Yes, you read that right. Mediation is not suitable for everyone.
I am a huge believer in the benefits of mediation. I see the value, day in day out of working collaboratively with those who choose to work with me in the mediation process. The ability to talk freely, to explore emotions, to create bespoke solutions, to find solutions together, to put children at the heart of all discussions and to involve them in the mediation process where appropriate are just a few reasons why mediation is so valuable. However, sometimes it is just not the right process. As a professional, my job is to help you explore whether mediation will be right for you individually, for you as a couple and for your circumstances. Where there is any ongoing or previous abuse, mediation is unlikely to be suitable. If you are just not able to work in good faith, with good will towards each other despite any trauma you are experiencing, mediation is unlikely to be suitable. If emotions are bubbling over and you don’t feel you are in the right space emotionally to make decisions, it may not be the right time or you may be helped better by a family consultant being present to help you work through any raw emotions which may be holding you back from being able to talk constructively and look to the future. You might feel unable to be in the same room as the other person in which case a different method of mediation (a hybrid model) might work for you better. You might not be confident in speaking face to face and want a different way to resolve things.
Many come to mediation thinking there are no other options. The thought of appointing a solicitor and the costs associated with this (both emotionally and financially) are too much. Many feel that they have no other option and it can be debilitating if you feel stuck. It is so important that anyone mediating comes voluntarily, completely open to give the process the best possible chance of success.
We explore the suitability during the initial individual meeting which is known as a mediation information and assessment meeting. If mediation is not suitable, for any reason, I will help you explore the alternatives, of which there are many. I will help you devise a plan which works for you individually and meets your practical and emotional needs.