For conflicts where the parties are their own best expert, the parties wish to maintain their autonomy, and some form of relationship is desired, then a true mediation process can be effective and oftentimes desirable.  Examples are co-parenting situations, roommate issues, neighbor disputes.

Such a formal process can also be helpful to unwind the complexities of issues that can become overwhelming. The mediation process always

  • ensures the parties themselves decide what the important issues are.
  • supports parties to developed their own criteria that will measure the success of the process and outcomes.
  • facilitates a way for the parties to develop their own solutions.
  • maintains a sacred space of confidentiality.

We offer a process of mediation that results in tangible, measurable, “do-able” agreements.  Parties can share their resulting accords as they wish, take them forward into other proceedings with confidence, or simply use as reference to keep their agreements on track.

  • Overview: We cover the ground-rules, the steps we will be taking, what parties can expect, and answer any questions.
  • Commence: We gain agreement between all of us that we will proceed in good faith and earnest.
  • Sessions: The number of sessions is dependent on the pace of progress made. There is no limitation on the number from the standpoint of a fair and committed process, but clients can expect most issues that are ripe for mediation can .
  • Conclusion: We come to the close of our process with a verbal agreement that reflects the thoughts, feelings and energy between the parties. A detailed written agreement maybe also created in these closing session(s).



A less formal version of mediation intent, conciliation involves balancing power disparities – real or perceived.  It assumes most people know how to resolve their own conflicts, but assistance can sometimes be beneficial to get beyond an impasse or to help de-escalate a situation.  The method of conciliation is witnessing and coaching individuals to the point where communication is effective and the experience transforms the relationship toward a healthier direction.

Dialectical Listening

Story telling, sharing one’s experience in a safe space, can be cathartic and healing, not just for the speaker, but for the listener as well. The poignant act of telling a truth, releasing unfinished business, admitting a wrong, or sharing a hope, can all be risky, and also empowering passages people take to get beyond the difficult summits.

It was not long ago that “blocked energies” were considered fringe talk and unaccepted concepts to describe some norms of social interaction. Nowadays, these intangibles can be discussed, but we rarely know what to do to fix them. Considering what can be done about it, maybe formal mediation is not necessary, but what is needed is simply a safe space to be heard. The swirl that comes from revealing perceptions, histories and expectations is the soil for growing truth.

A Picture Speaks…cropped-cropped-mountain-ladder.jpg

Not all solutions can come from the spoken word. Whether your preferred mode of communication is graphs, diagrams or stick figures, mosaics or collage, finger paint or mud, building images that explain that which can’t be said is an age old powerful tool for conveying meaning.

All materials will be provided by CCS.  Participants are encouraged to continue their art projects as understanding deepens and changes bring new insights.


Not all conflicts are resolved after they erupt into discord and tension, but are resolved before any signs are showing.  Knowing that conflict is a normal part of human interaction, some courses of action look ahead and plan for that inevitability.  When people see this reality, planning for conflict can not only prevent future tensions, people can learn about each other and have a chance to act on their commitments to their better selves.  Read more about “conflict provention“.

Some examples of preventing conflict include:

  • Pre-marital Counseling
  • Family Contracts
  • Intentional Discussions
  • Stakeholder Meetings
  • Cross-cultural Education Workshops
  • Contract Negotiations

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