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MCFM Annual Meeting and Professional Development Workshop

At The Mediation Group (TMG), we have utilized a co-mediation model for many years for the vast majority of our family mediations. Our model is to have one lawyer and one mental health professional make up the team. Not only does that bring the benefit of the two disciplines to better assist our clients, but it allows the mediators to learn from each other and develop joint approaches to high-conflict divorces and difficult adult sibling disputes.

We would like to use this session to explore three themes from our experience in approaching these disputes, with examples drawn from actual (though disguised) cases. The lessons learned can be applied by solo mediators of any discipline as well as of course by co-mediation teams. The three themes for the day are:

  1. recognizing when parties are locked in recurring patterns of dysfunctional arguments preventing them from reaching resolution;

  2. the surprising power of reciprocity in allowing parties to be heard and to move on; and

  3. dealing with the spectrum from personality disorder to acute mental illness and knowing the limits of the process.    

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