Proposals and Agreements

We were doing feedback after a role play recently and the question of proposals and agreements came up.

When you are learning mediation your mentors will tell you not to rush to agreement.

One of the really common problems is the mediator trying to rush the parties towards an agreement before they fully understand and have the opportunity to consider what is being proposed. It is counter productive and doesn’t work.

Don’t think that the first time you see the parties coming up with options and making proposals that they have an agreement and definitely don’t try to lock them into them!

What’s your proposal?

You could think of proposals in Mediation as being reverse-marriage proposals.

When someone proposes marriage they usually get an immediate reaction without any questions about exactly what they expect the marriage to be like.

If the proposal is accepted then they start working out the when, what will the wedding be like, where will they live and some of the detail of their life together. All without knowing what is being proposed in any detail before they say yes.

If they say no they are rejecting the proposal based on an emotional response without much information about what life together the other person is proposing.

Exploring the proposal before you say yes or no.

If they used mediation to negotiate getting married the mediator would help them to explore the proposal before saying yes or no.

We’d probably have less work as FDR Practitioners if that became common practice.

Proposals and Agreements

Family Law Panel

Member Update
You may have received an email recently asking you to join a Family Law Panel that supposedly gives you an inside track to work with the Family Law Courts ADR diversion program.

You may not have received this email from AFLAM the Australian Institute of Family Law Arbitrators and Mediators who appear to share the concerns of Mediation Institute about this commercial offer that was quite misleading at first glance.

Peter Sheehy, Chair of AFLAM had this to say.    View Online 

[AFLAM] Members may have received an email in the last few days from an organisation called “Accredited Dispute Resolvers”, whose website is

The email invites “accredited, available and local ADR practitioners” to join its Family Law Panel.  It is said that the Panel will “assist the Court, legal practitioners and litigants with the identification and allocation of work to Alternative Dispute Resolution”.

The cost of joining the Panel is $49.99 per month.  There are other conditions displayed on the memorandum attached to the email.

The Board of AIFLAM wish to advise our members that:-

  1. This is a private organization offering a service for a fee;
  2. This organization is not in any way affiliated with AIFLAM;
  3. AIFLAM holds and maintains the list of qualified arbitrators on behalf of the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department pursuant to Regulation 67B of the Family Law Regulations 1984. This Panel has no connection with that list; and
  4. The Board is not aware of the Federal Circuit Court (or the Family Court) having made any arrangement with this organization for referrals for mediations or arbitrations to practitioners on the organisation’s “Panel”.

We felt the need to share this communication from AFLAM to help ensure that our members also do their due diligence before signing up to a paid directory listing to a website that does not indicate who the site owners are. As it appears that there is no arrangement in place with the Family Courts for panel mediator work.

Attorney Generals Directory

A reminder to keep your information and profile up to date with the Attorney Generals department came out today.

This is a request and a reminder to please ensure that your practitioner record details, including your contact information, are kept up-to-date on the FDR Register.

The FDR Register is a publicly accessible resource and is the only reliable national list of accredited FDR practitioners. It is FREE for practitioners to register, and FREE for the public to access.

 The FDR Register is updated daily, and is available to practitioners who provide private FDR services (that is, not solely through a government-funded organisation).

 For practitioners currently appearing on the FDR Register, please check your listing and let us know if you would like any details updated.

 For those practitioners who do not currently appear on the register, but would now like to have their details published on the FDR Register, please advise by reply email and we will send you the required form to complete. If you do not have a physical location for your service, you can select ‘Rooms to be arranged’, so you can arrange with your clients when they contact you.

 I would also like to remind all FDR practitioners to update their complaints mechanism details. If you have changed employers or membership bodies for your complaints mechanism, but have not yet advised us, please ensure you do so as soon as possible. In cases where we receive a complaint about your FDR service, we refer it to the body nominated by you.  

 If you have any queries or require further information, please contact us:

Phone   1800 025 255




Practitioner Accreditation Unit – Family Law Branch

Attorney-General’s Department 

3-5 National Circuit BARTON ACT 2600

 Mediation Institute Directory

Mediation Institute has a directory for our members and we really encourage those of you who are looking for contract work to provide your information and photo for the Directory.

Not a member?

Joining Mediation Institute is only $120 a year ($220 for up to two years if you do not also accredit as a NMAS Accredited Mediator through Mediation Institute) and you can have a lovely full colour profile on our RMAB website and promotion as one of our FDR Practitioners if you are a FDR Practitioner.

In addition to the directory listing you can access all of our Web based CPD activities for free as well as member discounts on any fee for service training and courses.

Membership Profiles for FDR Practitioner Members.

Mi Directory Snap Shot

We do not promote non-FDR Practitioners as Family Law Mediators.

Join Mediation Institute as a FDR Member 

The Power of Thought: Updates in Brain Plasticity

Heads up on an interesting looking CPD opportunity for 2018. This is for the information of members and is not a Mediation Institute event.

Norman Doidge, M.D.

The Power of Thought: Updates in Brain Plasticity

Brisbane 17 & 18 May 2018, Sydney 24 & 25 May 2018, Melbourne 28 & 29 May 2018

  • Super Sale – $660 if paid before 15.12.2017
  • Keen – $770 if paid before 15.3.2017
  • Early – $880 if paid before 20.4.2017
  • Standard – $1,100

Extraordinary Advances in Neuroplasticity

 In this new workshop, Norman Doidge will explore some extraordinary advances made in the last 2 years in clinical applications of neuroplasticity, and show how to understand new insights on the brain’s circuits and hemispheres can enhance our understanding of, and improve treatment of patients with brain problems, and help deepen our approach to psychotherapy with challenging patients.

Weaving between neuroscience, psychology, psychiatry, neurology, psychotherapy, great literature, and even anthropological findings, this workshop will both update the attendee on the latest neuroplastic developments, reinforce basics, and shed more detailed light on psychotherapy, and the how to help patients who are caught in rigid, unhealthy patterns, grow out of that rigidity, and make use of their neuroplastic potential.

Training Information

Day 1

  • Opening. Why do we have two hemispheres? How they get imbalanced, leaving us devitalized, stuck in a rut, making us more rigid; how the hemispheres malfunction in psychiatric problems; how to reset the balance, enhance productivity, and vitality.
  • An overview of the five stages of neuroplastic healing, and how the apply to psychiatric, psychological and neurological brain problems.
  • Correcting general cellular problems, and reversing Alzheimer’s disease (arguably the most important neurological breakthrough of the last 50 years); the first 200 cases who have reversed their symptoms; preventing Alzheimer’s, even in those with the Alheimer’s gene
  • Parkinson’s, MS, PoNS, stroke update. Breakthrough in TBI treatment in the last two years. Hyperbaric oxygen breakthrough for stroke and TBI. Arrowsmith study. TMS breakthrough.

Day 2

  • The power of directed thought; helping rigid, concrete and egocentric “non-mentalizing” clients access their neuroplastic potential. Understanding the kind of thinking that drives neuroplastic change; the thought spectrum, from directed to undirected thought.
  • Growth attitudes and circuitry, verses anti-growth attitudes and circuitry, in therapy and life: highlighting how these take hold in us, and our clients; anti-growth circuitry and it relation to depression, and “the dormancy tendency;” using the right hemisphere stimulation to access growth attitudes.
  • Listening Therapy Update, more autism breakthroughs; TBI update with complex cases; neuroplastic approaches to multiple chemical sensitivities and fibromyalgia.
  • Review, Q & A.

These workshops are suitable for (but not limited to) mental health professionals, including psychologists, psychiatrists, therapists, counsellors, social workers, neuropsychologists, chiropractors, osteopaths, psychometrists, recreational therapists, occupational and physio-therapists and naturopaths.

There are no prerequisites to attending this workshop. Anyone interested in the workshop content is welcome to attend, however you do so under your own volition.

These workshops are aimed to bring you up to date with the very latest research and clinical implications from the field of neuroplasticity.

Normans Publications


More information and bookings –

Mediation Practice Development Webinars

Mediation Practice Development Webinars

Updated: 21st September 2017

The practice group stated last night (20th September) and the attendees put together a schedule for future sessions.


Structure: One hour webinar

Date and Time: 3rd Wednesday of each month at 7 pm Eastern Standard Time (Brisbane time all year round)  That might shift a bit around Christmas and January.


  • Free for Mediation Institute RMAB Members
  • $35 for non-members

Host: Ken Speakman 

Meeting Number: 555 222 2555


  • 20 minute presentation on the topic for the webinar
  • Open mike Q & A, success and horror stories
  • Take away’s

CPD: 1 hour CPD. You must register to have your CPD recorded but we recommend you add it to your Professional Development spreadsheet as well.

Scheduled Dates and Mediation Practice Development Dates Topics

Topics and registration links will be updated once we have the survey data back.

  1. Wednesday 20th September 2017  – Meet, greet and determine topics
  2. Wednesday 18th October 2017  – Marketing – Client Psychology
  3. Wednesday 15th November 2017 – Writing Articles
  4. Wednesday 20th December 2017 – Creating Video Articles
  5. Wednesday 17th January 2018 – Social Media (Facebook B2C)
  6. Wednesday 21st February 2018 – Building an Integrated Online Marketing Plan
  7. Wednesday 21st March 2018 – Web Page Design Overview
  8. Wednesday 18st April 2018 – Build Your Personal Brand
  9. Wednesday 16th May 2018 – The Key Person of Influence (KPI) Process
  10. Wednesday 20th June 2018 –  Mentoring & Coaching
  11. Wednesday 18th July 2018 – Business 2 Business (B2B) Marketing
  12. Wednesday 15th August 2018 – Business 2 Consumer (B2C) Marketing
  13. Wednesday 19th September 2018 – Professional Associations & Groups

This webinar series on Mediation Practice Development is designed to help mediators develop their mediation practice. The sessions will run monthly on topics chosen by our members.

Log in and go to the members area for discussions, video recordings and resources.

  • Free for Members and $35 a session for non-members

We will add links to the recordings of the sessions for members who can’t attend live to this page over time.  You will also be able to participate in discussions of the topics in the groups area.

What if I am a mediator but am not NMAS Accredited?

Can I still join Mediation Institute RMAB?

Mi RMAB Membership but not NMAS Accreditation

Mediation Institute supports the voluntary mediator accreditation system in Australia and does not accept membership application from mediators who do not accredit under the NMAS except for accredited Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners.

The NMAS course is a 40 hour skill based course and the ongoing professional development requirements of an average of 1 hour a month of Mediation related professional development is not a difficult standard to meet. While you may believe that you are an excellent mediator, who can tell?

We believe that anyone who holds themselves out to be a mediator should achieve and maintain the NMAS Accreditation standard. Visit for more information about how we can help you to reach the standard.

I’m confused. I’m a FDR Practitioner which is a much bigger course. Why do I have to become NMAS Accredited?

You don’t have to get NMAS. We will accept your application for Mediation Institute RMAB membership as a NON-NMAS Accredited FDR Practitioner Member. You have ongoing professional development and practice standards through your FDRP accreditation so we’re fine with that as an indicator of your professionalism as a mediator.

If you are interested in becoming NMAS accredited you may meet the requirements for NMAS accreditation through the experience qualified pathway. All you would need is to provide evidence of that and pass an assessment of your skills. We’d be happy to assist with your experience qualified pathway application for NMAS Accreditation should you choose to get that accreditation as well as your FDR Practitioner accreditation.

I was NMAS Accredited but I let it lapse or don’t meet the renewal requirements.

If you have been offering mediation services unaccredited there is an experienced qualified pathway to NMAS Accreditation which we would be very happy to talk with you about if you are interested in becoming accredited again. It does not require you to complete the NMAS training course.

All you need to do is provide evidence of your recent experience and pass an assessment role play.

We also have a NMAS Re-Accreditation Course which includes a refresher on the theory and practice of mediation. We provide you with the opportunity to practice and renew your knowledge of mediation and meet the re-accreditation requirements. Your membership must not have lapsed more than six months ago unless you have evidence that you have met the mediation practice hours requirements.

NMAS Re-Accreditation Course – Mediator Refresher Course