What is Mediation?
Mediation is a conversation guided by an impartial mediator to help participants resolve disputes or make decisions. Mediation is a voluntary, collaborative, and structured process, in which the participants set the agenda for the mediation sessions. In mediation everyone can talk about their perspective.
What is the Role of the Mediator?
In a mediation session, the mediator: 1) guides communication between the participants, 2) helps participants identify their interests and concerns, 3) supports participants who appear to be at an impasse, and 4) assists participants in generating options for resolution. Although some mediators may be attorneys or have additional credentials, mediators do not represent, advocate for a side, or make decisions for the participants. While the mediator may suggest possible options by which to resolve a dispute, it is up to the participants to make the decision.
Why Should Individuals Experiencing Conflict Consider Mediation?
Conflict is normal and unavoidable. Indeed, many disputes often get resolved without professional help. However, there are certain events or situations where a trained mediator can be beneficial. Mediation can help participants:
· Feel heard and understood;
· Clarify points and concerns;
· Identify and prioritize issues to be resolved;
· Discuss possible solutions for the future;
· Come to an agreement.
How is Mediation Different from Therapy and Counseling?
Mediators are not therapists nor counselors. Mental health practitioners specialize in the treatment of mental health conditions. On the other hand, mediators are trained to facilitate conversations between the participants in a way that is problem-solving oriented. Mediators focus on the past, only to the extent that is necessary to help participants make decisions about the future.
How Can We Support Your Needs?
Melissa A. Little Consulting & Mediation Services works with individuals and organizations to support decision making and to resolve family, work, and school disputes; as well as race-based conflicts. With respect to families this includes support in the following areas:
· Parenting roles;
· Family logistics;
· Decision making about medical and educational matters;
· Financial planning, family budgeting, and handling expenses;
· Managing family and other social relationships;
· Identifying and setting boundaries;
· Planning for future needs and support for children with special needs.