Mediation Career: Becoming a Private-Practice Mediator
Welcome to Mediation Career.org, the companion site to Mediating for Money: A Field Guide for Professional Mediators. You will find here information, advice, resources, and tools that I and others have developed to build a spiritually and financially rewarding mediation career.
If you’re new to mediation, start with How to Become a Mediator. For those already practicing as a mediator, you’ll find value in the Professional Development and Grab-and-Go Tools areas of the site. If you’re an allied professional such as a lawyer, therapist, or CFP, be sure to visit the New Resolution Mediation Launch Platform as a recommended path to extending your scope of practice into mediation. And finally, don’t miss Career Mediator, the site blog. This window into the mediation practices and methods of career mediators is a collection of my private and unguarded thoughts...
The present is an auspicious time for mediation. Our field is advancing on all fronts, including peer mediation in schools, mandated mediation in the courts system, workplace mediation among large employers, and the proliferation of private mediators in every sector of human activity — from divorce to land use to medical malpractice to foreclosure mediation. Moreover, fueled in large measure by the Internet and related information technologies, barriers to new mediators have never been lower.
The Business of Mediation
The community of professional mediators needs people who are not only passionate about the practice of mediation, but who are also passionate about developing the economic potential of the mediation industry. That last word — industry — is rarely associated with mediation. In fact, you might never have encountered the two together as mediation industry. Therein lies a problem — a problem that has placed mediation in the shadow of its more established counterpart, litigation.
To understand the origin of this problem, you need to know that mediation today has been largely defined by ideologues of the 1960s — people motivated primarily by the concerns of the anti-war and social justice movements. In so saying, I don’t mean to imply that such concerns are invalid or unimportant. Nor do I mean to deprecate the many contributions and triumphs of that era. Rather, I mean that mediation-as-movement-for-social-change has stood in opposition to the countervailing force of mediation as an industry and a profession.
Anyone who has ever practiced mediation knows its almost magical power. I am deeply thankful to those who formalized the mediation process and who shared with me their mastery so that I too may practice and deliver value to people in conflict.
“I can’t thank you enough for the hour coaching session this afternoon. Your wisdom and experience helped me recognize how to go about the training as well as helping me realize what I already have in regard to my qualifications … and I appreciate having you as a mentor!”
J.S., LMSW, PhD
New York, NY