Can't we all just get along? Behind this statement is the wish to connect and return to the joy, support, and other positive benefits that come from our personal and work relationships. Unfortunately, there are times when getting along seems impossible.
Whether you are a parent in conflict with your child about getting chores done on time, or dealing with a conflict at home or work in which a family member or colleague has been dishonest, disruptive, or otherwise fractured the harmony, I can help you restore those relationships. I have found that regardless the dilemma, engaging in a process that allows all parties to be heard, to develop understanding of each other's perspectives, and collaborating on ways to repair hurt feelings or harm done, conflict can be turned into a growth experience.
I am an experienced restorative conflict specialist. I help you find a peaceful resolution to your conflict and to repair and rebuild relationships that are being damaged by unresolved differences. Resolving conflict requires empathy and perspective taking, self-awareness, and skillful communication. I can help you develop these skills while facilitating a process of conflict resolution to meet your specific needs.
Below are conflict resolution processes in which I specialize.
Restorative Practices (RPs)
RPs are formal and informal practices intended to precede wrongdoing and conflict by proactively building relationships and community. The fundamental unifying hypothesis of RPs is that “human beings are happier, more cooperative and productive, and more likely to make positive changes in their behavior when those in positions of authority do things with them, rather than to them or for them." (Wachtel, 2005) This is true in families, classrooms, schools, and in the workplace. RPs have been shown to:
foster connectedness and belonging
support successful collaboration at home, school, and at work, and
reliably reduce hurt feelings, misbehavior, bullying, violence and crime among youth, and to improve school and workplace culture and climate.
Mediation is an informal and confidential way to help you and your partner or entire family work out solutions to their differences. It is not intended to determine who is right or wrong. Instead, the outcome of mediation ideally leaves those involved feeling as if their needs have been met and ready to move forward out of conflict. A mediator is an impartial and neutral party and does not take sides. Rather a mediator helps each party:
identify their respective needs,
and navigate the inevitable frustration of conflict towards a mutually beneficial solution.
Mediation is cost effective and more efficient than traditional court litigation. And, it allows for all parties to maintain dignity and confidentiality in the process.
Couples and Divorce Mediation
Couples locked in intractable conflict often seek mediation for their differences hoping to save their marriage or to successfully navigate terminating their marriage. Couples mediation can avoid lengthy and costly litigation of divorce and helps all parties come to a win-win solution. Ideally, even in divorce, relationships can be restored so that any necessary future interactions, especially parenting, can be less stressful.
Parent Coordinating / Decision Making
In the event of divorce, as a Parenting Coordinator I work with you to implement the terms of your decree or custody order and to address issues that create continued conflict. I will meet with you to learn more about your unique situation and family dynamic. This includes understanding the history of your conflict, issues of current concern, and each child’s unique needs and circumstances. We would decide together if it would make sense to meet with your children to know them better and understand what is important to them. In getting to know your family, I also may review reports, school records, and court documents or speak to teachers, coaches, therapists, doctors, grandparents, caregivers, and other important people in your lives. If a mediated resolution is not possible, I can serve as a Decision Maker and make a decision about the specific intractable dispute.
Families can experience conflict as well. Siblings in conflict over aging parents and even parents locked in battle with their teenage or young adult children can seek mediation. Division of assets, financial conflicts, and determining living situations can create conflict. Mediation can be ideal in solving the conflict and restoring relationships.
Regardless of your experience with conflict in your life, I can help you engage with it constructively to transform its negative impacts so that you can go forward with peace. I am committed to a child centered (when children are involved), cost-effective, dignified, empathic, and harmonious process.