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An introduction to online remote family mediation


As lockdown and COVID-19 continue to limit our access to certain services and our proximity to one another, accredited family mediator Michell Bettell explains how Steele Raymond have moved the family mediation process online.

For those who are experiencing family difficulties or relationship breakdowns amidst the coronavirus pandemic, family mediation can still offer a productive and collaborative path to resolution. Using the latest in video conferencing technologies, Steele Raymond’s family mediators are conducting successful mediation sessions remotely.

In this video, Michelle Bettell provides an introduction to online remote mediation and explains the ways in which remote sessions are managed.

You can find out more about online remote mediation in Michelle’s article ‘A guide to family mediation during COVID-19 and lockdown’, in which she answers some of our most frequently asked questions such as, “What are the benefits of online remote family mediation?” and “How does a remote online family mediation session work?”.

Video Transcription

In the event that we are carrying out mediations remotely or online, this means that we are meeting with the parties online. Now, we can use visual technologies such as Zoom and we can also use Microsoft Teams.

Ensuring the mediation runs smoothly

So there are various things that we can do to ensure that that mediation session proceeds smoothly. Now in the very first instance, when a participant makes contact with a mediator, that mediator has a responsibility to carry out certain assessments with them and the other party, and during those assessments, they would be meeting with the party separately, checking with that party, their position, any concerns, any safety and also, of course whether or not mediation’s going to be suitable for them.

Getting a feel for online remote mediation

Now that meeting can also be conducted online, so we can meet with somebody either via Zoom or Microsoft Teams, so that you can get a feel as to how that might work with a mediation session. In limited circumstances, that initial assessment meeting may also take place over the telephone. Now that initial individual meeting is confidential and so everything that you discuss with your mediator will only be divulged to the other party with your expressed permission. However, provided those assessment meetings go well and both parties agree to then conduct a joint mediation session, then the mediator will provide both parties with information as to how that mediation session will work but ultimately, that will be a session between both parties and the mediator, meeting online via Zoom.

How we handle difficult mediations in an online setting

The mediator will have the ability to place the parties in separate rooms if that’s considered necessary and also the mediator will have the ability to put the parties into breakout rooms. Now mediation sessions can be somewhat emotive and difficult at times and it’s often necessary to have a break and you shouldn’t be concerned that even though mediation is being conducted online, that you cannot have that break because that is possible.

Contact us

To speak to one of our family mediator or to arrange an initial mediation consultation, please contact Michelle Bettell or a member of our family team on 01202 983999. Alternatively, you can enquire using the form below.

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