“Why do I need to do mediation?” This question is asked a lot. Whilst, I wish the answer were simple but in my view it isn’t.
Why? In my view it depends on what is going on and what has gone on.
Mediation (or family dispute resolution) is a tool that can be very effective. In particular, it helps people to resolve issues by creating a level of understanding or acknowledgement. It can be used in a variety of situations and in a variety of ways.
TYPES OF MEDIATION
There are various mediation models out there and different mediators will each do it differently. It is important that you identify what type of mediator is good for you. Do you want someone who focuses on getting an agreement? Or do you want someone who helps you both to understand where the other person is coming from, so that you can realise what the underlying issue is and then working on solving that?
At the end of the day, the majority of us mediate every day. We just don’t realise it at the time.
If you have the type of relationship where you can talk with each other, you may not need mediation. The question that you need to ask here is – does the other party feel the same way? You may think you can talk and listen but does the other party think the same of your relationship? If they do then great – you should definitely try to do this yourself. If you don’t then that is where mediation would be a great option for you.
SAFETY AND MEDIATION
Then there are those who for safety reasons cannot talk to each other. In these scenarios there may be a party who feels intimidated, scared or threatened by the other person (whether that be physically or emotionally). In these scenarios if you want to try mediation it is essential that you find the right mediator. Some mediators may not feel comfortable or they may feel that it is inappropriate to mediate. Others will be very adept at controlling the power and levelling the playing field. Your mediator needs to consider the issues, the history and any orders in place.
Ultimately, mediation should be seen as a tool to help you. It provides a great framework to reach an agreement that is going to work for you both moving forward. Sometimes you may need a professional mediator to help. That is ok. Your mediator will make sure the conversations stay on track.