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Mediation Services

Untangling the knots of conflict
and re-weaving them into knots of understanding and/or trust

Why Mediation
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Why Mediation
Third-Party Intervention


Why Mediation

The knots metaphor (on the Home page) describes in a simple way how the threads of interpersonal relationships can become so tangled that it seems impossible to continue to interact with each other with any degree of goodwill or respect.Especially in small communities whether they be extended families, non-profit social-concerns groups, or other kinds of small organizations such interpersonal conflict-knots can become particularly difficult to resolve.First of all, because such groups have a very limited number of members, which are intimately related (work-wise or as a family), it is almost impossible to avoid the conflict unless at least one party becomes estranged from the family/leaves the group. Secondly, whether a family or social-concerns group, one's deepest passions (and often, needs) tend to be involved.The end result of unresolved conflict-knots is that both the family or group (as well as the individuals) suffer; and in a way that can't simply be emotionally, or even functionally, ignored.

Our culture does not generally support mediation as a means of resolving conflict.Rather, an irresolvable dispute is sent to litigation (if involving legal issues); or fixed by someone higher up in the community (organizational director, or perhaps the patriarch/matriarch of the family).Such fixes rarely solve the situation in any more than a temporary way, as they tend to rely on either an unsatisfactory compromise or one party clearly winning while the other equally loses.When one's life-passions (as in the case of social-concerns groups) or emotional/support needs (as within families) are at issue, the community itself begins to break down: and it becomes harder to it to serve the needs of all of its members or as in the case of social-concerns groups, those that it intends to serve.In the worst case scenario, the unfortunate end result can be a total degeneration of the organization or support of the family system.

Mediation offers a means by which not only the specific conflict can be resolved, but tends to strengthen the trust-knots between the parties (and even within the community as a whole).The very process of creating a safe environment to explore the values/beliefs/passions/etc. and threads that are woven into the dispute tends to develop not only deeper understanding, empathy and respect, but (re) dis~cover and em~power the common goals or passions that initially lead to the relationship.Everyone in the family or organization benefits from this re-weaving of the threads in terms of the cohesion of the family/group as a whole, as well as encouraging each of its members to also consider mediation (whether formal or informal) as an appropriate way to resolve their own future conflict-knots.

Finally, mediation is less expensive than going through the court system and definitely much quicker but most importantly, tends to result in the parties building a more productive relationship for the future, or at least attaining some kind of personally-satisfactory closure.

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Third Party Intervention

Mediation is sometimes referred to as 'third party intervention'.The word, intervention, itself has become rather ambiguous even negative in our culture.Wars, and even first-strike attacks, have been concealed by the term "intervention".Particularly in the 60s/70s, the term often referred to kidnapping a member of a cult and de-programming them frequently against their will.The term is now more commonly used in relation to addiction problems where there is an intervention by a third party (an individual or collective of them), forcing the individual to address the issues of their addiction and to get treatment.

In Mediation, the term 'third-party intervention' is used in a much more neutral sense.The mediator acts as a third, unbiased party, which the disputing parties choose to have intervene in order to facilitate them to be able to move beyond the conflict-knot.At times, the mediator does literally intervene in order to re-direct the conversation into a more useful direction, suggest ways to un-tangle the knots, ensure equality between the parties have, and otherwise move the discussion towards a 'win-win' solution.

Please also check out Mediation Process for further information on how a mediation session functions, and what to expect.

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Mediation The journey from
of conflict
to knots of understanding,
respect and/or trust

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