Visual Co-Mediation

Divorce can be a painful and emotionally charged process. Much like meeting facilitation, parenting,or any other process in life that requires real time navigation,two heads are often better than one.

What is Visual Co-Mediation?

As visual divorce mediators, we use visual aids to help facilitate a more engaging conversation about your relationship and desired outcome. When we combine visual and oral communication, the retention rate is six times greater than if we’d communicated by speaking alone. This is especially important during the mediation process, when emotions can run high and you have a lot of information and feelings to sift through. We divide and share the roles of leading and capturing so that complete attention is always given to both roles, and subtleties are not missed.

Visuals can be used by the mediators to engage both partners in making sense of the information. This might involve moving and sorting information or drawing important connections. A big part of your mediator being able to inspire you to generate a wide range of possibilities to choose from, when things are at an impasse, is their own ability to collaborate and think creatively. With visual co-mediation you get double the observation power,listening power, and problem solving tools. Giving you more time to reflect on responses, offer insights, and formulate questions.

Of all of our inventions for mass communication, pictures still speak the most universally understood language.

Walt Disney

What is Co-Mediation?

Co-Mediation is a style of mediation that involves a team of mediators, usually two, with complementary differences in personality,mediation style, professional background, professional experience, and personal history. Having two mediators can increase the quality of your mediation, add synergy to the process, and add balance to create comfort for all parties. That’s why I partner with Lisa Arora, a family dispute resolution specialist and a registered social worker, to offer quality co-mediation process.

Why Co-Mediate?

Effective Process:

One mediator can take notes, visually record, and observe while the other mediator asks questions. Or, one mediator can focus on the details, while the other focuses on the big picture. The blending of styles and the flexibility of approaches of each of the mediators makes for an ultra smooth process.

An Extra Set of Eyes and Ears:

Working with a co-mediator provides an extra set of eyes and ears on the issues, allowing for more in depth consideration of divergent points. Co-mediators are able to consult with each other to ensure that the most effective strategies are being used to assist the parties in reaching a resolution.

Multiple Perspectives:

Balance helps to create comfort. A comfortable environment is one that is most conducive to achieving a resolution desired by all.Having two mediators from differing backgrounds can increase the other participants trust in the mediation process – as each party is more likely to resonate with at least one of the co-mediator’s communication style.

Recommend by Researchers*:

The Co-mediation model is largely recommended by social science and legal researchers as a process superior to solo mediation. This is found not only in Family Law but also commercial, medical malpractice,workplace, and many other types of disputes.

It’s Cost-Effective:

Even though the combined cost of co-mediation might be a little higher than solo mediation, the price of two mediators is well worth the money as, in co-mediation, you have two skilled professionals helping you resolve the matter. If you factor in the cost of possible litigation, it is well worth spending the money on a model that increases the odds of an early resolution. You can read more about this in the Average Cost of Divorce . A visual co-mediation costs $300/hour, is still less than many solo lawyer mediator charge, at $400+/hr.

To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.

Tony Robbins

*1 –  Gold, L. (2005). The Psychological Context of the Interdisciplinary Co-Mediation Team Model in Marital Dissolution*. Family Court Review, 20(2), pp.45-53.
*2 – Cornfeld, L.(2005). ARE TWO HEADS BETTER THAN ONE? AN EXAMINATION OF THE EFFECTIVENESS OF CO-MEDIATION: CALLING FOR A NEW MEDIATION TECHNIQUE. Family Court Review, 23(2), pp.55-60.