An Overview of Emotional Imprint™
A Message To Students
Our Educational Team
EI™ at Street Squash
Emotional Imprint™ is an innovative K-12th grade curriculum in emotional literacy: the capacity to use emotions as a tool for understanding and problem solving.
Please support our work with a tax-deductible contribution >>
For more information, contact:
Copyright ©2012-14 Alice L Maher.
All rights reserved.
Emotional Imprint™ is a
registered trademark of
Alice L Maher
in the United States and/or other countries. Information is subject to change without notice.

EmotionalImprint_DrVamikVolkanWhy Do We Have War,
and What Can Our Generation Do About It?
Dr. Vamik Volkan Meets
Emotional Imprint™ Interns

These were among the challenging questions posed to Dr. Vamik Volkan by our seven extraordinary Emotional Imprint™ interns when they interviewed him at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel on Jan 18th. Dr. Volkan, four-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee, is world-renowned for his work on the dynamics of prejudice, ethnic conflict and the forces that lead to war, and his mediation efforts on the world stage. The interview was filmed by Changing Our Consciousness and Falling Awake Productions.

These are some of the ideas he presented:

Stranger Anxiety: Just as children feel more comfortable in their families and have anxiety around strangers, groups of people do too.

The Tent Metaphor: If groups of people live under nearby tents, in times of peace they focus on their everyday lives and don’t pay much attention to their tent or the people who live in the other ones. But if their tent is threatened by forces from the outside, they band together to protect their tent in ways that are both essential and problematic. Memories of past traumas and past glories rise to the surface, and leaders take advantage of these phenomena.


Communicating Across Divides: It’s impossible to make the leap from war to peace without powerful emotions like fear, mistrust, and rage intervening. Because we’re human, “Why can’t we just all get along?” is more fantasy than reality. Dr. Volkan’s mediation teams bring representative groups of people together to attempt to resolve emerging ethnic or religious conflicts, and they invite and tolerate the expression of powerful emotions over long periods of time. He believes that we don’t have to like, trust, or love each other in order to negotiate effectively, but we do have to talk. “As long as we’re talking, we’re not fighting.”

It was a privilege to witness this dialogue between Dr Volkan and emerging young adults across the divides of age, race, culture, education, and lived experience. We believe that the younger generation can and will imagine new techniques to bridge these divides more effectively.  

Over the coming months, the Emotional Imprint™ students will learn more about these and other models of prejudice, and they will develop presentations and new curricula based on this material.  Learn more about our work with StreetSquash >>