People in conversation

Basic EP Facilitation Workshop

Workshop Description

This two-day workshop will teach participants the basics of the Essential Partners facilitation model. You'll learn EP's tools to hold space for tough conversations in daily life, in your community, at your workplace, or during formal Reflective Structured Dialogue.

The Essential Partners framework promotes connection and curiosity between those who see each other as enemies. For three decades, our unique approach has transformed conflicts across the country and the world—but the basic principles of the EP’s framework are applicable to local community issues, organizational development, congregations, and everyday conversations.

Intentional communication helps individuals, organizations, and communities build trust, enhance resilience, and engage in constructive conversations despite deeply-held differences of value, belief, opinion, or identity. This workshop is designed to help participants develop a powerful set of tools to achieve those goals and adapt them to meet the needs of their contexts.


  • To learn the theory and practice of EP’s Reflective Structured Dialogue framework;
  • To design and structure conversations to meet a group’s purposes and needs; 
  • To build competence and confidence in facilitating through challenging moments; 
  • To prepare participants and one’s self to deal with challenges in the room.

As a result of this two-day workshop, you will be equipped to:

  • Create a context for people to communicate about difficult or divisive topics;
  • Break destructive communication habits;
  • Design conversations, dialogues, or meetings with clear purpose, full participation, and a structure for moving forward;
  • Intervene to facilitate through rough spots in the conversation.

Who might participate:

  • Civic leaders and advocates
  • Educators and administrators
  • Corporate and nonprofit managers
  • Human resources professionals
  • Clergy and lay religious leaders
  • Therapists or social workers
  • Alternative dispute resolution professionals

Accreditation and Continuing Education

Essential Partners provides a certificate upon completion of the workshop that can be used to support a request for professional development credits.


Essential Partners provides a limited number of partial or full scholarships for each workshop it hosts. A member of the staff will inform applicants of their decisions six weeks prior to the workshop date; applicants will confirm their acceptance by registering online. Scholarships are granted based on two criteria: financial need; and  potential for impact on a community level.

Fill out this form to apply for a scholarship.

Cancellation Policies

If you must cancel, please do so as far in advance as possible. Cancellations are subject to a $25 administration fee plus an additional $25 to process credit card refunds (if you paid by credit card). To receive any refund your cancellation must be made at least 2 weeks before the course date. Essential Partners is under no obligation to offer any refund or credit if you cancel within two weeks of a workshop. If you need to cancel due to a medical emergency, your local weather conditions, or any other reason please call (617) 923-1216.

In some instances, Essential Partners must cancel a workshop due to low enrollment, faculty illness, or weather. In the unlikely event that we have to cancel a workshop due to low enrollment, we will give you at least 2 weeks notice. If we cancel due to faculty illness or severe weather, we will contact you as far in advance as possible. If there is a severe storm warning in the area of the workshop venue, we will cancel by 4:00 pm the day before.

If the workshop is canceled, Essential Partners will issue you a full refund of the registration fee, with no additional administration fees. Essential Partners cannot be responsible for travel losses.

For more information, please contact us at or 617-923-1216.


September 15-16, 2022
April 13-14, 2023
October 19-20, 2023
9:30 AM – 5:00 PM


Online Via Zoom
Cambridge, MA 02482
United States


Regular Fee
Early Bird Special
Register with a Friend


Daniel Pritchard