I had a call from a local family law lawyer and was told that she recommended me to her counterpart because she felt that the case needed a mediator with heart. While I was happy that’s how I’m seen, it got me thinking – what are other mediators doing?
All mediators are not created equally, the same as in any profession. Just like you and your family, we are unique. Our background, our approach, our process, our training and most importantly…who we are as people.
Although I’m a Qualified Mediator with a focus on family; my skills and passion range from divorce to financial, and from coaching to mediation with age related issues. As such I’m a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (yes I love numbers) and I am 1 of 25 in Canada with a Family Mediation Canada and International Certified Elder Mediator designation. What does that mean for you? I have sensitivities in working with families that are different. My approach focuses on you and your needs and not just the process; we can always get creative with that, along with solutions!
Your families have heart, I believe solutions should have heart.
Think about it, even your CONFLICT has heart. You don’t fight or get angry about things you don’t care about, right?
I know that for Families in conflict there must be H.E.A.R.T. between the issues and the resolution.
Here’s what H.E.A.R.T. stands for in my practice:
Families have history, there is no denying that or ignoring that. A Family’s story plays a role in not only the conflict but the resolution. Mediation is a safe place to tell your stories and have them considered when discussing solutions.
Emotions can’t be ignored. Conflict hits us where it hurts. They can damage relationships, affect how we make decisions and cause hurt. Legal systems and processes are not set up to acknowledge emotions, the mediation process is.
Solutions that work should allow you to make decisions about your future, not hand that power over to someone else. While you may not be able to control how you ended up in this situation, you do get to control what your future looks like. In mediation you actively participate in what that looks like.
Such an important part of resolving conflict is feeling respected. Respecting yourself, others involved, respecting different views, emotions and opinions, often not an easy task. Family mediation is a respectful process that is inclusive and focused on respecting relationships, after all – you are family.
TALK & LISTEN
Managing and resolving conflict is about having a voice and listening to others. Resolution can’t have one without the other. While I know you don’t necessarily want to hear what the person has to say, it is the road to finding solutions that work. You want them to listen to you right?
Sometimes families are trying to solve a problem and don’t have the skills required or patience to solve it – that’s ok. That’s where I come in. I really want to help your family have those difficult conversations, help you resolve the conflict (notice I didn’t say I was going to resolve it ? and ideally get you back on track – even if it’s a different track.