© 2019 Southern Downs Counselling & Psychotherapy Service

Mediation

We provide a mediation service that facilitates the resolution of issues between two people by an independent and neutral person, ensuring that the mediation remains confidential and voluntary, and the welfare of both parties is taken into account. 

  • The mediator will first collect sufficient information from the parties to determine whether mediation is appropriate. 

  • The mediator will advise the parties of the parameters of the mediation service and if mediation is not considered appropriate, other options can be explored in a supportive and consultative manner. 

  • The mediator facilitates mediation between two parties only as it is considered that with more than two parties there is a risk of people dividing or splitting into sides, with the potential for individuals to then feel targeted or bullied. Participants must feel safe to speak during the mediation, and there must be a perception of fairness. 

  • Mediation is not a forum for investigating or resolving complaints made by one or both parties. The mediator does not make judgements or come to conclusions about the issues raised. For this reason, if allegations of inappropriate conduct such as workplace bullying or harassment have been made, this should be investigated and resolved by a separate process. 

  • Mediation is voluntary. Both parties must agree to engage in the mediation and not be compelled to participate. 

  • Both parties must agree that they want to resolve the conflict, and are willing to negotiate a resolution and take responsibility for their own contribution to repairing their relationship. 

  • The mediator will speak with both parties separately first to ensure they understand and consent to the parameters and intentions of the mediation process, and to assess whether proceeding with the mediation will pose any risks to the individual participants or the mediator. 

  • The role of the mediator is to encourage the participants to identify and explore options for resolving their issues and to help them to find mutually acceptable solutions. The mediator may make recommendations or suggestions to help the parties reach a resolution, however the mediator does not impose solutions or make judgments. 

  • If the mediator identifies any barriers to proceeding with the mediation, they will be communicate their concern to the participants as appropriate. 

  • If the mediator is concerned about risk to the wellbeing of one of the participants to the mediation, they may recommend suspending the mediation until the participant receives individual support e.g. via counselling or GP referral.

  • During the pre-mediation discussions with each participant, the mediator will fully explain their own and participants’ obligations with regard to confidentiality. The mediator will obtain consent from the parties to proceed with the mediation. (See Mediation Consent Form below). 

  • The mediation is covered by legal privilege which means that participants in the mediation cannot request the release of information from the mediation via court subpoena or judicial proceedings. 

  • The discussions facilitated by the mediator with participants are confidential. Whilst the mediator may seek outside information, this will only be to:  

  • collect additional background; or

  • provide general information about the mediation process; or

  • co-ordinate logistics; or  

  • determine whether or not an agreement was reached. 

  • The mediation agreement is between the two parties only. In workplace mediations, the employing organisation may request feedback however this is limited to the agreement outcomes and only with the prior consent of both parties. If consent is given, this must be documented in the Mediation Agreement to which both parties have provided their written consent. 

  • The mediator will document any agreements made between the parties and will obtain their signatures on the agreement. This document remains confidential unless the parties to the mediation both agree to it. 

  • If the mediator recommends to provide recommendations to a third-party organisation, this will only be done with the consent of both parties.