Stephen Erickson

Stephen Erickson

Stephen Erickson co-founded Erickson Mediation Institute (EMI) in 1977. Since that time, he has been practicing family mediation and other types of mediation as well as training mediators nationally and internationally. Steve and his wife, Marilyn McKnight, have co-authored numerous articles and several books including The Children's Book: For the Sake of the Children (1992) and Mediating Divorce: A Client Workbook (2000). Both are past Presidents of the Academy of Family Mediators, and continue to contribute to the field as consultants and trainers.

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Articles and Video:

Married Mediators: Marilyn McKnight and Steve Erickson (02/07/22)
An interview with Marilyn McKnight and Stephen Erickson about the origins of family mediation, their different conflict styles, and the future of conflict resolution. Recorded and shared as part of the Mediation 2020 Conference.

How Mediation Started, How it's Different (12/24/19)
Stephen Erickson shares his view on how mediation came about and its benefits compared to the adversarial process.

Passion Needed to Mediate (06/01/19)
Stephen Erickson emphasizes that mediators must have passion in order to continue the difficult task of peacemaking.

Interview with Steve Erickson - Views from the Eye of the Storm (03/25/17)
This is the complete interview by Robert Benjamin with Stephen Erickson, one of the founders of the Academy of Family Mediators, filmed as part of's 'Views from the Eye of the Storm' Series.

Where We Have Been, Where We Are, and the Road That Lies Ahead (05/11/15)
Looking back as one of the early professional family Mediators, I believe we are a movement developed out of reaction to the excesses and misadventures of the way divorce was practiced in the early 1970s. Most of the early pioneers I worked with turned to divorce mediation out of frustration with the negative results of adversarial litigated divorce.

An Alternative to Colosseum of Family Court (05/20/12)
Steve Erickson discusses the view from family court. He left the practice of family law for family mediation, looking for a less aggressive alternative to resolving family disputes.

ADR Techniques and Procedures Flowing Through Porous Boundaries: Flooding the ADR Landscape and Confusing the Public (03/18/12)
A growing trend in ADR is the blurring of boundaries between various ADR processes. This blurring of boundaries raises crucial issues to the further development of the field - newly published January 27, 2012 edition.

Stephen Erickson: Self-Determination Important for Certification - Video (04/15/10)
Stephen Erickson describes the importance of reflecting responsibility onto the parties, a skill that should be a precondition to certification.

Stephen Erickson: Teaching Parties to Negotiate - Video (04/14/10)
Stephen Erickson shares his satisfaction with teaching mediation and peacemaking skills, especially in domestic or child custody disputes.

Elegant Solutions: Lessons from the Farmer-Lender Mediations of the 1980s (03/12/10)
In the case of mortgage foreclosure, laws that allow the lender to collect the debt by foreclosing on the security pledged are a workable and predictable system of conflict resolution. However, when unforeseen and cataclysmic events occur that cannot be controlled or predicted by either side to the original contract, application of the usual legal remedies may prove unworkable. In the case of the lender/homeowner relationship, that may extend over a 30-year period, there may be occasions where it is necessary to change the terms of that contractual relationship. This was true in the case of farmers and bankers in 1985, and it is true of homeowners and their lenders today.

Stephen Erickson: Lack of Acceptance of Mediation - Video (02/14/10)
Stephen Erickson expresses his concerns about other professionals feeling "threatened" by mediation in addition to the labeling that occurs for different styles of mediation.

Stephen Erickson: My Start in Mediation - Video (07/09/09)
Stephen Erickson tells of a tragedy with a client that occurred when he was practicing law. This event impacted his decision to move into divorce mediation.

Stephen Erickson: Discussing Transformative Mediation - Video (06/14/09)
Stephen Erickson talks about transformative mediation and how it is only an aspect of the the more global mediation process.

Stephen Erickson: Client-Centered Approach - Video (06/11/09)
Stephen Erickson describes his frustration with processes of mediation that are parallel to that of the court system.

Stephen Erickson: Defining Mediation as a Profession - Video (05/14/09)
Stephen Erickson discusses that if there is to be a certification process, the more experienced mediators in the field need to be more clear and write more about what it is they do that works.

Stephen Erickson: Defining Mediation as a Profession - Video (04/16/09)
Stephen Erickson expresses his concern of mediation not being well defined and how it is being confused with the legal or therapeutic process.

If They Can Do Parenting Plans, They Can Do Child Support Plans (06/17/08)
Many states have implemented deviations from child support norms to address inequities resulting from the strict application of child support guidelines. When these changes are evaluated as a whole, they reveal that an alternate approach of child support planning is needed.


The Mediators: Views from the Eye of the Storm Vol. I
Views from the Eye of the Storm

Featuring 31 of the most experienced mediators in the world.

This two-hour DVD is a "highlight" film of compelling commentary from pioneers and leaders in the field of mediation.

(2006) ISBN # 1-933857-04-8

This video is also available by online streaming here

DVDs are available for shipment to the United States and Canada. International purchasers are asked to order the online streaming version of this resource at