Learning & events

Bringing a psychological lens to the mediation process: Mediators understanding parties and themselves with Dr Peter Smith

Date TBA | Jackson McDonald

Tuesday, 14 August

In 1978, Kenny Rogers’ signature song was The Gambler, that went “You got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em…Know when to walk away and know when to run”. His emphasis on the importance of timing is particularly relevant to the fields of mediation and dispute resolution. In working towards a resolution the mediator is faced with a significant number of decision points (“This is the right time to negotiate, I’m sure – or is it?”, “It seems unproductive to let them vent about this issue again – do I let them continue or move them on?”). It is difficult however to predict how parties may respond or react at any given stage of the mediation, given the emotionally charged nature of the process. At times, there is nothing we can do about the (emotional) space the party is in, but it is critical that mediators not make things worse.

The presentation will bring a psychological lens to the process and help mediators make sense of what Joshua Smilovitz referred to as “the emotional rollercoaster that is mediation” and in so doing, attendees will:

  • Be better able to identify stages (elements) of the mediation process they find personally challenging;
  • Develop a greater awareness of psychological processes occurring during the mediation process for parties and themselves; and
  • Learn strategies to regulate emotional processes that will engender greater trust in the mediator-party relationship.

Resolution Institute thanks Jackson McDonald for generously hosting this event.

Please attend and gain 1.5 CPD points under the RI & NMAS accreditation schemes. Attendees are also entitled to 1 CPD point under Competency Area 2 – Professional Skills for the purposes of the LPBWA

About the speaker

Operating as Thirdforce Consultancy Services Peter Smith has worked as a psychologist and consultant for the last decade specialising in intra/inter organisational communication processes, developing and implementing workplace/program evaluations, and reviewing and resolving complex organisational issues.

Peter completed an honours degree in psychology, a masters in clinical psychology and his interest in mental health guided him to complete a PhD on recovery processes in schizophrenia.

He has had exposure to a disparate range of working environments that includes health care, community services, mental health, education and training, agriculture, and child protection across Indigenous and non-Indigenous sectors. During that period he has developed (and is continuing to develop) an increased sensitivity to the importance of engaging appropriately with people.