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Oak Park Mediation and Nonviolent Communication
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110 S. East Avenue #2S
Oak Park, IL 60302
Description of Practice
I specialize in condo disputes and foreclosures. I help people in condos who want to resolve situations through willing compliance rather than enforcement. If people think they’re being punished for doing something wrong, they may continue the unhelpful behavior even longer than they would have if they didn't feel blamed. Preserving good will in the association is the priority. I help by bringing in a mediative influence. I mediate tough conflicts myself—between unit owners and the board, and all other kinds of disputes. I do co-mediation sessions too, where another person and I both control the process and guide the talking. The mediation work doesn’t have to be face-to-face. I also coach board members to intervene in tough situations. And I help design and set up conflict management systems in the association
My professional training prior to becoming a mediator was in urban planning and community economic revitalization. I also have a background in social change activism and have worked many years for peace and justice. I have worked in local government, in university settings, and in community-based organizations in low-income neighborhoods. I have been studying Nonviolent Communication since 2002 and have been receiving mediation training since then. I have received training from the Chicago Center for Conflict Resolution, the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center,from NVC mediation trainers John Kinyon amd Dominic Barter, and from Gary Friedman and Jack Himmelstein. My training in Nonviolent Communication includes many hours of direct instruction with Marshall Rosenberg, founder of the Center for Nonviolent Communication.
I have mediated small family-owned business disputes, disputes over assets owned by divorcing couples, victim-offender mediation in police department offices, foreclosure mediation and parenting time mediation. I have facilitated nearly 200 mediation sessions. For two-and-one-half years I was a foreclosure mediator in the Circuit Court of Cook County.
B.A. in Sociology from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico City, Mexico Masters in Community and Regional Planning from the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico
|June 2007||Michael Nathanson, Alyson Carrel||Performance-Based Mediation Skills Training 40 hours|
|September 2008||John Kinyon||Nonviolent Communication Mediation Tele-classes 16 hours|
|October 2008||Dominic Barter||Building Compassionate Justice for the 21st Century: a Four-Day Workshop 32 hours|
|August 2011||Richard Blackburn||Mediation Skills Training Institute 40 hours|
|November 2012||Gary Friedman/Jack Himmelstein||Mediation Intensive Training 40 hours|
My orientation is "facilitative" but my particular approach is Nonviolent Communication (please visit www.cnvc.org to learn about NVC). I have a complementary orientation from Friedman's and Himmelstein's Understanding-Based Approach. I practice the non-caucus approach: the parties (and their attorneys) need to be in the same room during the entire mediation. My job as a mediator is not to get the parties to reach a settlement but to make sure that each mediation participant gets the satisfaction of getting fully heard by the other party and of having acted powerfully to resolve the dispute. I model the kind of communication I'm asking of the participants. I observe without judgment, express feelings that are coming up, connect those feelings to needs I have, and then make a request. During mediation, in cases where there is a lot of hurt, I may request permission from the parties to point out the style of communication they have been using and to briefly train them in a style more conducive to respectful and productive relations. I quickly demonstrate how easy it is to just stick to 1)observations, 2)feelings, 3)needs, and 4)requests. I return repeatedly to the difference between requests and demands.
$150 per hour with no obligation beyond the first hour; or a flat fee of $1000. Varies according to complexity of case and whether dispute is in litigation. I use a sliding scale and will explore different compensation alternatives in cases where people are unemployed or even homeless--I have provided mediation for homeless people.
Areas of Practice
- Business (1 mediated)
- Divorce (all issues) (2 mediated)
- Divorce (parenting) (15 mediated)
- Foreclosure (170 mediated)
- Communication Skills Trainer
- Mediation Trainer
- Conflict Coach