The Mediator’s Role – what do they do?
The family mediator’s role is to:
- Chair the meeting, manage the process - productively manage any conflict; manage the time and the beginnings and endings of all sessions
- Facilitate productive communications and couple negotiations
- Listen to, listen with and listen for each person - what is being said and any feelings / emotions behind what is being said
- Reflect, Clarify & Summarise
- Inform; information gather; information exchange
- Reality test assistance with checking out thoughts and feelings with what is factual so you have clarity on what to base your decisions
Using all their expertise and skills the mediator's job is to chair your meetings and facilitate progress, helping to create a level playing field as you exchange information, ideas and views so you can constructively progress towards joint decision-making. Susan creates an environment where it is safe, and possible to have discussions about issues that were too difficult or impossible to discuss between yourselves. When former partners separate or divorce it is common to experience the worst of fears and greatest of apprehensions, e.g. a fear of being taken advantage of, or apprehension over children’s reactions. Susan understands that there can be a range of worries brought up by separation; she has extensive experience in working with former partners to address and work through such concerns if there is a need to do so and will be able to assist in practical ways so that you and your ex and the mediation process can benefit.
A mediator has no power to impose a settlement; responsibility for all decisions remains with you as you know better than anyone else what feels right for your family. Your mediator is an expert, but does not give advice – that is your solicitor's job and Susan will suggest that you see a solicitor before you finalise any agreements to check that they will be in your interests.