Surgeons, Mediators and Medicine men

Surgeons, Mediators and Medicine menSurgeons, Mediators and Medicine men. Whenever we hear these job titles, we have an immediate impression as to the type of person we’re speaking about. Surgeons are seen as highly trained specialists we entrust with our lives. Medicine men, on the other hand, are snake oil salesmeisters who dupe dim-witted customers from a horse drawn wagon (or any home shopping channel) into buying worthless cures for baldness, arthritis and bad breath – often all at the same time!!!

But what about Mediators? Even though, as a profession, mediation has been growing in the UK since the late ’70s, until recently it has largely fallen under the radar of the average citizen. But things are changing, and they’re changing quickly. The effects of budget cuts on the Courts and Legal Aid notwithstanding, divorcing couples are simply less and less willing to add insult to the injury of the end of their marriage by squandering their life savings on lengthy legal battles. So where do these couples turn? A Family Mediation Council Accredited (FMCA) mediator is the professional alternative.

The Family Mediation Council (FMC) and mediators alike want to ensure that these separating families know that when choosing a mediator, they are turning to a solid, respected professional and NOT a Medicine Man. The Family Mediation Council Accreditation (FMCA) scheme ensures that mediators holding FMCA status have not only completed the required training, but have gone on to substantially demonstrate a number of important competencies in actual practice whilst being supervised by a suitably qualified and registered Professional Practice Consultant (PPC).

These efforts are not just about changing public opinion however. The FMC wants to ensure divorcing couples that when choosing an FMCA mediator, they are contracting a highly trained specialist who can be entrusted to help them work through their finances to reach a fair and equitable settlement solution, as well as helping them create workable co-parenting plans. The gap between surgeons and mediators my never close fully, but the robust training and accreditation requirements of FMCA mediators mean that we are moving closer to surgeons every day.

Johnathan Pease
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