Introduction to Mediation
Often times when I share with someone what I do, they respond with telling a mediation experience that usually makes me cringe. The story goes like this… My ex and I were ordered to go through mediation when we were splitting up to decide who was getting what and how much time we would have with our kids. We were put in two separate rooms and the mediator would go back and forth from my room to the other. Then my attorney would tell me if this was a good deal or not. I agreed to it, but it really wasn’t what I wanted. It didn’t seem fair but it felt like I had no choice in the matter.
This is a common form and outcome of mediation when people are getting divorced. My personal experience was a similar one. But to me, this is not mediation and therefore it is not the style of mediation I practice. There is a component in this style that is missing which is very, very important for both parties to feel the mediation was a success, which I will reveal in just a bit.
While I am able to mediate divorcing couples or any dispute, I steer away from mediations where the participants are forced into mediation and those that are divorcing. For one, when someone is forced into mediation by the court it mostly is viewed as a step that is necessary to take before I can get “my day in court,” which results in the participants going through the motions and usually ends with neither party satisfied with the outcome. Secondly, because of my personal experience with ordered mediation, my heart wants to use my skills and style of mediation with couples or people in conflict who want to preserve and save the relationship. I work with couples who want to stop the endless cycle of arguing, save their marriage, keep their family together and learn new communication skills they can use in the future.
So what is this very, very important component my clients have in relationship mediation? Self-determination. It is a process in which you choose how you come to an agreement over the issues that are stealing your happiness. Where YOU decide all the parts and pieces of the solution to help reach resolution. It is my belief that there is no other person who is better equipped to determine the solution then you for your family. You may be thinking, we can’t come to an agreement because we end up arguing and saying the same thing over and over again. This is very common.
Sometimes what is needed to break this cycle is the style of mediation I offer. As a neutral third person, I help facilitate your discussion so you identify the underlying issues and circumstances, which ultimately leads to finding your solution. My mediation offers you communication techniques and the ability to get unstuck so you can move forward toward resolution. Yes, it does take work. Anytime we are in conflict, it is uncomfortable and difficult to express ourselves. There are four steps that I help you work through, which provide a beginning, middle and end. Mediation works for couples, parent/teen relationships, stepfamilies, eldercare issues and work place conflict. For more information, I offer a no-obligation phone consultation.