E-Mediation: Can It Work?

1 Aug

Our move to Chicago is in approximately 5 days, but my deep relationships with my therapy clients are far from over. Just last week (2 weeks post-resignation), I received phone calls, emails, and texts from clients who needed more guidance as they transition to another therapist.

That got me thinking about the effectiveness of technology when it comes to therapy and, of course, mediation. I know many conflict resolution companies who provide Skype mediations or arbitrations, and I’ve often wondered if they are as effective as “in-person” mediations or arbitrations–and, honestly, I often wonder, how can they be?skype

There’s just “something” about sitting in a room with the interested parties and reading body language, picking up on innuendos, and understanding a certain “vibe” between the parties that can’t be replicated through technology. Then again, perhaps these subtle body cues are subconsciously biasing the mediator–so, in that case, technology would take that bias out of the equation. Can you tell I’m working through a stream of consciousness here?!

At the end of the day, I, personally, prefer to conduct mediations in person, rather than through video–but, let’s be honest: It’s a global economy out there, and, many times, face-to-face mediations aren’t possible, especially when the mediation involves business disputes.

Maybe it’s the therapist in me, who is constantly assessing relationships and body language to determine what’s REALLY going on, who likes the face-to-face contact better. Maybe it’s the fact that I still have difficulty navigating social media sites. But, facilitating an in-house mediation is just my preference–although that may well change when I land in the Windy City!




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