I Am Happy!

Contributor: Debora Civello 
Siracusa, Sicily, Italy
Debora Civello graduated from the Lumsa of Rome in November of 2004 with her Bachelor’s in Psychological Sciences and Techniques. She went on to receive her Graduate Degree in Mediation from the University of Catania in 2007. 

With a big smile on my lips and eyes shining, I look at you and say “Ask me if I’m happy”, the answer, of course, is a deep YES.

I am happy because the work I do fully expresses myself.

As a child I have believed that kindness can change the way of seeing and dealing the situations. When I was a child, about 10 years old, I had set the daily goal of smiling, and “calling the smile” to at least 5 people I did not know!


Because I wanted to change the world, make it a better place. I knew that to do it I had to start from small gestures … it’s a smile is a small but powerful gesture.

Growing up I did not miss this goal.

Before knowing, and falling in love with mediation, I have studied psychology and human behavior, and its relationship to Art.

I find Art an effective means of getting right to the soul of people.

Art, like the smile, is powerful.

If every person had the chance to be in touch with “Great Beauty,” their being would rise to stay on the highest point of the Maslow Pyramid, self-actualization.  Virtues, like humility, gratitude, empathy shine.

In 2005, during my studies on Relationship Mediation, I met the Argentine spouses Bermolen, they were Boal’s pupils and carried the Oppressive Theater in Italy. I was blown away.

I began thinking, studying, experimenting with a technique that united the Oppressed Theater to Mediation. I wanted to create a technique that ultimately resolved, quickly, and satisfying for everyone, the conflicts within groups, and did so with the strength and kindness of the smile and Art.

Opera della Mediazione was born from these goals.  This approach applies the art of opera to real life conflicts among groups.  It involves non-coercive strategies for three levels borrowed from the Greek theater:

– Theoria: story of the problem;
– Krisis: Awareness of the problem;
– Katharsis: resolution, in the most disparate ways, of the controversy.

This technique is particularly effective as it does not rely only upon words. Opera being intuitive and emotional theater makes it easy to use especially in cases where members of the group are subject to limitations (examples could be children, adolescents, addicts, people with mild or moderate mental retardation, or groups belonging to different cultures and languages).  This technique is also successful  in family conflicts and separations because it allows each individual member of the conflict to see and feeling what other people experience arising from their own behavior.

“Ask me if I’m happy?”

I’m happy because I can help others, I’m happy because I can help create a better world. I’m happy because I can share with my children precious times when share my work with them.  This is not just spending time together with them but growing with them, working with them live joyfully and to make others happy.

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