Your First Mediation Session
Before the first session: People speak on the telephone with Sheila Russian prior to the first session. This is an opportunity for you to ask Sheila questions and to increase your comfort level with mediation Sheila often speaks with both people (either together or in separate calls). Typical questions are: How does mediation work? What is your background? How many mediations have you handled? How long is each session? How many sessions will we need? What are your fees? How can I prepare for our first session?
The first session begins: Sheila Russian will explain mediation in greater detail. You will be able to ask questions. Sheila will ask you to sign an Agreement to Mediate. The Agreement to Mediate includes a description of mediation, an explanation of policies, and fees.
The session continues: Sheila Russian will give each person an opportunity to talk about why he/she is there, what needs to be resolved. She makes sure that everyone clearly understands what each person has said. She will make sure that people are not interrupted, and that no one dominates the session. Mediation is a conversation that Sheila Russian keeps focused on the issues that people need to resolve. Sheila Russian will help you figure out what information you need and/or to whom you should talk before you make a decision. For example, you may need to consult an attorney or a tax advisor. You may need the summer camp schedule or recent bills. The aim of mediation is to reach informed decisions.
Sheila Russian helps people brainstorm; she may have an idea or a suggestion. However, it is important to understand that you, not Sheila, make the final decisions. You understand your situation best and what is workable. Throughout mediation, you are in the driver's seat.
Sometimes it is helpful for Sheila Russian to meet each person alone for a few minutes during the mediation session. Sheila will not share anything that you discuss in the separate session with the other person without your permission.
The session concludes: Sheila Russian will review the discussion and the alternatives that are being considered. You will decide whether or not to schedule a second session. Sheila Russian schedules the next session according to your needs. If another session is planned, you will discuss what each person needs to think about and do, so that the session will be productive.
Sheila Russian is a mediator specializing in divorce mediation services in Baltimore, Owings MIlls, Towson, Columbia and Westminster.. Flexible office hours include daytime, evening, and weekend appointments. Phone: 410-415-5544.