There is no risk in trying to mediate a resolution to disputes, including those that would otherwise result in litigation. All discussion and agreements reached in mediation are voluntary and confidential. In addition the discussion and disclosure made in session is legally protected communication and cannot be used in future litigation (even if the issue is unable to be resolved in mediation). Agreement is at the sole discretion of those in conflict. Everyone involved in the mediation has an equal role in the process and the outcome.
CFR Mediators are 100% neutral
Neutrality is paramount to effective mediation process and I have designed my practice model to ensure mediator neutrality. I am not affiliated with either side in the dispute, nor do I provide legal advice or advocate for one side over the other.
Mediation is an efficient means of conflict resolution
Through mediation, most disputes are resolved in a matter of hours, often in a few sessions. It is such a productive process that conflict resolution becomes an affordable option, removing the cost concerns that can prevent active settlement efforts.
Deciding to divorce is a difficult decision; I believe that the process of resolving the terms of the divorce should not be additionally difficult.
Divorce mediation has been proven to reduce conflict and result in long-lasting, workable custody and visitation plans. Mediation gives couples a sense of control over the outcome of the proceedings, giving them a vested interest in reaching a solution in a quick and cost-effective manner.
My commitment is Peaceful • Positive • Resolution divorce by assisting all parties through the process – preventing the additional stress, cost, and dis-empowerment that so often comes with a litigated divorce. Even before the first mediation session, I work with all parties to ensure that the resolution process moves smoothly and is tailored to meet the needs and wishes of both parties.
My approach is client-focused. I view every case as unique and the couple as the experts in what is the best resolution for them and their family. In other words, assisting my clients in proactively resolving the terms of their divorce and facilitating effective communication in the process, is integral to my business model and resolution process.
I am committed to allowing those divorcing to decide how their story will unfold. Unlike the stories of a litigated divorce, those who choose to mediate do not leave a divorce mediation session lamenting that they “lost everything”, or having received an order to do something he or she disagrees with. Nor will the process drag on for months, much less years.
Mediation means targeted purposeful resolution services that are designed to efficiently and effectively resolve the terms of a divorce and, when children are involved, the parenting plan or custody agreement.
I focus on efficient and effective resolution where parties create a plan that works for them. No one is asked or forced into an agreement. I focus on areas of agreement and build on them. Parties are assisted in moving from their emotional positions to their shared interests promoting resolution. Divorce does not have to be a tragedy. Couples do not have to “fight it out”.
Crisis intervention refers to the methods used to offer immediate, short-term help to individuals who experience an event that produces emotional, mental, physical, and behavioral distress or problems. A crisis can refer to any situation in which the individual perceives a sudden loss of his or her ability to use effective problem-solving and coping skills. A number of events or circumstances can be considered a crisis: life-threatening situations, such as natural disasters (such as an earthquake or tornado), sexual assault or other criminal victimization; medical illness; mental illness; thoughts of suicide or homicide; and loss or drastic changes in relationships (death of a loved one or divorce, for example).
Crisis intervention has several purposes. It aims to reduce the intensity of an individual’s emotional, mental, physical and behavioral reactions to a crisis. Another purpose is to help individuals return to their level of functioning before the crisis. Functioning may be improved above and beyond this by developing new coping skills and eliminating ineffective ways of coping, such as withdrawal, isolation, and substance abuse. In this way, the individual is better equipped to cope with future difficulties. Through talking about what happened, and the feelings about what happened, while developing ways to cope and solve problems, crisis intervention aims to assist the individual in recovering from the crisis and to prevent serious long-term problems from developing. Research documents positive outcomes for crisis intervention, such as decreased distress and improved problem solving.
Individuals are more open to receiving help during crises. A person may have experienced the crisis within the last 24 hours or within a few weeks before seeking help. Crisis intervention is conducted in a supportive manner. The length of time for crisis intervention may range from one session to several weeks, with the average being four weeks. Crisis intervention is not sufficient for individuals with long-standing problems. Session length may range from 20 minutes to two or more hours. Crisis intervention is appropriate for children, adolescents, and younger and older adults. It can take place in a range of settings, such as hospital emergency rooms, crisis centers, counseling centers, mental health clinics, schools, correctional facilities, and other social service agencies. Local and national telephone hotlines are available to address crises related to suicide, domestic violence, sexual assault, and other concerns. They are usually available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Responses to crisis
A typical crisis intervention progresses through several phases. It begins with an assessment of what happened during the crisis and the individual’s responses to it. There are certain common patterns of response to most crises. An individual’s reaction to a crisis can include emotional reactions (fear, anger, guilt, grief), mental reactions (difficulty concentrating, confusion, nightmares), physical reactions (headaches, dizziness, fatigue, stomach problems), and behavioral reactions (sleep and appetite problems, isolation, restlessness). Assessment of the individual’s potential for suicide and/or homicide is also conducted. Also, information about the individual’s strengths, coping skills, and social support networks is obtained.
There is an educational component to crisis intervention. It is critical for the individual to be informed about various responses to crisis and informed that he or she is having normal reactions to an abnormal situation. The individual will also be told that the responses are temporary. Although there is not a specific time that a person can expect to recover from a crisis, an individual can help recovery by engaging in the coping and problem-solving skills described below.
Coping and problem solving
Other elements of crisis intervention include helping the individual understand the crisis and their response to it as well as becoming aware of and expressing feelings, such as anger and guilt. A major focus of crisis intervention is exploring coping strategies. Strategies that the individual previously used but that have not been used to deal with the current crisis may be enhanced or bolstered. Also, new coping skills may be developed. Coping skills may include relaxation techniques and exercise to reduce body tension and stress as well as putting thoughts and feelings on paper through journal writing instead of keeping them inside. In addition, options for social support or spending time with people who provide a feeling of comfort and caring are addressed. Another central focus of crisis intervention is problem solving. This process involves thoroughly understanding the problem and the desired changes, considering alternatives for solving the problem, discussing the pros and cons of alternative solutions, selecting a solution and developing a plan to try it out, and evaluating the outcome. Cognitive therapy, which is based on the notion that thoughts can influence feelings and behavior, can be used in crisis intervention.
In the final phase of crisis intervention, the professional will review changes the individual made in order to point out that it is possible to cope with difficult life events. Continued use of the effective coping strategies that reduced distress will be encouraged. Also, assistance will be provided in making realistic plans for the future, particularly in terms of dealing with potential future crises. Signs that the individual’s condition is getting worse or “red flags” will be discussed. Information will be provided about resources for additional help should the need arise. A telephone follow-up may be arranged at some agreed-upon time in the future.
If you are interested in any of these services for your business or personal use, please call me at 847-729-3034 or go to the CONTACT Us page.