Skip to content

Mediation: Its Power & Its Limits

  • by

Mediation is a very powerful tool to resolve disputes and improve lives, but it cannot eradicate all of life’s problems.

As mediators we go on many emotional rollercoasters as we go from case to case and we often need to think of our own training to help ourselves through challenging moments.

An emotional case

For example, recently during an initial session for a complaints dispute with a client, I was able to put into practice some of the learning from the ‘Self-Harm and Suicide Prevention’ training I am doing.

The client talked about their son taking his own life five years ago and the pain, hurt and anger they still feel every day. The training doesn’t make it easier to hear things like this, but it does allow me to listen and respond in a helpful way.

At the end of this session the client told me that they had never opened up to anyone like they did with me other than their partner. I felt that I’d helped, even if just in a very small way.

Despite my training and my experience in mediation, cases like this still put a lot into perspective.

Afterwards I got in the car and cried! When my boys got home from school I gave them an extra cuddle that day. I don’t think they were too impressed!

Mediation cannot take away the pain for that person, but I can provide a listening ear and care for them the best I can. And sometimes that’s all people need.

A challenging case

At ADR Mediation a lot of our cases come from referrals. We recently worked with one such referrer who was entrenched in a long and difficult case. It was great to be able to use our skills and experience to help find a meaningful resolution.

The referrer said:

“Having worked with ADR for many years in other ASB roles I have had elsewhere, I was really pleased that Kim was able to manage this case on our behalf. This was a long-standing issue between two neighbours who seemed unable to resolve their differences.

With Kim’s expert management of the case, both residents were able to mediate and reach a meaningful agreement which is a fantastic outcome considering how long their dispute had gone on for previously.”

This is great to hear and not only that, the case has remained closed since, as both parties have been pleased with the outcome.

Related article: Conflict Coaching in Practice

A satisfying case

The best outcome a mediation can achieve is a sustainable, mutually satisfying agreement that creates a win-win for both parties involved.

The role of a mediator is to use our skills to guide the conversation so that the parties involved have the power to resolve their conflicts themselves. A mediator doesn’t suggest outcomes, we’re just there to help those involved find their way.

When the people involved create their own agreement not only is it far more likely to last, they can create a new bond between them as they have acted as a team.

Mediation can serve to not only resolve disputes, but it can repair friendships and even create new ones too, when previously there seemed to be no hope.

We often get feedback which portrays this and it’s always great to receive.

Recently a client said:

“The mediation was brilliant; you have made a real difference. I’m really grateful for the follow up, it means a lot and shows mediators’ care. I was sceptical if mediation would work, but it really did.”

This case was also long-standing and was taking up a lot of the council’s time so this was a very positive outcome.

Are you ready to develop your skills?

At ADR Mediation we offer a range of training courses to help you develop your career in mediation, or to upskill to help you in your current role.

If you would like to feel better equipped when dealing with these types of situations yourself, we can help.

Our new 1-day online training courses are now available. These are:

  • Conflict Coaching
  • Mental Health & Complex Conversations
  • Mental Health for Managers
  • Opening the Door to Dialogue

You can find out all the detail here: 1-day training courses

We have also recently become OCN London accredited for our 5-day mediation training courses and we will be releasing more detail on this very soon. If you would like to know more about our accreditation or these 5-day courses straight away, you can email me now at

Training course testimonials

Here is some of the great feedback we have received from previous training course participants.

“A great session and delivered well by the trainer, who obviously has great experience and knowledge of mental health.”


“Brilliant!! I left the session with more confidence in myself as a mediator than when I started it.”


“The examples and personal narratives gave the session a relevance and practical benefit that will translate into real mediation sessions easily. It wasn’t just a list of mental health conditions, it enabled me (us) to explore what those conditions ask of us as mediators.”

Thank you,

Kim Logan, CEO ADR Mediation & Training

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *