When you contact us, our staff will take some basic information about your conflict and explain how we work. All information collected is confidential and will not be shared with the person or people with whom you are in conflict except whatever you may agree can be shared. If you decide to try mediation, we will help you determine the best way to contact the people you are in conflict with to see if they are willing to participate in mediation.
When the other party agrees to participate, we will assign two or more mediators to work with you. These co-mediators act as neutral third parties and do not take sides in the dispute, provide legal advice or assign blame. Their job is to help everyone understand the situation and develop an agreement. Mediators do not solve the problem for you, rather they help everyone involved in the conflict sit down and work out a solution together.
The mediators will meet with each person separately so they can explain their view of the conflict, as well as their own concerns and needs. This typically lasts an hour to an hour and a half. This meeting will take place close to where you live. Mediators will also prepare each person for the mediation process by explaining how to more effectively communicate during the mediation session.
At mediation, everyone will meet together with the mediators at a convenient neutral location. During the mediation, they ensure that communication remains respectful, safe, inclusive and productive throughout the process and that all parties are heard and understood. They also guide the participants to ensure that the solutions are developed by the parties and will be enduring.
There are three stages to the mediation itself:
- presenting each parties’ concerns
- listening to each other and developing an understanding of the impact of your actions or words on the other person
- speaking together and working out solutions
Once an agreement is reached, our staff will contact the parties within a few weeks to check in. If the agreement does not seem to be working, another mediation meeting can be set to review the agreement.