Mediators, arbitrators, and conciliators help resolve conflicts outside the court system. Excellent communication skills and the ability to facilitate negotiations among disputing parties are essential skills for those seeking to study and work in this field. Mediation degree programs are offered through colleges and universities, and some certificate programs are available through state or city training programs.
Some courses in mediation require enrollment in an academic field of study, while others are offered as professional development workshops for those employed in related fields. Topics covered in mediation courses introduce students to interpersonal communication and negotiation skills. Coursework often includes case studies and role-playing exercises that raise awareness of issues surrounding substance abuse, child custody, divorce, and domestic violence.
Common concepts in mediation courses can include:
- Practical mediation techniques
- Workplace disputes
- Conflict simulations
- Emotional responses & partiality
- Synthesizing of feedback
- Structure & methodology
List of Courses
Introduction to Family Mediation Course
Introductory mediation courses focus on topics that do not require any outside training or specialization. Family mediation courses teach students conflict resolution skills and neutrality in mediating family issues, such as divorce. Case studies and role-playing exercises are also part of the curriculum. Mediation courses in family mediation are used as preparation for state family mediation certification in some states as well. The course has no prerequisites, but students using the course to become certified mediators must apply and meet the mentorship requirements of a state board of review.
Dependency Mediation Course
Dependency mediation is a highly interactive training course that teaches the essentials of mediating issues that surround drug dependency, such as child abuse and dependency adjudication. Dependency mediation courses use court cases and other materials as case studies and have students participate in role-playing mediation scenarios. Some mediation courses of this type also have students observe mediations. This course is generally intended for working legal professionals or drug counselors and, as with most mediation courses, there are no prerequisites beyond acceptance to the program.
Advanced Mediation Course
Advanced mediation courses are generally intended for certified mediation professionals who are looking to expand their skill sets. This course focuses on advanced mediation topics, such as domestic violence, mediation ethics and high-stress situations. Students also examine case studies and speak with experienced mediators. Special topics in upper-level mediation courses include complicated family conflicts, power imbalances, parental alienation and communication barriers.
Divorce and Child Custody Mediation Course
Mediating divorce and negotiating child custody agreements requires working with parties who are not getting along. The parties in the mediation may have other underlying issues, which negate their ability to interact. Through this course, individuals learn how to coach former couples when negotiating custody issues and property division. This is a certificate-level course designed for students studying law and social work.
Interpersonal Conflict Analysis Course
Through this mediation course, students learn how their own personal feelings, beliefs and approaches to conflict directly affect their abilities as mediators. Instructors discuss with students how their personal beliefs can enhance their work instead of hindering it. They practice confronting the things they agree or disagree with by interacting with others in order to more fully understand clients.