One and Two-Day Mediation Training

For Family Mediatiors Only

How to Use Mediation to Help Couples Stay Married

Laurie Israel, Marital Mediator, Presenter


8:30 a.m.
Each trainee introduces him/herself, describes background and mediation practice and interest in marital mediation

9:20 a.m.
– Mediation as helping people resolve conflict in ongoing relationships.
– Are mediators are permitted to work with married couples?
– How does marital mediation differ from divorce mediation and marital counseling.

9:40 a.m.
– Hear from participants who have used mediation to help people with their marriages.
– What contexts, what types of problems dealt with. Success rate?
– What question does each trainee have about marital mediation?

10:10 a.m.
– Examination of literature and websites:
– The Relationship Handbook, George Pransky.
– and, etc.
– Taking the War Out of Our Words, Sharon Strand Ellison.
– Quick look at the many web resources.

10:30 a.m.
– Break

10:50 a.m.
– Should marital mediation include caucuses, and if so when?
– How to deal with infidelity, actual or emotional.
– Gender and sexual orientation issues.
– John Fiske’s theory that all marital issues involve control and acknowledgement.
– “Normalizing” typical marital problems.

11:30 a.m.
– How to start the first session.
– Discussion
– Techniques
– Zen Mind Beginners Mind
– Fishbowl role play

12: 15 p.m. to 1:15 p.m.
– Lunch

1:15 p.m.
– Marital Mediation PowerPoint aimed at new practitioners, and discussion.

1:45 p.m. The Postnuptial Agreement.
– Is a written agreement necessary?
– Transformational mediation.
– What do postnuptial agreements contain?
– Review samples in materials.
– Various uses of Postnuptial Agreements:

  • As estate planning tools.
  • To correct prenuptial agreements.
  • To set the terms of possible divorce.
  • To set terms of personal behavior.
  • To set terms of household finances, and economic behavior.

– Is a written agreement a necessary part of marital mediation?
– What happens when lawyers get involved.
– Is a postnuptial agreement enforceable, and does it matter?

2:15 p.m.
– More discussion of marital counseling v. marital mediation.
– How to respond to questions from psychotherapists and others.
– PowerPoint on marital mediation v. marital counseling.
– Practicing the “elevator talk” when you are asked that first question: “What is the
difference between marital mediation and marital counseling?”

2:50 p.m.
– Marital Mediating in the shadow of the law. Is the law important?
– Informing clients about what happens if they divorce.

3:15 p.m.
– Screening factors predicting marital failure or success and why they might be important
for the clients to know about.

3:30 p.m. Break

3:45 p.m.
– Helping clients conceptual their problems as “normal” marital issues and conflict.
– How to help marital mediation clients communicate better.
– “Driving” PowerPoint.
– Misunderstandings are rampant, even in long-term marriages.
– Using the mediator’s tool box.
– Fishbowl Role Play

4:15 p.m.
– Helping marriages with estate planning and real estate issues.
– Helping marriages with asset protection.
– When to refer to a specialist and what kind of specialist to refer to.
– What can you do without referring to a specialist.

4:45 p.m.
– How to start and promote your own marital mediation practice.

5:00 p.m.
– Complete evaluations.