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About The Show:

Why is peace so difficult to achieve in the modern world?

Each week, Doug brings on guests from around the world to talk about their work and practice.

Be inspired and informed by some of the most innovative peacemakers of our time.

Call in with your questions and comments between 7 and 8 pm Pacific every Thursday.


About The Host:

Doug Noll, Lawyer turned Peacemaker, is a full time peacemaker and mediator specializing in difficult, complex, and intractable conflicts.

Doug is the author of three books, Elusive Peace: How Modern Diplomatic Strategies Could Better Resolve World Conflicts (Prometheus Books 2011); Sex, Politics & Religion at the Office: The New Competitive Advantage (Auberry Press 2006), with John Boogaert, and Peacemaking: Practicing at the Intersection of Law and Human Conflict (Cascadia 2002).

Doug is a sought-after keynote speaker and advanced mediation trainer.



Show Contact Info:





The Doug Noll Show

Host: Doug Noll



Recent Episodes:


04/10 : 04/10/14 A Multidisciplinary Approach to Conflict Resolution Based on Therapy, Crisis Response and Mediation. - Prabha Sankaranarayan


04/03 : 04/03/14 Jeffrey Masson: Animals and the Origins of Good and Evil


Segment 1: What Animals Can Teach Us.
On this edition of The Doug Noll Show we are speaking with bestselling author Jeffrey Masson. Jeffrey has a PhD in Sanskrit, is a Freudian analyst, and an expert on animal relationships and behavior. His latest book is called Beasts: What Animals Can Teach Us About the Origins of Good and Evil. 

When we are engaged in conflict, we think of the other side as evil. However, Jeffrey doesn’t believe we’re born with evilness within us; it is learned. Our species is on the verge of destroying ourselves because of our inability to look with objectivity at other animals who we have treated with disdain as possible teachers. Why is it that orcas, who are very similar to humans (large brains, sociable, top of the food change, live in complex societies) have never killed another orca in the wild? This is the thought that drove Jeffrey to study why humans are so different than other animals.

Segment 2: Us-Them Comparisons. 
War is a learned behavior. When you’re killing for food, it’s different than killing for fun. We’re the only animal in all of nature that gets to choose what we eat. Learning how to eat meat was something that allowed our predecessors to spread out on the land and find additional food sources. So what is it about humans that causes evil - such as killing for sport - to occur in us and not other animals? Jeffrey tells us that animals do not make an us-them distinction when it comes to other animals. For example, a dog wants to play with every dog he sees. He doesn’t care what kind of dog it is or what it looks like. There is no language barrier, no racism. Humans are different. We make constant us-them comparisons. We can find the most minor things to differentiate “us” from “them.” 

Segment 3: How Can We Unlearn Evil?
If we learned war, we have the capacity to unlearn it. Most animals don’t have the concept of vengeance. Jeffrey thinks it’s important to look at animals as our teachers instead of beasts. We can look at the animal world to learn how to deal with anger and hatred in a different way. If you look at big cats, bears, sharks, etc., they don’t want to fight because they know one of them might get killed. Humans need to learn this concept. Almost all animals, even the ones we consider to be the most ferocious, have learned to avoid conflict of a deadly nature. 

Segment 4: Trained By Culture.
Humans, unlike other animals, have huge egos. Animals have a ranking, but they don’t have the sense that it’s my God-given prerogative to treat this other animal this way. We’ve been trained by culture and history to hide vulnerability. Animals don’t kill just for the fun of it; they kill to eat. It’s not driven by vengeance or greed or any type of concept of an enemy. 

To learn more about Jeffrey’s work and his latest book, please visit

03/27 : 03/27/14 Brenda Adelman – From Trauma to Forgiveness


 Segment 1: The First Step is to Move Out of Denial.

On this edition of The Doug Noll Show we are speaking with Brenda Adelman: actor, life coach and forgiveness expert. Brenda grew up in Brooklyn in a close-knit family, but in 1995 her father shot and killed her mother and then married her mother’s sister before going on trial. Her father never took responsibility for the murder. Brenda believes some of the triggers were his unhappy marriage to her mother, an inability to handle emotions, the fact that divorce is expensive, and perhaps an undiagnosed mental illness. Her father, who has now passed, got out of prison in 2 years for good behavior. As Brenda was studying for her master’s degree in spiritual psychology she had a huge breakthrough while learning about healthy boundaries. She then decided to take her dad to court for wrongful death, and ultimately won a large settlement. She finally started to heal when she moved out of denial.

Segment 2: Forgiving, Not Forgetting.
Brenda tells us that when she couldn’t find compassion with father she couldn’t forgive him, and when she couldn’t forgive him she closed her heart to him, and when she closed her heart to him she closed her heart to everyone else, including herself. She finally began to be cognizant of the effect her actions were taking on her own world. It’s about forgiveness, not forgetting. Forgetting means you lose the lesson. 

Doug teaches that there are 3 steps of forgiveness: 1) Meet your own needs and forgive yourself. 2) Forgive the event by putting it in perspective and looking at it objectively (which could take a lifetime or could be a quick process). 3) Forgive the person who caused the injury. 

Brenda was shocked at how much vengeance she had. It first showed up in poetry, written at night when she couldn’t sleep. It was filled with vengeance and rage. For 30 days she wrote poetry, and at the end of the month she felt an opening and felt the vengeance release. The process of healing started with deeply reflective work like writing, and more recently, from preforming her one-woman show and leading workshops.

Segment 3: No Shame.
One of Brenda’s main messages is that there’s never anything of which to be ashamed. It’s all about applying love to the parts inside you that hurt. She holds space for clients as they process their emotions and sees the truth of each person. Brenda tells us the first step of forgiveness is to move out of denial and into the awareness of what’s really going on. Get in touch with the anger. The second step is to give up the need to be right. The third step is to move into gratitude and volunteer. Be of service in your community.

Segment 4: The Key is to be Conscious.
What happens first when people go through trauma? At first there’s shock. People need some time to grieve and just be in shock. They need time to process and just “be” in the initial pain before starting to heal. It takes about 30 days for the memory to reconstitute itself so that the worst of it slowly dissipates. At that point we can use therapists, healers, mediators, and other specialists to start processing the emotions. We can reframe the memories so that our stories are consistent with our reality. Brenda thinks the key to healing is being conscious. It changes everything. To find out more about Brenda, her one-woman show, or her workshops, visit 

03/20 : 03/20/14 The True Cost of Divorce - Arianna Jeret


Segment 1: It’s an Emotional-Based Issue.

Arianna Jeret is a mediator and divorce coach how focuses on lessening the emotional trauma and financial strain of divorce by facilitating communication techniques. On this edition of The Doug Noll Show we’ll speak with Arianna and learn how she develops a customized process with each client to work through high-conflict divorces quickly, amicably and cost-effectively.

Arianna began her career in fundraising but quickly found that the work that she most enjoyed was more of the communications-based one-on-one work with donors. After going back to school she eventually partnered with another mediator and started a Family Law mediation business. At the time she was going through a complicated divorce herself and found the work tremendously therapeutic and healing. Her current practice consists of both coaching and mediation, but her cases are predominately mediation. Divorce is an emotional-based issue. Arianna helps her clients navigate a slippery legal slope, but she realizes the social management portion of the divorce is just as, if not more so, important than the legal aspect.

Segment 2: They Just Want to be Heard.

Arianna tries to humanize the situation and personalize what her clients are going through. She tells stories of similar situations, as well as her own mistakes and how she’s acknowledged them and moved forward. She also uses humor. Divorce is so difficult on an all-consuming level. She wants them to feel safe and supported when they’re in her office. It’s important to build trust right away.

Often times clients are feeling a deep injustice. Their brain is telling them that they want vengeance, but in reality, they are wanting something else. They want to be heard. They want connection. They want control of their own lives. Arianna reminds people that when they go to court they end up disempowering themselves and putting their needs, wants, desires into the hands of a judge. In mediation, however, they have total control.

Segment 3: Empathic Listening.

You cannot deal with emotions with logic alone. When in the middle of a conflict, don’t listen to the words; listen to the emotions. There are four levels of being an empathic listener:

1) Repeat the words

2) Paraphrase

3) Give core message

4) Label the emotion

Segment 4: The Cost of a Divorce.

It costs roughly $100,000 to get a divorce in LA County. It’s a huge waste of money. Collaborative Divorce costs about 60% of a regular divorce, and mediation is considered to cost 10% of the cost of a regular divorce. Mediation is the way to go. Additionally, Loyola and other law schools have programs where people can go to and get free advice. As a client, you need to go in knowing what needs to get done and have your homework ready (including financial data, etc.). She encourages clients to constantly do a cost-benefit analysis of their actions. Ask yourself, “How much is this day in court going to cost me? How much would mediation cost me?” To find out more about Arianna’s services, please visit


03/13 : 03/13/14 Judith Hand: The Biology of War


Segment 1: Fear-Based Thinking.
On this edition of The Doug Noll Show we are speaking with Judith Hand: scientist, novelist, futurist, and “peace ethologist.” Judith is going educate us on the biological factors that cause war and what can be done to bring about peace. Judith is an Evolutionary Biologist who studies animal behavior, conflict resolution and social communication. She’s also an Ethologist, meaning she studies human behavior from a biological perspective. 

War is not part of our human nature. It is not inevitable and is not an inherited trait. So what is it about our biology that makes us susceptible to war? It’s a cultural invention. Over the past 10,000 years we’ve had dominating societies where the primary decisions were made by men. There are consequences of taking women out of the decision making process in regards to war. Additionally, Judith has found that the fear of scarce resources sometimes drives people to war. It makes us vulnerable to war mongers, who come in and take advantage of that fear thinking. They stir up the fear of lack in order to form an army. 

Segment 2: Peace Systems.
Judith believes we can create “peace systems.” For example, the European Union was created because people were tired of the brutality and the waste of WWII. They had a vision and they created the European Union, which is an example of a peace system. Another example is the United States. We decided that we would be united and solve our conflicts by using a court system. When the global community becomes aware that war mongers are causing war, and when they decide to stop being drawn into the scare tactics and instead create a global peace system with treaties, boycotts, and sanctions, peace happens.

So how do we deal with economic dislocation when we stop creating weapons? There is no simple answer as it would affect jobs and big money, but the citizens can start by telling their government that they would “prefer to spend the money in other ways rather than in arms and defense.” The only people who make money off of war is the war industry. It’s bad for business such as Target, Google and Apple to have war. 

Segment 3: Less corruption and less war.
There is an emphasis on the role of women in creating a peaceful world, because of their biological make-up. Their child-bearing DNA requires social stability. Although women are aggressive just like men, when it comes to using physical conflict, there is a difference. Biologically, a woman carries a child, takes the risk of childbirth, feeds the child, and protects the child for at least 12 years until they can reproduce on their own. It is a much bigger biological investment than what men invest. Women have been adapted to WANT social stability in their community, where they are raising their children. Therefore women have a lot of traits that help them resolve conflict without violence. Where women are involved in leadership in a society, there’s less corruption and less war. 

Segment 4: 
So how do we manage population growth, strain on resources and climate change in a non-violent way? Judith says there is an answer: there is a general global hungering to avoid war because our survival instinct has been triggered. There is a sense that what we’ve been doing in the past has to change. War is NOT inevitable. The threats that are coming at us can actually unite us instead of tear us apart. To learn more about Judith’s work please visit

Judith Hand, a future without war, war, peace, peace systems, violence, women biology, men biology, peace ethologist, shift book

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