What Is Mediation?

Mediation is a method for resolving disputes that is an alternative to the adversarial approach of litigation.  Participants are provided with an opportunity to engage in a give-and-take process in which they can define their interests and cooperatively create solutions to shape an agreement that both sides can live with.  The focus is on communication and resolution of disagreements.  Unlike in a courtroom, rules of evidence do not apply.  Mediation services should not be construed as legal advice, financial advice, therapy or any professional service other than mediation.


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Principles of Mediation

  1. Voluntariness.  Mediation is a voluntary process.  The participants or the mediators may choose to end the process at any time.  The participants freely enter into any agreements reached and, in fact, are free not to reach agreement.
  2. Informed Consent.  Participants are free at any time during mediation to consult with third parties (eg. attorneys, financial advisors, therapists, etc.) to inform their decision-making.  In fact, such consultations are encouraged.
  3. Self-Determination.  The participants themselves determine the outcome of the mediation process.  It is they who define their own interests, create solutions, and ultimately decide upon any agreements to be made.
  4. Neutrality.  The role of the mediators is to help the participants reach agreement by serving as neutral facilitators.  The mediators will not make judgments, give advice, nor impose solutions on the participants.
  5. Confidentiality.  Mediation is a private process.  The mediators will keep the details of the case and all related documents confidential.  However, the mediators reserve the right to report suspected abuse and plans to commit a crime to the proper authorities.  The participants also commit to the confidentiality of the process by agreeing not to subpoena the mediators or their files in any legal proceedings (see Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 233, Section 23C).

Mediation Services at Psychological Associates

Psychological Associates offers mediation services for a wide range of interpersonal and family conflicts including, but not limited to: divorce, post-divorce, child-custody, parent-child, domestic partnership, pre-nuptial, and family business disputes.  We often employ a co-mediation model in which two mediators meet with the parties.

How To Proceed

For further information or to arrange for mediation services, please call Dr. Flynn at 508-230-5088.

Kevin C. Flynn, Ph.D., coordinates Divorce and Family Mediation Services at Psychological Associates.  He has been formally trained in basic mediation practice (1994) and has completed advanced training in divorce mediation (2002).