Mediation in light of Coronavirus

Coronavirus Mediation Policy – updated as at June 2020

Given the huge impact of Coronavirus felt across the world and in our individual lives, my priority is the safety of you, your family, myself and my own family during this time.   I have been monitoring the situation closely since March, considering how I can best support my valued current and future clients in these difficult times whilst putting safety, health and wellbeing the absolute priority.

I run my mediation practice from my home address in order to provide a completely bespoke, personal, professional service and usually come into contact with many clients each week.  Having reflected and with further knowledge about this virus, regretfully I consider that it will not be safe for the foreseeable future for me to offer face to face meetings.  It will not be possible to respect the important social distancing rules required for us to sit in a room together for a number of hours, safely.  I also have to factor in my own personal circumstances, caring for my young son who is now at home with me, alongside my work, which means that my own availability is less than it would be in normal circumstances.

Every business/ individual will need to be guided by the Government restrictions whilst also considering their own personal circumstances.  These are unprecedented times and certainly not a situation which could have been envisaged even just four months ago.  I wish to ensure that, as far as possible, myself and my family remain well and you and your families are protected until such time as the position changes or the risk to our health has significantly minimised.

As a result, I am not currently offering any face to face meetings, whether a mediation meeting or a mediation information and assessment meeting (MIAM).  This is likely to be the case for the immediate foreseeable future.  Whilst I very much look forward to being able to welcome you back, I am simply not in a position to say when I will be resuming face to face meetings.

I recognise that this is a time of immense pressure and stress for families.   I know that couples will be and are finding this period hard to manage.  Couples who were already on the verge of separating or who had made the decision to divorce prior to COVID-19 will be struggling.  Even those relationships which were intact before all of this may have found the wide-ranging effects of this pandemic and the terrible loss of loved ones have impacted their emotional health as well as their family life.

This dreadful virus is stopping us having conversations face to face but it does not have to stop you talking or finding ways to resolve family conflict in the best possible way.  It is important for children who, through no fault of their own, may be stuck in the family home which might be filled with conflict, upset and trauma, without the relief of time out at school, with friends or extended family members.  It’s also important for you.  Living with unresolved conflict and uncertainty is not good for your physical or emotional health.    Being in limbo or feeling as though there are no options is not good either.

I am here for you.  Although it is not safe for us to meet face to face, I have the additional tool of technology to see you and progress your mediation from start to finish through the online video method.  Although I cannot be with you physically in the room, I will be with you virtually, practically and emotionally from start to finish.  Above all, I will continue to offer you a place of calm professionalism in that window of time when we meet.

If you are considering video mediation, a full individual assessment will need to take place initially, as well as possibly a trial video call, before concluding not only whether mediation as a process is suitable but also whether online video mediation is suitable.

In the meantime, take care everybody and I very much hope to see you (albeit virtually at the moment) soon.

Clare Madeline