What is Mediation?
Mediation is a voluntary, facilitated process that helps people or parties in conflict talk through their positions and differences and reach a mutually agreeable solution to their problems. A neutral third party (the mediator) is responsible for maintaining an open, fair discussion and helping both parties express their needs and develop their own solution to the conflict, rather than imposing one.
- A Win/Win Process: No one loses by trying to resolve disputes through mediation, and, because its intent is to allow everyone the chance to speak and be heard, mediation often results in outcomes that are better for both parties. Mediation is an effective way of resolving conflicts with the potential to save time and relationships.
- Voluntary: All parties involved agree to be a part of the mediation, and anyone can withdraw from the process at any time.
- Neutral: Mediators are impartial; they do not take sides, advise, or judge. Mediators facilitate.
- Confidential: Mediation are done in a private and confidential setting. Under Massachusetts law, information from mediation will not be made public and cannot be used in court.
- Self-determined: in mediation, the parties have the opportunity and responsibility for designing their own solution to their dispute. Mediators do not make suggestions or tell people what to do.
- Informed: Informed consent means no agreement is signed unless all parties have the knowledge and ability to fully understand and agree with the process and the terms of their agreement.
Mediators help people clarify issues, identify common interests, and seek their own solutions while creating agreements that satisfy the needs of everyone involved. The mediation process is flexible, informal, and promotes creative thinking. Mediation demands that people in conflict take responsibility for their problems and try to find resolutions to them. It is often successful in knotty, seemingly intractable conflicts.
Quabbin Mediation usually uses a co-mediation model in which two mediators working as a team. The disputants meet with the mediators, who explain everyone’s role and help develop the rules of mediation. Typically, mediation begins with uninterrupted time for each person to tell his or her story and describe the situation from their point of view. The mediators might then meet with the parties privately to try out some different ways to resolve the problem. Resolutions come from the disputants themselves with the mediators’ help.
When agreement is reached, it’s put in writing and both parties agree to abide by it. In some cases, the agreement is entered as judgement with the court, giving it additional enforcement authority.
Mediation can take place over a single two-hour session or multiple sessions, and is held either in Quabbin Mediation’s offices or at a community location agreeable to both parties.
Services are free of charge for court-referred cases. For other cases, Quabbin Mediation charges a variable fee. You can see our fee scale here: Quabbin Mediation Sliding Fee Scale
- Resolve problems without costly or time consuming legal battles.
- Work together to find mutually satisfying solutions. Mediation is a cooperative process.
- Mend personal and professional relationships. Mediation fosters confidence, trust, and good relations.
- Solve disputes with employees, customers, and suppliers to benefit businesses in an effective way.
- Solve conflicts among coworkers and help workers solve problems that would hinder finding and keeping a job.
- Reach concrete agreements between parents and teens in conflict.
- Work together to make divorce or separation agreements, keeping the interests of the children in mind.
- Find workable solutions for caring for elderly parents.
- Settle differences among neighbors that may have lasted for years
Quabbin Mediation helps resolve disputes of all kinds, including:
If you are in conflict, and think mediation can help, please contact us.