What is mediation?

Mediation is the process in which you and the person with whom you are having a family, work, or civil-based dispute or disagreement meet with me and talk about solutions that work for both of you. My role is to facilitate a change in how you view the issues that brought you together with me. This leads to practical solutions to your disagreement that are beneficial to both of you. I help by listening to each of you, pointing out and encouraging you when solutions are being explored, and making sure both of you are empowered in finding these solutions.

Mediation typically takes place in the form of conference meetings; where you, the other party, and I meet together in a session to discuss the conflict. Mediations are typically conducted over multiple sessions in order to allow for parties to further weigh their interests and options, perform agreed-upon follow-up activities, and allow time to process the conflict. When a solution that is mutually agreeable is arrived upon, and there are no other issues to discuss/solve, the process of mediation ends.

Why mediation?

Sometimes we find ourselves in conflict. When this happens, it’s our natural tendency to engage in what psychologists call “fight or flight”. What if, instead, we paused where we were and, as a result, truly experienced and overcame the anger, pain, and fear that we tend to feel in conflict? What if we channeled our passions into claiming our foundational interests and focusing on solutions based on these interests? Mediation is the best way to focus on these interests and solutions.

I've heard that mediators are supposed to be "neutral". Is it possible to be neutral as a mediator?

Many in this field talk about the importance of mediators being “impartial” or “neutral”. While these are definitely important characteristics of a mediator, I like to think my own “impartiality” as modeling how to overcome our natural biases as we work together. All of us, including myself, have stubborn traits, prejudices, lingering fears, and intractable views. As a mediator, I will focus on the positive values and interests that each of you have, even if they are related to the very things you are fighting or disagreeing about.

My disagreement is very complicated. How can I be sure you have the qualifications to help me?

I believe that, as a mediator, I can help you come to an agreement with the other party, no matter how complex the issues may seem. This is because, as we talk with one another, you will find that the complex issues are secondary to your basic wants and needs. I have years of experience working with complex conflicts and issues. I’m confident that my experience in psychology, leadership, and dispute resolution will help you to find a workable agreement as a result.

I’m currently working with or considering an attorney to help me with this dispute. Do you replace my attorney?

A good attorney will represent you in fighting for your legal rights to the maximum extent possible. My role, on the other hand, is to help you and the other party come to a mutually beneficial agreement.

Since I am not an attorney, this means that I do not replace your attorney’s role of making sure the agreement corresponds with your legal rights. In fact, when we arrive at a mutually agreeable settlement, I will encourage you to consult with an attorney regarding the proposed solution.

Isn’t a mediator just as expensive as an attorney?

It is typically far less expensive. While there is an hourly rate I charge for my expertise in helping you, the amount of time invested in your coming to an agreement tends to be much shorter than what usually is spent working solely with attorneys to come to a settlement or judgment. Here is a brief overview of the average cost of mediation versus litigation:

Average cost of divorce=$15,000* (obtained from nolo.com survey report) to $30,000 (info.legalzoom.com/average-cost-divorce-20103.html)
In more contested cases, taking into account a variety of factors, cost can range from $8,000 to over $130,000 (obtained from divorcemag.com/articles/how-much-does-a-divorce-cost)

Mediation: 3,000 to 10,000 (source: Money Magazine, July 2005)

Years of experience to help you find solutions...
Background and Qualifications:

1996 – Bachelor of Science, Psychology, Brigham Young University

1997 – Master of Arts, Psychology, Duquesne University

2001 – Educational Specialist, School Psychology, Seattle University

2009 – Master of Education – Leadership and Administration, Benedictine University

2014 – Special Education Director’s Endorsement, St. Francis University

2016 – Mediation Certification, Interaction Management Associates

2016 – Family Mediation Certification, Interaction Management Associates

 

Member: Association for Conflict Resolution, Arizona Association for Conflict Resolution, Maricopa County Association of Family Realtors

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