Mediation is a process that encourages and supports communication between parties who are in dispute. The purpose of mediation is to help people in conflict get at the root of their own problems and to help them devise their own solutions. Mediation brings the parties together to meet and try to resolve the situation in an informal and safe setting.
As a conflict resolution approach, mediation has several advantages over traditional litigation:
- It provides a confidential and informal climate, which fosters open and honest discussions;
- It gives parties an opportunity to express their concerns directly to one another;
- It provides a structured environment for interacting with the other side;
- Decisions and agreements as to how to move forward are left to the parties.
A mediator is a third party who is trained to facilitate communication, help parties articulate their main points of disagreement and encourage them to devise their own resolutions. The mediator has not had any prior contact with the parties and has no vested interest in how the situation is resolved.
The mediator might try to strengthen communication between the parties, and thereby encourage negotiation or resolution, by asking questions about how the disagreement occurred, asking parties to clarify or repeat positions, help parties identify items for discussion, solicit parties' suggestions on ways to resolve the problem and help the parties draft an informal written agreement if resolution is achieved. The most important function of a mediator is to get the parties to listen to one another.
Kathy offers mediation for the low cost of $120.00 per hour.