There are many, many stories that demonstrate the success of using mediation to resolve disputes. Here are a few of them:
Henry, Lula and Bertha are family members working together to make difficult choices about their elderly father’s living situation. It’s quite a change from the angry attacks and guilt they were living with before they entered mediation. They now have a plan in place to research in-home care options and assisted living facilities. Lula is relieved that their father won’t have to keep living alone, which required increasingly frequent visits from her. Henry and Bertha, who don’t live as close, can accept the idea of a nursing home if nothing else is possible. Given how hard these decisions are, they also agreed to return to mediation if their plan broke down.
Paul, Shelly and Joe were involved in a Small Claims dispute and sought help through DRPS Mediation program. The mediator helped them to communicate better and to come to an amicable solution. At the conclusion of the case Shelly was smiling.
All three participants commented on their evaluation sheets that mediation allowed them to express what was important to them, while they believed that the court would have forced them to talk about money. One of them also emphasized that the mediation process helped them to deal with emotions and repair their relationship. The other thanked the mediator for his patience, professionalism, and calm attitude.
Victoria, and Magdalena, former friends, were involved in a dispute in Small Claims Court. The judge ruled in favor of Victoria, but also gave them instructions to seek mediation to work out a compromise on the amount and to return to Court with their agreement within 3 days. Once they submitted their mediation agreement to the court and before the official entry of judgment was processed in the court system Magdalena shared her inability to pay right away in one installment. They resumed mediation and Victoria seemed more open to a possibility of multiple payments. They talked about how to improve mutual respect and trust, reaffirming what was important to both of them. They were able to come to an agreement to resolve their dispute and to restore their friendship.
Anna, and Greg were involved in a mediation with Bruce, a student, who had painted graffiti at a school and also threatened violence against a teacher at another school. Anna and Gregg, staff members from the school where the graffiti was found, agreed to participate in a mediation session with Bruce. Ana took time to express her understanding to Bruce and to speak up for some of her own values. Both Greg and Ana had heartfelt advice for Bruce about self-acceptance and stress management. This advice came in a respectful way that seemed helpful and healing for Bruce. Weeks after this mediation, Bruce got in touch with our program staff to let us know how meaningful the experience was to him and how glad he was to have had a chance to acknowledge his responsibility and apologize to some of the people he affected.