01726 70300 or 07733366644
Future Days Mediation
I am a qualified work place and family mediator. I have worked in family mediation for over 20 years. If you would like to discuss how mediation might work for you then please get in contact via my Contact page, or for booking please contact Accord Mediation Cornwall.
Below is more information about Mediation including my Mediation Code of Conduct that will detail clearly how I will work.
What is Mediation?
Mediation is when a neutral third party (the mediator) facilitates two or more people in conflict negotiate towards a mutually acceptable agreement. The parties in dispute control the outcome. The mediator facilitates communication, supports understanding, assists the parties to identify their needs and interests, and uses creative problem solving techniques to encourage resolution.
Mediation is voluntary, the mediator is impartial and the process is confidential.
Mediation gives parties much more control over the way their dispute or difference is dealt with and over the outcome. If negotiations have so far failed, mediation provides an alternative to pursuing litigation or other more formal processes. The scope for solutions is usually greater than the remedies available in courts and tribunals, or even in prolonged negotiation.
What is the difference between Mediation and Psychotherapy?
Here we have two different fruits, but they are both fruits! My journey into Mediation has only just begun but in these early stages of learning, I am struck by how these two professions are both similar and different at the same time. For that reason, I have chosen to look at the similarities between the two disciplines as well as the differences. I have found my experience as a therapist invaluable while training as a mediator, as I would expect would be the case for a mediator training as a therapist. I will explore this concept under loose headings in two sections: – a, differences and b, similarities.
Focus – Mediation generally has a more specific remit, often engaging particular disputes and elements of them. Mediation is more focused on practical solutions and agreements for moving forward. Mediation will focus more so on negotiation. Psychotherapy tends to have a wider focus, often exploring a client’s history, behavioural patterns with wider outcomes – such as reducing anxiety, better relationships or more general happiness in life. The way someone thinks, and feels is explored in some detail. Psychotherapy can also explore a client’s skill set with a view to resourcing people to engage life with more tools and strategies. Process – Psychotherapy tends to dig deeper into the concept of “Why?” Freud said, “Sometimes a spade is just a spade,” despite having spent a life absorbed with analysis! Mediators act as guides or facilitators in the process of two or more parties working towards their own resolution. (see directive below). The process is more structured than Psychotherapy. Psychotherapy is frequently (but not exclusively) conducted with a sole individual, this is not the case for Mediation.
Confrontation – generally Psychotherapy can be a little more confrontational and challenging, with the therapist looking to invite the individual to look closely at their patterns, processes and belief systems. That is not to say a Mediator will not challenge, it is however less common. Outcomes – The desired outcome of Psychotherapy is generally a change to thinking, feeling and behaviour (personal growth) whereas the desired outcome of mediation is usually resolution of conflict and an agreement to move forward. Unlike Mediation, rarely is there a written document at the conclusion of the therapeutic process. Individual Psychotherapy can continue indefinitely as the client seeks to continuously focus on improvement to their quality of life. Mediation has a set end point, often with a written document detailing a way forward that is agreed by all parties. Sometimes Mediation can lead to a legally binding agreement – this is not the case with Psychotherapy. Timing – mediation process is generally shorter. Psychotherapy can take many weeks, months or even years in some cases. Sessions in Mediation can last hours whereas commonly Psychotherapy lasts for an hour. Directive – Psychotherapist working with individuals can be quite directive and can act as an emotional advocate to the client. Psychotherapy may direct an individual (with their consent) towards an agreeable outcome. Mediators are less directive, and some seek to completely avoid direction. Person-Centred counsellors would also claim this position as important. Training – generally Psychotherapy training takes considerably longer e.g. 4+ years. Both disciplines, however, benefit from experience and further training and it can take several years for practitioners of either discipline to develop their skills and effectiveness. Impartiality – Mediators are highly trained in delivering impartiality. It is one of their key principles. Psychotherapist are rarely impartial when working with individuals, as described above under “Directive.”
Communication – Listening skills are one of the most underappreciated and most ‘taken for granted’ of all human skills. Being able to talk does not enable us to listen. Effective practitioners in the two disciplines discussed here have exceptional listening skills. Another key component of communication is the art of questioning which are practitioners develop as a key skill.
Voluntary – Clients/parties engaging in Psychotherapy or Mediation do so on a voluntary basis.
Approach – neither disciplines have standardised approaches, and both allow for individualistic styles and delivery. There are different models of delivery taught in both disciplines.
Impartiality – Psychotherapists working with couples or families, like mediators, will ideally be impartial. Failure to remain impartial is indeed a key reason why the process can sometimes break down.
Diplomacy – Both practitioners can be skilled in diplomacy. Learning to not add to or increase conflict is important when the goal is of course, resolution.
Summarising / Paraphrasing / Reflecting – Practitioners are skilled at conveying their understanding back to their clients in a number of ways.
Boundaries – Mutual respect and a non-abusive approach are encouraged. The ability to separate one’s own issues, prejudices and beliefs from the processes of both Mediation and Psychotherapy are absolutely essential.
Commitment – practitioners are committed to helping their clients, indeed this is commonly the reason a person will choose these professions.
Confidentiality – both disciplines are hold confidentiality as a core value.
Outcomes – Mediation and Psychotherapy both target an improvement of some sort as the end goal. It is generally desired for all parties to genuinely and willingly commit to an outcome that is as positive as possible.
MEDIATION CODE OF CONDUCT
This code of conduct sets out the principles which I commit to in the delivery of mediation services.
My description of mediation is any structured process where I assist two or more parties, in dispute with a view to resolution.
1. Agreement – Mediation is a voluntary process and I will ensure all parties participate willingly and that the timing and venue of meetings is fair and equitable.
2. Competence – I will endeavour to always work within the limits of my ability. I will seek appropriate supervision to ensure my work is of the highest possible standard.
3. Impartiality & Fairness – I will explore and discuss any potential conflict of interests. Where a conflict of interest is identified, I will seek agreement with all parties to either:
a, continue mediation or b, refer to an alternative mediator.
Where a conflict of interests emerges further into the process, the same procedure will apply. I will endeavour to behave impartially to all parties in my action and words. Any suggestion to the contrary will be given full attention. I will, wherever possible, ensure that all parties have equal opportunities to engage the mediation process. All parties will be treated fairly and respectfully.
4. Prior to Mediation – I will ensure all parties are fully informed of purpose and procedures of mediation and of my role as a mediator.
5. During mediation – I will treat all parties with respect and encourage others to do the same. Mediation is a voluntary process and will only continue only if all parties agree.
6. Ending Mediation – I will wherever possible seek to reach a consensual agreement between all parties that is understood and fair. This can be a verbal agreement or a written agreement in principle.
7. Fees – All fees are displayed on my website and will be discussed prior to mediation.
8. Confidentiality – All information disclosed during mediation by any parties will remain confidential. Exceptions to confidentiality include serious risk to personal safety, where law requires disclosure and where all parties agree on disclosure. This will be discussed fully prior to the commencement of mediation.
Mediation prices to follow.