Are you suitable for Family Mediation?

Ian Walker - Are you suitable for Family Mediation?

In short – yes, or you should be able to get yourself to a place where you will be.

The same goes for the other person. They are also suitable for mediation, or can get themselves to a place where they be too.

That doesn’t mean either of you are ready for mediation now, or that mediation will take place now, or at all. You both have to be ready, and you both have to want to go ahead.

What are the barriers to mediation?

Again, in short – emotions.

People separate and remain separated because at least one falls out of love, and at least one starts to find the other annoying. Rejection leads to anger, sorrow or both.

People stop listening to each other, they think the worst, they don’t trust.

We often see clients who are or have been depressed.

Realistically, mediation is not going to be able to succeed if one or both is not ready emotionally.

Getting ready to succeed

Mediation should be a better way to resolve problems, but both need to be in the right place emotionally.

Things that can help to get to the right place can include counselling, but also include allowing time and space. Also, the person who is further on emotionally can help by being very careful not to get wound up by the other venting their anger.

Allow the storm to blow over a bit…

Assessment meetings

We don’t plough straight into mediation. The starting point is separate confidential assessment meetings to discuss the process, the costs, the issues, and to think about preparation.

Sometimes we meet couples where both want to proceed, but haven’t quite found the words to say so between each other, being slightly stuck in a negative and defensive rut.

… its good to talk.


We prepared this graphic in 2012. It holds true. People, if they are in the right place emotionally recognise the need for fairness. They may have slightly different conceptions of what fairness means in their situation, but that’s fine, we can work with that. Reasonable people, wanting to achieve reasonable outcomes, and are prepared to listen and understand where the other is coming from, will succeed.

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