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Family Mediation Training

Family Mediation Training

Date: 22 – 26 January 2019 

Location: Middlesex University Campus

* The course is developed and delivered by Erickson Mediation Training Institute

Who should attend:

• Lawyers and professional advisers

• Persons responsible for resolving disputes - Social workers, trainers and policy advisors

• Education professionals

• Service providers developing dispute resolution systems

Trainer: Pascal Comvalius

The course is offered through a 5-days (40 hours) face to face interactive training sessions with integrated assessments.

Participants who successfully complete the course are awarded a Family Mediation Certificate certificate from EMI.

This Certificate is accredited and approved by:

• Academy of Professional Family Mediators (APFM)

• Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC)

• American Bar Association (ABA)

• American Psychological Association (APA)

The course will be CLPD accredited by LAD -10 CLPD points for lawyers.


Full course: AED 12,000

Early bird (December 1st): AED 10,000

Discounted fee for MDX students: AED 8,000

Registrations are only accepted until Monday, 10th December 2018.


8:00 – 8:15      Introduction of Faculty.  Review training materials, expectations of participants, training protocols, assign small groups.

8:15 – 9:00      Empathy exercise and debrief.   

9:00 – 9:30      Conflict resolution processes.  Definitions and discussion of the differences between the processes of litigation, arbitration, negotiation and mediation, with emphasis on Client-centered mediation.

9:30 – 10:30    Arbitration v. Mediation Exercise.  Students break into groups of three.  In each group one student (for this exercise, called the neutral) plays the role of an arbitrator, then a mediator.  Feedback and discussion.

10:15 – 10:30  Break

10:30 – 11:00  The APFM Standards of Practice for Family Mediators.  Ethical issues in mediation regarding conduct, confidentiality, neutrality, conflicts of interest, disclosure of professional competency.

11:00 – 11:30 An overview of divorce mediation.   Definition and goal of Client-centered mediation.  Steps in the process.  Stages of Family Mediation.

11:30 –12:00   The initial consultation in the divorce mediation process:  Setting the stage.  The role of the mediator. Discussion of Ethical issues.  Legal advice vs. information.  Review of Agreement to Mediate.  Mediation with multi-cultural families (religious issues, cultural norms, etc.)

12:00 – 12:30  Lunch Break                                                                                                             

12:30 – 1:30    Faculty Demonstration Role play: Initial Consultation.  Observation and discussion.

1:30 – 3:00      Role of the mediator and mediator neutrality.  Ethical considerations of impartiality and neutrality.  The interplay between impartiality, neutrality and empowerment.  Power and intimidation tactics. Emphasizing process and focusing on issues.  Empathy, listening skills and providing balance.  Safety and the psychological well-being of the participants. Remaining neutral.  Personal opinions vs. professional obligations.  Ethical and professional responsibility where domestic abuse is present.  Considerations for multi-cultural issues.                                                                                                                         
3:00 – 3:15     Break

3:15 – 4:45      Group Role play #1: Initial Consultation.  Debrief and discussion.

4:45 – 5:00      Summary of day and wrap up.

5:00                 Adjourn

8:00 – 8:30      Conflict resolution. The Conflict Cycle and Responses to Conflict Theory including a discussion of high conflict, multicultural issues and domestic violence in divorce mediation.

8:30 – 9:30      Conflict resolution theory. The Conceptual Framework of Divorce Mediation, a comparison of the mediation and adversarial theories and application to divorce.  The role of the mediator in influencing cooperation in mediation setting. Influencing Communication, Attitudes, Process and Outcomes. 

9:30 – 10:00    Principled Negotiation.   The elements of principled negotiation by Roger Fisher and William Ury. 

10:00 – 10:15  Break

10:15 – 10:30  Negotiation role play.  Pairs of students negotiate using interest-based bargaining.

10:30 – 11:30  Major Mediator Interventions.  Lecture listing and describing each intervention and its effect on the mediation process. Modifying mediator interventions where there is high conflict, multicultural issues, or domestic violence.

11:30 – 12:30  Creating Support Plans.   Use of budgets to determine cash flow.  Preparing budgets as a basis for considering options about child support and spousal support.  Recognizing different approaches to and attitudes about finances.  Addressing fairness and trust issues. 

12:30 – 12:30 Lunch Break

1:00 – 2:00      Faculty Demonstration Role play:  Support Plans. Observation and debrief.

2:00 – 3:00      Legal issues in support plans.  Relationship with court and enforcement issues. 

3:00 – 3:15      Break

3:15 – 4:45      Small Group Role play #2:  Support Plans.  Mediating support plans for the children and the dependent spouse.  Debrief and discussion.

4:45 – 5:00      Summary of day and wrap up.

5:00                 Adjourn

8:00 – 9:00      Understanding The Emotional Divorce.  The emotions of divorce and impact on the settlement process.   Understanding and using the Relationship Circle and the Spouse A/Spouse B discussion.

9:00 – 9:30      Listening, responding, with “Unconditional Positive Regard”.  Empowerment and recognition.  Listening skills.  

9:30 – 10:00    Listening exercise.

10:00               Break

10:15 – 11:00  Domestic Violence and Divorce Mediation.  Legal and social definitions.  Special conditions and protocols when abuse is disclosed. Red flags indicators of undisclosed abuse.  Assessing when mediation is not appropriate.   Discussion of the Cycle of Violence, Abuse Relationship Circle and the Power and Control Circle.  Ethical issues in mediating spousal abuse divorces and reporting of child abuse.           

11:00 – 12:00  Faculty Demonstration Role play:  High conflict couple.  Observation and debrief.

12:00 – 12:30  Lunch

12:30 – 1:15    Property and financial issues.  Property identification, valuation, and documentation as keys to building options for division of property.

1:15 – 2:15      Faculty Demonstration Role play:  Property Issues.  Feedback about interventions used to mediate the concepts and distribution of the property settlement. Observation and debrief.

2:15 – 3:00      Option development in property distribution.

3:00 – 3:15      Break

3:15 – 4:45      Small group role play #3: Property Issues.  Developing options and property division. Debrief and discussion.

4:45 – 5:00      Summary of day and wrap up.

5:00                 Adjourn

8:00 – 9:00      The Hague Convention on the Rights of the Child.   Mediating resolution of cases involving child abduction. 

9:00 – 10:00   Separate-parenting issues in mediation.   Reframing custody conflicts to building a plan for the future parenting of the children.  Mediation techniques for special parenting issues. (Alienation; parental impairment; Chemical dependency.)

10:00 – 10:15  Break

10:15 – 11:15  Impact of divorce on children.  Children’s psychological responses to their parent's             divorce.          

11:15 – 12:00  Mediator meeting with children.  Purpose and protocols.

12:00 – 12:30  Lunch

12:30 – 1:30    Faculty Demonstration Role play: Parenting Issues.  Observation and debrief.

2:30 – 3:00      Asking different questions, reframing, and changing the game.           

3:00 – 3:15      Break

3:15 – 4:45      Small group role play # 4:  Parenting Issues.  Debrief and discussion.      

4:45 – 5:00      Neutrality test.

5:00                 Adjourn

8:00 – 10:00    Mediation of high conflict, multicultural, and spousal abuse divorces.  Special techniques, protocols and interventions to deal with anger, intimidation, demands, threats, and issues of chemical dependency.

10:00 – 10:15  Break

10:00-11:00     Mediating with Multi-cultural Families.  Religious issues, cultural norms and parenting implications.

11:00 – 12:00  Faculty Demonstration Role play: High Conflict Parents.  Demonstration of mediating a high conflict situation.  Observation and debrief.

12:00 – 12:30  Lunch

12:30 –2:00     Strategies to avoid impasse in mediation.  Mediator interventions to anticipate impasse and strategies to use when nothing else works and impasse is likely.

2:00 – 3:00      Faculty Demonstration Role play:  Drafting the Memorandum of Agreement.  Observation and debrief.

3:00 – 3:15      Break

3:15 – 3:45      Improvisation.  Students provide difficult scenarios.  Faculty and students brainstorm  various ways to address them. 

3:45 – 4:30      Final exam

4:30 – 5:00      Wrap-up. Revisit expectations. Answer remaining questions.  Evaluations.

5:00                 Adjourn

For enquiries, please contact Dr Tenia Kyriazi at:

Middlesex Associates FZ LLC, Dubai Knowledge Park - Blocks 4, 16, 17 & 19
Admissions +971 (0)4 3678100

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