Learning & events

Online masterclass series | Relationship mediation in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand

with Mieke Brandon and Linda Kochanski

3, 10 and 17 August 2022| 10.30am–12pm AEST | 12.30–2.00pm NZDT | Online

This masterclass series offers an overview of relationship mediation practice for those clients who would prefer to reconcile rather than separate and/or divorce.

In Australia, Legal and FDR practitioners have an obligation under the 1975 (Cth) Family Law Act, s 12E(5) and s 12G, must give a person considering separation or divorce, information about services available to help with reconciliation. This information about counselling does not need to be given if it is believed that the partners/couples already have the relevant documents or believe that there is no reasonable possibility of reconciliation.

Relationship mediation is now available for clients/couples/partners who do want to get support to explore whether reconciliation is a genuine possibility.

Relationship mediation is now available in Australia and New Zealand and it is quite different from counselling or therapy. Relationship mediation is a facilitative solution-focused, task orientated and time limited process for people, married or not married, regardless of gender, with or without children, to reconcile and/or enrich their existing relationship if they prefer to avoid a separation.

Objective

The Resolution Institute masterclass series are particularly designed for FDRPs, Legal practitioners and experienced mediators who want to add reconciliation mediation to their practice. The purpose of this type of relationship mediation is for partners/couples, who may want to try to reconcile, to find new ways of communicating, to enhance their emotional responsiveness by being encouraged to talk directly with each other and relating to each other in a way that is meaningful, rewarding and respectful, even if ultimately the outcome is for them to go their separate ways.


Session 1: Wednesdays 3 August 2022. 10.30am – 12.00pm (AEST) and 12.30 – 2pm (NZDT)

The reconciliation mediation process to:

  1. Familiarise practitioners with the process to first establish if reconciliation mediation is suitable for those who choose to try to reconcile before deciding the separation is the only option for them.
  2. Establish partners’ levels of connectedness, and areas that typically cause friction
  3. Understand the differences between mediation that is solution-focused in contrast to relationship counselling or therapy
Session 2: Wednesdays 10 August 2022. 10.30am – 12.00pm (AEST) and 12.30 – 2pm (NZDT)

The transition from premediation to mediation:

  1. Review of a facilitative mediation process and the explanation of the purpose at each stage
  2. Using How and What Question’s as agenda items to assist in exploring strengths of the relationship, hopes and goals for the future and typical areas that cause tension, anxiety and conflict between them within a multi-generational systems perspective.
  3. Use of Facilitation, Techniques and Skills to foster acknowledgement, empathy and manage differences through open communication about needs, fears and interests as base for negotiations.
Session 3: Wednesdays 17 August 2022. 10.30am – 12.00pm (AEST) and 12.30 – 2pm (NZDT)

Complexities in blended families to:

  1. Understand Common Underlying Issues and establish the role of people in blended families, in either supporting positive dynamics or creating conflict in a multigenerational family system.
  2. Help shift the couple/partners from this other-focused perspective to becoming more self-focused to find a balance between togetherness, independence and autonomy when negotiating “we, me and family time”.
  3. When one or both decide that separation is the only option, at least they know now that this is decision was made by self-determination and they can agree to how they will separate and when they can actually separate and how and when to tell the children, family and friends.

About the presenters

Mieke Brandon AM

Experienced mediator, trainer, coach, assessor, supervisor and author

Mieke BA, MSc(App) is NMAS accredited and a registered FDRP with more than 30 years’ experience in family and workplace mediation as a mediator, trainer, and supervisor. She has taught and coached regularly at a range of organisations and universities. Mieke is a member of the AMA Mediator Training Academy, Editorial Consultant ADRJ and a Director on the Resolution Institute Board 2022-2023.

Mieke has published extensively, has presented papers and workshops at conferences in Australia and overseas and is the co-author of Mediating with Families (4th ed. Thomson Reuters, 2018), the text for FDR and all other types of family mediation.

Linda Kochanski

Practice Leader: Dispute Resolution Programs College of Law, Australia

Linda started her professional life as a lawyer specialising in Family and Criminal law. This is where she ‘tripped over’ mediation in the early 1990s. She was then trained at Relationships Australia Queensland as a mediator and has worked for Relationships Australia in a number of positions.

Linda moved to academia in 2000 and has worked for Griffith University, QUT and Bond as a lecturer and co-ordinator of courses. She then began to specialise in mediation training and private practice. At Bond University she held the position of Co-Director of the Bond Dispute Resolution Centre from 2012 – 2015. She is presently Practice Leader: Dispute Resolution Programs, College of Law (Australia).

Linda has a number of published articles and presents regularly nationally and internationally on dispute resolution and, in particular, family mediation. Most recently she was Chair of the National Mediation Conference 2016 and was elected to the National Mediation Standards Board.


Technology required: Zoom application, PC/laptop/tablet/smartphone, Internet connection, sound/speakers or a headset and an in-built microphone.