Mediation Training: Family Law

Mediation Training:  Family Law

Here at Peace Talks we get a lot of questions about how to become a mediator.  For the full story, here’s a link to the “how to become a mediator” blog post.

 We also offer a mediation training program.  It’s a 25 hour program on DVD.  It also comes with a 220 page manual so you will have all of the forms and templates which we reference in the video program.


This beginning family law mediation training program was edited down from a full week 40 hour training so you get the full experience of a live mediation training without having to leave your home.

Here’s an exerpt from the DVD set: 5 Sources of Conflict.  Take a look and you can see exactly what the training looks like.


In fact, there are a lot of samples from the DVD set on our Peace Talks You Tube Channel. Plus lots of other interesting stuff.

It is approved for California MCLE and I can issue a certificate of completion once you notify me that you’ve completed the entire course.

 California does not certify mediators, so this is not a “certification” course but it will satisfy the minimum requirements to sign up for most mediation panels. Here’s the link to join the Los Angeles Superior Court mediation panel: For more information on the Los Angeles Superior Court mediation program, click here:

Here is a summary of the topics included:

Why mediation?

      • What we will do in this training
      • Value, benefits and results of mediation for mediators and clients
      • Uses for mediation and mediation skills
      • Who is a mediator?
      • Mediation styles and signatures
      • Other types of ADR

How mediation works from first contact to agreement

      • Mediation process overview
      • Convening
      • Mediation orientations (link is a video!)
      • Session structure (joint sessions, caucuses, preliminary appointments)
      • When the clients arrive
      • Ground rules and the agreement to mediate: the first agreements
      • Therapeutic intake
      • Setting the agenda


Role Play:  your first mediation session (intake through agenda)

What is conflict?

      • Our values surrounding conflict
      • Moore’s 5 sources of conflict
      • The nature of family conflict
      • Conflict resolution strategies

Negotiation techniques and demonstrations

      • Interest based negotiations
      • BATNA and WATNA
      • Reality testing
      • Doubt and dissonance
      • The psycho legal approach
      • Bias and impartiality
      • Neutrality redefined:  invested, but not aligned or biased
      • Getting to Yes
      • Pacing and transitions

Mediation Planning

  • Setting up success
  • Case conferencing
  • Evaluation and feedback

Mediation Planning role play:  the first agenda items

Communication in Mediation

      • Mediator goals when listening
      • Mediator goals when speaking
      • Communication techniques:
        • Active listening
        • Summarizing, reframing and rephrasing
        • Empathy
        • Naming, and making the hidden transparent
        • 10 Tips for asking questions
        • Using neutral language

Helping clients through the process

      • Mediation readiness
      • Support systems
      • Setting the intention

The Emotional Divorce and Mediating Solid Parenting Plans

      • Ambivalence
      • Grief
      • Re-capitulation and Re-traumatization
      • Anatomy of a parenting plan

The Legal Divorce

  • Child support,
  • Spousal support
  • Property division                             
  • Drafting agreements

 The Legal Divorce: domestic violence

 Role play: Parenting Plan Mediation

 Hot topics in mediation:  comparison of ethical standards, reporting requirements, mediation confidentiality, professional development, practice development, future trends, career opportunities

Final Role Play:  from therapeutic intake to agreement



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