our trainers: ARA PACIS INITIATIVE TRAINERS