vFAS- and mFN-mediator
I am a mediator, trained at the Association of Family Lawyers and Divorce Mediators (vFAS). Mediation means that parties sit down with me to discuss the consequences of divorce, ending a relationship or settling an inheritance, with the aim of coming to a mutual agreement.
Communication and emotions
Pain, sadness and anger often make parties intransigent
As a mediator, my task is not just to moderate the discussion. I also lay bare the way parties communicate. Communication between parties is often fraught with fundamental problems that block any true discussion from taking place. With the parties, I also explore their mutual and opposing interests. Talking and negotiating with one another from the perspective of each other’s interests is constructive and helps parties to adjust or abandon their positions. I also focus attention on the emotions felt by the parties. Pain, sadness and anger often make parties intransigent. If one party is able to empathise with the pain and sadness of the other, an atmosphere is created in which the parties can truly listen to one another and, especially, come to understand each other better.
Non-violent communication is difficult
Mediation is non-violent communication
Mediation is a difficult process because participants often have the feeling that they are alone. As a mediator, I act as a go-between to the parties and I do not choose sides. This is a key difference to the role a lawyer fulfils for a client. In summary, mediation is not the most appropriate method of dispute resolution for everyone. Nevertheless, mediation remains the least harmful way to resolve a conflict and advances the non-violent communication approach propagated by Marshall Rosenberg (see the book ‘Non-violent Communication’ by Thomas d’Ansembourg). I am an ardent advocate of non-violent communication.