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I have changed my mind about co-mediating. I used to think that, with some very limited exceptions, it was pointless. But I was wrong.

When I began mediating, after taking a basic training course, I accepted the first volunteer work available. It was for a children’s welfare organization which offered no-cost mediation to low-income parents who were separating (most were not married) and needed to resolve issues of custody, visitation and support. The model was co-mediation. The practice paired two totally inexperienced mediators who did not know each other, and the organization offered no supervision or oversight. It was a chaotic and distressing situation and I quickly bowed out—offering to take cases if and only if I could handle them alone. The organization accepted my offer and I was able to conduct some solo and constructive mediations.

 

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