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"PISTES"... in order to transform the feeling of powerlessness and the violence within a conflict

PISTE (in the figurative sense) “path leading to something or someone. What guides in a search” (as defined in the French dictionary the Petit Robert).

PISTES is the acronym for the tool in the original French, holding the same meaning as piste/trail in English and standing for ‘Perception, Intention, Sanction, Transformation Emotionnelle de la Souffrance’ which translates as ‘Perception, Intention, Sanction and Transforming the Emotion of Suffering’ in order to retain the same acronym and its meaning. It is an extension of the tool ‘Pétrin’ developed by Jean-Jacques Samuel [1].

This tool distinguishes between the different roles and positions that emerge from a violent situation where there is a symmetrical opposition between ‘victims’ and ‘aggressors’, with if necessary the inclusion of biased ‘partisan observers’ who believe that they can bring the violence to an end by backing one or other of the conflict parties – and in which only resorting to third parties (laws, rules and values) through the intermediary of ‘external guarantors’ can bring about the reduction of violence.

It is however possible that:

- The ‘external guarantors’ are supporters or partisans of the stronger party, and give their support to the injustices under dispute;
- lThe external guarantors find that they are not able to make themselves heard by the protagonists for whom they hold responsibility (teachers, educators, leaders, conciliators and mediators);
- External guarantors find themselves the victims of institutional inconsistency, and at odds with the laws or rules that they are supposed to be applying;

How will the victims be able to bring about an end to the injustices that cause them suffering?

It is the role of ‘internal guarantor’ that can allow for the transformation of a situation of stalemate: this actor will make use of the energy blocked by their powerlessness in the situation and guide this power through the values of this tool, and by renouncing the desire to be all-powerful. It will perhaps necessitate several progressions through PISTES before they are no longer powerless.