- Can we mediate if we don’t get along?
- Will the Mediator decide who is right and who is wrong?
- What do we actually do at Mediation?
- How long does it take?
- Do we always meet together?
- Do we sign a contract before Mediating?
- What paperwork do I need to have ready?
Yes! Mediation helps you communicate and work things out. In Mediation, you get support to solve the current problem and
work out strategies for how to get along better in the future. However, mediation may not be appropriate if there is a history of fear, threatening behaviors, or violence in the relationship.
The Mediator is a neutral third party who helps you reach an agreement that is fair to all, without making the decisions for you. The meetings are private and cooperative in nature. You make a good faith effort to reach agreement on the issues that have brought you to the Mediation.
Mediation is facilitated negotiation, which means you work together with others to achieve mutually beneficial solutions.
During the first Mediation session I will meet briefly with each of you one-on-one, and then we will make a collective decision about how to proceed in your case. We then build an agenda and identify any tasks to be accomplished prior to the next session.
The length of mediations and the number of sessions vary tremendously, depending on the wants and needs of the participants. Most of the time, the first session lasts about two hours. However, some people prefer to meet for only one hour at a time. Others wish to accomplish as much as possible within a short timespan, in which case a mediation can be scheduled to last all day. The number of sessions is also very individual, depending on the goals of the mediation.
The Mediator is by definition a neutral facilitator, and therefore does not work individually with participants. However, in certain cases the participants may be more comfortable meeting in separate rooms, in which case the mediator may “shuttle” back and forth between the participants to negotiate agreement.
Typically everyone involved signs a Mediation Participation Agreement, which we will discuss together at our first session. It describes the nature of mediation, and any specific ground rules.
I usually ask participants to complete a Client Information sheet prior to our first session, so I have a general sense of your situation. Depending on your situation, you may also want to bring documents that relate to any pressing issues that you wish to address right away.