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What’s holding you back?

Posted by Louisa on 21 September 2015 in categories: Blog , Family Mediation

The benefits of mediation are huge.  That’s not to say that it is easy.  Often the things that we are most proud of are the hardest to achieve.  Sometimes people are held back from trying, or committing, to mediation.  In this blog we have tried to focus on the most common reasons why people say mediation isn’t for them.  We… Read More »

Feeling the fear

Posted by Louisa on 15 June 2015 in categories: Blog , Family Mediation

When you first learn about mediation it can seem a scary option.  Being in the same room as a partner you have separated from can be the last thing you feel like doing.  Emotions can be very raw and you can wonder how you will contain all the feelings that are bubbling up within you.  It can also be difficult… Read More »

Are you brave enough to decide your future?

Posted by Louisa on 29 April 2015 in categories: Blog , Family Mediation

When you begin the process of mediation you may feel apprehensive and anxious.  You may wonder how compromise can ever be possible with someone who simply refuses to compromise.  You may wish to avoid taking directly because you feel hurt, rejected and downright angry.  It’s natural to feel like you want to run for cover rather than talking directly.  … Read More »

Why is #mediationhour important?

Posted by Louisa on 15 April 2015 in categories: Blog , Family Mediation

Louisa Whitney, who started LKW Family Mediation in 2013, has recently been taking part in a mediation hour on twitter.  The purpose of this is to allow people to ask questions about mediation.  Why is this important?  There are three main reasons:   1.  Despite government and other advertising campaigns not enough people are aware that mediation is available to… Read More »

Debunking the myths: Summarising

Posted by Louisa on 02 March 2015 in categories: Blog , Family Mediation

In this next blog in our series looking at what happens in mediation, we are talking about summarising.  Often when a party has expressed a view the mediator will summarise what they have said.  The purpose of this repetition is two fold.  Firstly, it enables the mediator to check that they have understood correctly what has been expressed.  Secondly, it… Read More »

Debunking the myths: Exploring Options

Posted by Louisa on 23 February 2015 in categories: Blog , Family Mediation

There is still some mystery surrounding mediation, both amongst people who might attend mediation, and amongst some solicitors who refer clients to mediation.  In the first of a series of blogs examining what happens in mediation we are looking today at exploring options.   When somebody first makes an enquiry about mediation they may have some idea that mediation is… Read More »

Two sides of the same thing

Posted by Louisa on 06 November 2014 in categories: Blog , Family Mediation

When couples embark upon mediation they are ultimately looking for a resolution.  They want to be able to find a set of arrangements that will enable each of them to move on.  It sounds like a fairly simple objective when you put it like that.  However, even deciding on the first thing to talk about, and what the priorities are… Read More »

How do I get started in mediation?

Posted by Louisa on 07 October 2014 in categories: Blog , Family Mediation

Many people may first decide to seek out a mediator because their solicitor has suggested mediation.  Or they may have read about mediation online, or been recommended to it by a friend.  They may have a general idea about what mediation involves.  For many people the first question is how do I get into mediation, or how do we start… Read More »

Using other experts in mediation

Posted by Louisa on 30 June 2014 in categories: Blog , Family Mediation

A separation or a divorce is never just a legal or a financial process.  It is an emotional and personal journey that has been often likened to a bereavement.  When you start in mediation the mediator will explain that other experts may be useful to empower and motivate you to find your tailor made resolution.  The experts can be people… Read More »

My partner doesn’t listen to me

Posted by Louisa on 09 June 2014 in categories: Blog , Family Mediation

When a couple decide to separate there can be a huge range of emotions that each has to deal with following that separation.  When the couple start mediation this can make it difficult to hear each other.  How often has somebody started a sentence with something that incenses you so much that you don’t listen to the next bit they… Read More »

When a couple decide to separate there can be a huge range of emotions that each has to deal with following that separation.  When the couple start mediation this can make it difficult to hear each other.  How often has somebody started a sentence with something that incenses you so much that you don’t listen to the next bit they say because you are too busy thinking about what you’re going to say next?

 

This can happen in the mediation room.  For the participants in mediation they feel stressed and emotional – despite the mediator’s best efforts to put them at their ease.  “Fight or flight” is an involuntary human reaction that most people are familiar with.  Adrenaline may surge through you because you feel that what is being said is not just, fair or reasonable.  Well actually the first bit of what is said because you didn’t hear anything after your ex-partner said you were difficult to talk to.

 

As well as facilitating discussions the role of the mediator is also to facilitate listening.  This may sound a bit odd because you are perfectly capable of listening without help.   But are you hearing what is being said?  It is difficult to remain calm enough to take in everything that is being said when you feel you are being criticised.  You want to criticise back again or at least explain yourself.

 

The mediator will use a variety of techniques to help the parties in mediation hear each other.  They may record points that are discussed on the flip chart.  You might not have heard what was said but if you look at it on the flip chart and read it back then you may realise the point that was being made was not what you had thought.  The mediator may also emphasise points that have been said to ensure that each participant has properly heard what has been said.  This is called amplified listening.

 

If both parties can properly hear each other then this can greatly improve communication which can then enable the participants to explore options and to discuss making their own arrangements.  No other method of dispute resolution focuses on listening and the importance of it in quite the same way, which is one of the things that makes mediation such a powerful tool.

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