"That which you think you know prevents you from learning something new." Spoken by Pema Chodron. The point is attorneys dictating separate sessions because, (pick any mentioned) is really disrespect of the mediator and the process. All the excuses don't matter. The dignity of the individual to make decisions is kept intact by joint session.
It was refreshing to read this. When I first began as a mediator, caucusing was rare to nonexistent, primarily restricted to DV situations. Now that it is almost the exclusive method, I have often found myself tempted to manipulate the situation, and in later years have always resisted. In the family law setting, it's important for the parties to learn how to negotiate with one another, and the joint mediation often is their first post-breakup experience with it. I'm nit sure a single mediator can handle both parties and their lawyers, however.
Thank you so much for a clear-eyed discussion of the downside of the private caucus model. I have been training mediators for years in a joint meeting model which once learned, is rarely used because attorneys (who choose the mediators) prefer private caucusing.