Mediation is a Valuable Way to Manage Conflict
Rachel Gillian Miller - PCA-Intern

July 19, 2018

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Conflict is a natural part of being a human and having relationships with people. However, how people manage the conflict is important. Successful goals and clear communication can help ease the discomfort of dealing with problems between people. Mediation is an efficient and usually a more cost-effective way to settle a dispute. Mediation can be performed in multiple settings including court, solicitor’s offices, businesses, and neutral venues.

The mediation process may not look the same for each situation, and you want to make sure you have a trained mediator before beginning. The goal at the end of the process is to have a solution agreed upon by all parties involved. There are generally six main steps that occur while going through the process:

  1. Mediator’s Opening Statement - This statement includes an introduction of the mediator and parties involved, goals to work toward, and the rules.

  2. Disputant’s Opening Statements - Each party will describe their version of the problem as well as put forth any possible solutions.

  3. Joint Discussion - The mediator and the parties involved will openly talk about what was said in the opening statements and identify issues that need to be addressed.

  4. Private Caucuses - Individuals involved in the situation can privately meet with the mediator to further discuss their party’s position, personal feelings, and possible settlements.

  5. Joint Negotiation - The mediator will bring all parties back together again to work on a final solution.

  6. Closure - The end process can usually go two ways for closure: The first way: an agreement will be made and the mediator will officiate the agreement in writing. A summary of the process will be given to both parties. The second way: if no agreement was reached, the parties involved will be shown their options of continuing to work through the problem, such as going to court.

While this is not a perfect layout of every mediation session, this is a breakdown of the general process. Depending on the situation occurring and the number of people involved, this process can take a couple of hours to a couple of days.

If you find yourself in a situation that is not being solved expediently, you should consider mediation. Palmetto Counseling Associates has two trained mediators that can help guide you through the process and can assist in achieving an end goal, Dr. Dan Shoultz and Dr. Nic Natale. Our front office can help you set an appointment up with them and they can be reached at (803) 254-9767.


Nolo. (2011, October 10). Mediation: The Six Stages. Retrieved July 18, 2018, from

Where do mediations take place | Effective Dispute Solutions. (2016, August 2). Retrieved July 18, 2018, from