The primary purpose of a mediator is to help parties find a solution or outcome that everyone will be happy with.
Dennis Terracini from Canberra's Go Forward with Purpose told us that the best time to see a mediator is actually well before there is a problem.
He also pointed out that mediation does not necessarily involve disputes or disagreement.
"Mediators can help form an agreement or a plan that is designed to help personal, family or business relationships move forward and prevent a possibility of relationships becoming strained," he said.
"Unfortunately disputes, disagreements or abuse can occur, and the services of a mediator can be utilised to assist potentially before the involvement of solicitors or lawyers or unnecessary costs."
Mediators can assist with family members, neighbours, work colleagues, business partners, board members, contractors and clients. Basically, anywhere that people need to cooperate on an ongoing basis or meet obligations required of them.
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Dennis also explained that there is a process that mediators are trained to follow.
Quoting the Resolution Institute's website, he said "A mediator helps participants focus on the issues and keeps communication going to reach an outcome. A mediator helps participants decide what to do themselves".
He further explained that a mediator isn't there to give advice or an opinion unless it is required of them. Their job isn't to take sides or decide the outcome. Their job is to facilitate the communication.
Nevertheless, a mediator may be engaged to assist one or other of the parties.
"The main thing is to get them to talk and direct the mediation to a satisfactory outcome" he added.
Dennis says that one of the things he aims to do is "find the common factors and work on those".
Dennis Terracini of Go Forward With Purpose is in a unique position as he has experience and particular qualifications in finance and real estate and can be engaged to assist one or other party involved in mediation or legal proceedings.
"In terms of the process, it is important to have pre-mediation meetings with all parties separately to establish purpose, goals, aspirations, concerns, grievances and then bring them together so that everyone can be heard, and all views understood."
Mediation is very much a profession that works with human emotion and so "directing that communication without unnecessarily disadvantaging one or more of the parties is a vital part of helping people find the solution they can all agree on and allow all involved to go forward with purpose."