This week we have been discussing the 13 accepted standards of practice for mediators. The very first model standard of practice states that a mediator should recognize that self-determination is at the heart of mediation and that participants in the mediation must have self-determination. But what exactly is self-determination and why is it important to a successful mediation process?
Self-Determination: Putting the Power in the Participants’ Hands
Very simply, the principle of self-determination is based on an individual’s ability to make their own informed decisions based on their needs, their knowledge, and the best interests of their children. When participants are guided by self-determination, they voluntarily and logically come to their own conclusions and solutions based on information that they collect.
The standard of practice involving self-determination goes on to state:
- Self-termination should be considered the fundamental principle of mediation.
- Family mediators should assist participants to better understand their own needs and the needs of others before coming to a solution.
- Family mediators should encourage participants to make their own informed decisions after seeking information from numerous valid sources.
- Family mediators should make clear that all participants are allowed to withdraw from the mediation process at any time and that an agreement is not absolutely necessary.
- Family mediators should be committed to their participants and to the process, not to outside forces.
Seattle Mediation Attorneys
Divorce mediation and family mediation can be an excellent choice for many couples because self-determination is such a central tenant of the process: you are not only able, but also encouraged, to speak up for your needs, choose your fate, and make certain that the outcome is amenable. A Washington mediation attorney can help you understand your needs. Call Molly B. Kenny to learn more: 425-460-0550.