Years ago when I first decided to become a mediator, I noticed that there were two types of professionals who attended mediation trainings: lawyers and mental health counselors. The ratio was a fairly consistent 3 to 1, respectively. While it seemed as though most of the lawyers in the room had backgrounds in social justice and family law, none of us was able to expertly hone in on the relational complexities that always make their way into the mediation room.
I was not interested in getting an advanced degree in counseling in order to bring both sets of skills to my clients. Instead I decided to try to find someone who already was a mental health professional to join me. I didn’t need to look far to find a willing and interested partner. In fact, I needed only to look across the dinner table at my spouse.
(No that’s not our real dinner table.)
Rob Brownson, a licensed mental health counselor with two decades of experience working with individuals and couples in crisis, readily agreed to complete the same rigorous training as I had and for the two of us to begin co-mediating complex, family-related matters.
Rob and I both believe that the co-mediation model is special as it brings two distinct sets of professional skills into the room alongside two distinct sets of life experiences. Our clients have the added benefit of knowing that two critical thinkers are working on their behalf to get their conflicts resolved as quickly as practicable while ensuring a comprehensive and holistic approach to the collaborative process.