In most conflicts, the more traditional dispute resolution processes of litigation or attorney centered negotiations tend to exacerbate the conflict and leave the parties feeling powerless and uncertain about the outcome of litigation. Even if a party "wins" he or she often feels a lack of satisfaction.
In Mediation, on the other hand, the parties decide all aspects of the resolution of their conflict with the assistance of a neutral and objective Mediator. This means that they have complete control of the process of resolving the issues, as well as the terms of the settlement itself. In addition, the Mediator can help the parties learn how to communicate with each other in a more productive way and to use these skills on their own to resolve any future differences.
In Facilitative Mediation (also called Interest Based or Understanding Based Mediation, the Mediator will work with the parties to reach a resolution of their differences through improving their understanding of the issues and the other person’s point of view. In this way, each party has the opportunity to express his and her point of view and is given support equally. Once the party’s interests and motivations are expressed and understood by the other, it makes it easier for them to devise creative solutions to their disputes together and to reach a mutual agreement which satisfies both parties’ needs. This process works best where both parties want a definitive outcome.
In Transformative Mediation, the Mediator works with the parties in conflict to help them change the quality of their interaction from negative and destructive to positive and constructive as they explore and discuss issues and possibilities for resolution. In this type of Mediation, the emphasis is more on supporting the parties and helping them move from positions of weakness to positions of strength where they feel empowered to make their own decisions. This type of Mediation is particularly useful in employment, elder care or other types of family conflict.
Clare will employ whatever style of mediation will be most helpful for the couple at the moment. No matter what style of mediation is practiced, the key to a successful Mediation is for all parties to feel they can express themselves in a non-confrontational, non-adversarial environment, and the Mediator will maintain that safe environment. If the parties reach an agreement that must be reduced to a written agreement, the parties may then want to seek the input of individual review attorneys before executing any agreement.