Richmond, Virginia Grove Avenue area
I've always been fascinated by people, relationships, and why we do what we do. This curiosity led me to law school. As an attorney, I clerked for an appellate court judge and was an assistant attorney general in the appellate division of the Virginia Attorney General. In all cases I saw an adversarial system that, by its very nature, operates on principles of power and strife rather than viewing conflict as an opportunity for discovery of common values, for growth and connection, and for greater clarity and purpose. This opportunity seems to me to be what our founding fathers had in mind, but in the practical world we have lost this vision, this understanding that we do hold basic common values.
How can we move beyond the self-absorbed, 'I'll-take-mine' model to a process where people are encouraged to identify what's really going on in any situation and the deeply-held values that are being threatened, and find a path through the conflict that supports these values for all parties?
I longed to find just such a process and to be a part of it, whereupon I found Transformative Mediation. I see that in our current glutted court system, it is not feasible or even possible for lawyers or judges to delve into these opportunities conflict presents. Our legal system uses a sledgehammer when perhaps a table, chairs and an invitation to speak one's truth in a place of curiosity and discovery might uncover an infinite number of possible solutions to the situation at hand that empower rather than disempower, that connect rather than disconnect, that build community rather than destroy it.
That's where transformative mediation and the practice here at Millie Cain, LC, comes in. Transformative mediation is a completely self-determined process and any decisions made are private agreements that can be written up and signed as legal contracts. The fruits of this process are often agreement between the parties, but, more importantly, clarity, purpose and understanding are found. The parties determine their own objectives and decide how to proceed each step of the way.
It is a joy to behold people work with conflict in this way, and I never cease to be amazed at the brilliance and creativity that emerge.
If this appeals to you, please contact me for a free consultation to see if mediation would be a good process for you.