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Marilyn McKnight To Present At Winter Clinical Conversation

Jan 16, 2015   //   by Erickson Mediation   //   Blog  //  Comments Off on Marilyn McKnight To Present At Winter Clinical Conversation

Marilyn McKnight, MA

Utilizing Mediation Values In Clinical Work With Divorcing Couples And Families

Minnesota Society for Clinical Social Work
Wednesday, January 21, 2015, 7-9 pm
2 CEUs
Mayflower Church, 106 Diamond Lake Rd, Minneapolis, 55419 (just west of 35W)

Client-Centered Mediation is committed to assisting both parties in the divorce process to collaborate toward a resolution with a sense of what is right, what is fair and just, and what will work for them. The presenter will immerse us in the sensibilities of this frame of reference so we can be guided by these principles and techniques in our clinical work with divorcing couples and families. Whether our client is the family, the couple, the individual spouse or the kid(s), we can integrate this paradigm into how we talk about and facilitate the marital dissolution journey in our clinical role. Participants will be invited to discuss their own divorcing clients’ experiences and ways to best support them.

GOAL: To enhance one’s working knowledge of mediation values in order to integrate them into clinical work with divorcing couples and families.

1) Develop an introductory knowledge of the range of client experiences in the divorce process and the core values of client-centered mediation.
2) Distinguish between the experiences of the “leaver” vs. the “left” party, and the stages through which each party moves.
3) Enrich one’s understanding of needs vs. positions, past vs. future, and “magical” questions in the context of the client-centered mediation process.

PRESENTER: MARILYN S. MCKNIGHT, MA, is a mediator, trainer and author who has practiced exclusively in the field of mediation since 1977 after an extensive career in public social work. She received the Bush Leadership Fellowship Award for the study of mediation in 1987 and is a leader in promoting the Client-Centered model of mediation. In 1988, Marilyn was elected to the Board of the Academy of Family Mediators where she began the movement toward the certification of mediators and later served as President of the Academy. In 1996, she and her partner Steve Erickson were awarded the Distinguished Mediator Award by the Academy for their outstanding contributions to the field of mediation. She and Steve have co-authored five highly successful books on mediation. Marilyn has taught courses at the University of Minnesota School of Social Work, at William Mitchell College of Law and in the Master of Arts in Leadership program at Augsburg College. She is co-founder of Erickson Mediation Services.

FREE to MSCSW members, $25 for non-members. NO registration required. QUESTIONS? Contact Mark LaChapelle at 952-928-8474 or

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Divorce Mediation Training In Bismarck February 23-27, 2015

Dec 18, 2014   //   by Erickson Mediation   //   Blog  //  Comments Off on Divorce Mediation Training In Bismarck February 23-27, 2015

Steve Erickson and Marilyn McKnight draw on their thirty-five plus years of mediation experience to bring you the most up-to-date new thinking and strategies to use in the mediation room. Their case examples are always new and pertinent to today’s issues in divorce. The training course is practical in nature, teaching mediator skills and interventions necessary to assist clients in reaching successful resolution of their disputes. Each day is a mix of lecture, interactive exercises, role-playing and question and answer periods. Role-plays are both “fish bowl” in which trainers demonstrate mediation, and small group in which participants apply what they are learning in role-play cases based upon actual conflicts mediated by EMI.

February 23–27, 2015 Monday—Friday
8:00am—5:00pm Daily
North Dakota Heritage Center
612 E. Boulevard Ave.
$200 Discount for trained Civil Mediators
50% Discount for trained Divorce Mediators
CLE and other credits available upon request

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40-Hour Client-Centered Mediation Training

Steve Erickson Interviewed By Family Law Report Part 3

Dec 10, 2014   //   by Erickson Mediation   //   Blog  //  Comments Off on Steve Erickson Interviewed By Family Law Report Part 3

Joe Sorge continues his interview with Minnesota attorney Steve Erickson about the appropriateness of mediation to resolve divorce and custody issues, and the inappropriateness of the adversarial court system. In this final segment they cover the ways in which mediation can lead to win-win solutions that are impossible to achieve in court.

The Case For Mediation Over Adjudication … Mediation Resolves Conflict More Constructively

Nov 15, 2014   //   by Erickson Mediation   //   Blog  //  Comments Off on The Case For Mediation Over Adjudication … Mediation Resolves Conflict More Constructively

Steve Erickson conducted a public seminar with EMI co-founder Marilyn McKnight on mediation skills at SIM University, Singapore, on Saturday 1 November.

By Stephen K. Erickson (Guest lecturer, HDSS, UniSIM)

marilyn-mcknight-steve-erickson-ssi-1In our increasingly litigious society, we are beginning to understand that it is better to view conflict as an opportunity for positive growth and change, than as a failure that triggers yet another run to court to point the finger of blame.

Judicial systems in many countries are joining professional mediators, social workers, attorneys and others to apply what we intuitively know: that mediation resolves conflict more constructively and reduces the likelihood of conflict recurring.

In mediation, people enter a completely different system that requires them to think of the other not as their opponent, but rather someone with whom they must work with to find a solution that benefits both of them.

Importantly, many of the skills used by professional mediators can be learned and applied in everyday life, and are not just for those on the brink of going to court. Translating these mediation skills for use in everyday relationships can result in immediate improvement in family, workplace and community relationships. Change can also occur in those negative and even toxic relationships.

The typical process of a conflict follows four stages: the perception of conflict, the assigning of blame, confrontation and finally a dispute with those ‘responsible’. However, adopting a cooperative instead of a confrontational stance can help to defuse conflict by influencing attitudes, modes of communication and outcome goals.

When my 10-year-old granddaughter and 8-year-old grandson fight over who knocked down their latest Lego project, the fight can sometimes become so frightening that I think they are going to start World War III.

As I intervene to help them, I do not say, “All right Emma, Erik, come over here so I can interrogate both of you and get sworn affidavits about each of your versions of the incident.”

I do not say to myself, “I really should have spent some money to install video cameras in the play area so I could spend the next three hours reviewing the tapes from every angle to determine who started this fight.” And I certainly don’t tell them to bring me their savings account book so I can hire attorneys to prepare for an adversarial hearing fixing blame about who started the mess in order to award money damages or injunctive relief.

It is important to move away from the dichotomy of right versus wrong battles, and towards constructive solutions.

Trying to find out the sequence of events and the exact causes of the incident to assign the perfect percentage of blame will be useless and time consuming.

I use the conflict as a teaching moment to help my grandchildren understand better ways to get along. By encouraging open and honest communication, I help them talk through their hurt and tell each other how they feel about the fight.

In this case, is it really important who knocked down the Lego? Is the best outcome to fight and bicker or is it to cooperate to rebuild the project? Through this, their conflict becomes the opportunity for learning better relationship skills, even more so when they each offer an apology for their part in the fight along with a promise to try to do better.

Evidence of the benefits of mediation can be seen right here in Singapore. Mediation, in a structured format, has been proposed for Singapore’s Community Dispute Tribunal as well as being mandated as a process for resolving parent-child disputes under the Maintenance of Parents Act. The Act allows an estranged parent to apply for an Order requiring children to support a parent over age 60 who is in need of financial support. About 80 per cent of cases at the Tribunal for Maintenance for Parents are successfully mediated.

In Australia and New Zealand, mediation is the preferred method and is called “Primary Dispute Resolution” as parties are not permitted to go to court until they have made good faith efforts at settling the dispute in mediation with the help of a professional mediator.

If mediation can work for 10-year-old Emma and 8-year-old Erik, it can certainly work for adults who have more maturity. Even one side refuses to cooperate, there are still other powerful meditative responses to effect a more constructive outcome to interpersonal conflicts.

Marilyn Moderating A Role Play In Singapore

Oct 29, 2014   //   by Erickson Mediation   //   Blog  //  Comments Off on Marilyn Moderating A Role Play In Singapore


Marilyn Moderating A Role Play In Singapore

While training in Singapore, Marilyn McKnight will be presenting a 2 hour Public Forum on Mediation to professionals in mediation as well as the general public. Current trends in mediation will be covered, and key principles of mediation that work across all sectors will be highlighted.

Marilyn will collaborate with the Global Institute of Social Work and the Singapore Association of Social Workers.

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    Erickson Mediation Institute
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    (952) 835-3688
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Thanks so much for all of the help. The judge was extremely impressed with all of the paperwork and the detailed parenting plan ... Read more

(The judge) said she would push our divorce through quickly for us because she knew we had worked well together with Marilyn ... Read more

After my week of immersion in the theory and practice of divorce mediation, I feel like a ‘convert’... Read more

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Erickson Mediation Institute MN
Erickson Mediation Institute
3600 American Blvd West
Suite 105
Minneapolis, MN 55431
(952) 835-3688