I help people make collaborative Future Plans.

Mediation is about peace-making, certainly, but the efficacy of mediation is all in the ‘agreement’ that the parties draw up together, and the heart of that agreement is their collaborative plan for future working.

So I help people (individuals and/or groups) make person-centred plans so they can acknowledge and resolve past difficulties, and then plan to take positive future action forwards.

Really good Future Plans allow people to collaborate in:

How I help people move from ‘stuck in the past’ to ‘Future-Planning’:

  1. First, I create a safe-space in which people can explore ‘what happened’ and how things got stuck, emotional or conflictual.
  2. Next, I help people unpack their personal needs and interests in the situation – this may be different to their ‘position’ which can be quite fixed. For example, a person may have a position which states, “I won’t talk to him about this subject ever again!” Where actually, that person’s need is to feel assured she can speak about the subject safely, and feel heard. And her interest is to have the subject resolved so she can focus on other important things in her life.
  3. From here, it is possible to help people gain insight into each other’s perspectives, needs and interests.
  4. By this stage, a list of practicable themes has arisen. I help the participants decide what they want to focus on finding solutions for.
  5. Then we turn to investigating what a good future would look/feel/be like and how it might be achieved.
  6. We finish by identifying agreed actions: the future plan.

What is so powerful about a Future Plan?:

  • Future Plans don’t have to be perfect – they are roadmaps that works in progress that can be tested, reviewed and refined.
  • They acknowledge that the past has been challenging, and that it will take time to get a good collaborative pattern right.
  • They state an intent to collaborate. This alone is a significant gear-change: if the vehicle has been going in reverse for some time, just getting into first gear is a truly positive step.
  • They draw a line across a painful past situation and permit a ‘clean slate’.
  • A future plan can simply be to agree to take no further action. Sometimes, a relationship has run its course, and it is enough for people to decide to cease communications, legal proceedings or interactions.
  • Conflict is distressing: a future plan is good for mental health because it signals an end to a situation that is draining and upsetting.
  • They create a vision to work towards. When any future target is achieved, our brain chemistry rewards us. Soon, we are starting to create good associations with the relationships which were so hard before.
  • Everyone benefits. Often conflicts or ‘stuck’ behaviours cause distress, concern or inconvenience to other seemingly unconnected people (co-workers, relatives, neighbours, partners). A good Future Plan offers reassurance and relief to those that have been affected along the way.

How do you work with me?

I run Future Planning sessions for individuals or multiple parties by Skype, or at your venue (Bath/Bristol/ Swindon/Oxford/London) or in my easily accessible office in central Bath (10 mins from Bath Spa Station).

My Future Planning sessions cost £325 each and you might plan to have a total of between 1 and 4 sessions, over a period of a few weeks or months, depending on the complexity of your situation, and how much support you need honing and embedding your new agreed protocols.

Discounts: I make significant discounts to my standard rate of £325 per session, for charities, public sector services, individuals and families, where there is a real need and willingness to define a Future Plan. Please contact me.

For each Future Planning session I typically provide:

  • 1 hour pre-reading and prep before we begin
  • 2 hours of face to face time with you (as individuals or jointly with the other party)
  • 1 hour of write-up and follow up with you

Interested in learning more about how I can help you with Future Planning sessions?

Get in touch at arabella[@]arabellatresilian.com or 07769774671 or via the contact page