Training | Planning Change

Elizabeth is the founder and principal trainer of the boutique conflict resolution training center called Planning Change.

Elizabeth has been working in the field of alternative dispute resolution since 1997. Elizabeth was the Senior Director of the Manhattan and Brooklyn Community Mediation Centers from 1998 – 2004 where she focused much of her time on curriculum and training development. She was certified by the New York State Unified Court System as a mediation trainer in 2000 and built the mediator pool from a dozen to several hundred during her tenure. After leaving the community mediation center, Elizabeth focused on building a private training center that specialized in empowering individuals to affect meaningful change in their work and personal lives through the thoughtful practice of conflict resolution. Elizabeth opened Planning Change in 2007 and has expanded from a center that, at the beginning, offered just a Basic Mediation Training to one, that now, offers a wide variety of conflict resolution trainings throughout the year ranging from 1 day trainings to full certification programs.


Certified Mediation Training Program

Planning Change is one of the most comprehensive and individualized conflict resolution training programs in the country. As a mediation trainer, Elizabeth imparts the knowledge and skills that are necessary to be an effective mediator while fostering a deep understanding about conflict resolution that is meaningful in one’s personal life.

Elizabeth believes that mediation is fundamentally a personal practice. In her training students learn that being a good mediator depends just as much on skills and practice as it does on introspection and self-awareness. As a result, participants come away with the knowledge and hours required for the most rigorous certification programs in the state as well as a profound self-awareness about what it means to be in conflict.

Program Details

Elizabeth offers three trainings which can each be taken separately or in succession as part of the full Planning Change curriculum.

In Basic Mediation Training students learn the fundamentals of mediation and become qualified to mediate in the New York Courts.* This training is held once a year with a limited number of students.

At the second level, Advanced Mediation Training, students deepen their practice and are introduced to more sophisticated skills. Students also have an opportunity to focus on a particular area of mediation practice and may choose one of three student tracks in which to specialize: Small Business, Family & Divorce or Professional Development.

The final phase of training is Mastery in Mediation. This level focuses on the personal qualities of the mediator and looks at what the mediator brings to the table internally, and how by knowing themselves better they can learn to resolve conflict with more proficiency and from a higher level of consciousness.

To find out more or to apply for this training please visit

Restorative Justice Certification Program

Restorative Justice is the practice of addressing the needs of individuals, and the greater community system that holds them, after harm has occurred. As a part of its method, Restorative Justice gives the responsible party or parties an opportunity to rectify and make amends directly to the ones harmed by their actions. The practice also provides safe space for group members to express how the harm impacted them. Through conscientious presence and support, the restorative practitioner holds this space to allow for the honest expression of deep emotion held by all members of the group. Through this practice, an affected system can rebalance itself and the community can move forward.

Program Details

The three courses are meant to be taken together. The foundational course is taught in a three day intensive – Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Following the foundational, the advanced course is taught in an eight week experiential series of meeting in circle. During this eight weeks, the group will explore family system issues and restorative justice theory. During the eight weeks each participant will have an opportunity to lead the circle in order to develop their facilitation skills. Finally, the mastery will expand each participants understanding of circle keeping and will be taught in another three day intensive – Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

To receive more information or apply for this training, please visit

Click Here For Planning Change Certified Mediators

*These courses are approved under Part 146 by the New York State Unified Court System’s Office of ADR Programs. Final placement on any court roster is at the discretion of the local Administrative Judge and participation in a course that is either approved or pending approval does not guarantee placement on a local court roster.