In the heat of conflict, we experience diminished access to our sense of inner strength and our awareness of our connection to others.  At these times, we behave destructively, in ways that harm ourselves and those we’re in conflict with.  At our worst moments, we have the urge to lash out at the other side, […]

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In some circles, name-calling is considered to be counterproductive in a mediation session. Some mediators suggest “no name-calling” as a helpful ground rule. While choosing to call someone by their preferred name can also be a wonderful choice for a party, here are 6 reasons mediators should consider being open to parties calling each other […]

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“Trust the process,” said the mediator. He was leading a divorcing couple through a discussion of the items in their budgets. The husband was saying that he didn’t care what his wife’s cable bill would be – he said it had no impact on the alimony he would pay. The mediator said, “Ok, but just […]

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Good research about mediation techniques has been hard to find. The costs of observing nuanced mediator behavior and subtle client reactions has been prohibitive. And no one has had a sufficient profit motive to sponsor such research. But the State of Maryland has been getting it done. The Administrative Office of the Courts followed over […]

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I saw an article on CNN.com a few days ago, linked here. The content of the article was not surprising. What I found hard to swallow was that the story was considered newsworthy. The article explains that when surgeons and other medical providers apologize after they’ve made a mistake, people are less likely to sue. […]

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Although mediators prefer not to be pigeonholed, the truth is that we each stick to our own philosophy.  Many mediators value mediation’s potential to empower parties. That is, unlike adjudication, arbitration and evaluative methods, mediation need not be a top-down experience in which the parties are expected to defer to the mediator. But the approach […]

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Changes Since 1998 I started mediating full-time in 1998. Back then people I met were intrigued by the idea of mediation for divorce. Though it had been happening in family cases for years, it hadn’t quite reached mainstream consciousness. Nowadays, when I tell people I do divorce mediation, they usually seem to know what I’m […]

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The Maryland Administrative Office of the Courts has completed a significant study of mediation methods.*  It measured the effects, in parenting disputes, of different techniques. The report strongly supports that methods consistent with the transformative approach are more effective than others at achieving lasting improvement in the situations mediated.  Although this study focused only on […]

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