The focus of the documentary is the stories of the people who are going through the process of mediation. Over the three episodes, the viewer has a glimpse of the wide variety of cases a family mediator is used to dealing with. Some of the participants have been married, others have lived together or had children together. Some of the cases have been about children and some have been about financial arrangements. Some people have not been separated very long, others have not had any contact with each other for many years.
Unlike the court process, mediation provides a safe space for people to talk to each other and make decisions about the important things together. Mediation is not so much about win or lose, but rather creatively finding solutions that work. While the stars of this show are the people mediating, less is heard from or seen of the mediators.
There are significant benefits to working with a highly skilled and trained mediator. The mediator's role is to manage the mediation process. This includes helping couples to set an agenda, identify the issues, explore options and reach agreements. Throughout the process, the mediator will help manage each person being able to speak and ensure they are listened to. The mediator will highlight common ground and, when needed, will provide legal information (especially relevant when dealing with financial arrangements). Mediators are used to working with couples where there has been a breakdown in trust and communication. They are also used to working in circumstances where couples are experiencing high conflict and/or strong emotions.
Reaching agreements together, particularly where there are children, provides an opportunity to move forward, transitioning from being a couple to effectively parenting children together. One of the dads featured in the documentary is seen enjoying a fantastic relationship with his children and a working co-parenting relationship with his ex wife a year after reaching an agreement in mediation. He describes how mediation provided a “way to move forward and focus on the bigger picture", in his case this was his children.
At MyMediation we are hoping that as a result of this documentary more people will be encouraged to call the mediator as their first port of call. If you would like to find out more about family mediation please call us on 0113 320 2288 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.