Advanced Family Mediation Training in Chicago April 27 and 28


This training will be led by experienced mediators Zena Zumeta and Laura C. Smythe in Chicago.

at the Center for Conflict Resolution, 11 E. Adams St., Suite 500,  Chicago, IL 60601


Family Mediators, this training will enhance your practice whether you have been mediating for one month or many years. Although basic family mediation training is required prior to this training – this training is appropriate for a wide variety of skill levels and will be customized to our participants’ needs and interests.




Brain Science – Our brains are remarkable.  And – they can get us into trouble if we don’t understand some of the biases our brains have for efficiently processing a great deal of information.  Did you know that we can listen to and process words at 3-4 times the rate that we can speak?  What do our brains do with this “extra” time when we are listening? And – they can get us into trouble in conflict – even when we aren’t participants but are simply facilitating (mediating!) a conversation about someone else’s conflict.  Did you know that our brains have a “default” setting when we sense conflict?  Is this “default” setting helpful for us as mediators?  This workshop will give you insight into, and a bit more control over, the organ that impacts our thoughts, our words and our actions.


Power Dynamics – Anybody who works with people knows that power dynamics are hard to avoid.  In this very interactive workshop, we will discuss coping skills for some of the obvious power imbalances (money, education, size and professional status) as well as some of the less-obvious power imbalances (self-confidence, spoken language skills, and successful resolution of prior difficult life situations).  Please be prepared to discuss some of the power dynamics that flummoxed you and we will utilize our collective wisdom to address them.


Tough Moments in Mediation

Have you had any tough moments in mediation? We have! This interactive session addresses issues brought by participants, such as dealing with power imbalance, managing third parties and attorneys; and dealing with tough ethical dilemmas in mediation. The format will include discussion and fishbowl role play demonstration by the instructor.  Bring in your tough moments and we’ll work on them with you!





Update on Illinois Divorce and Custody Act Changes

Attorney Robbin Vanderwoude will update us on the changes to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act in 2015, and how they relate to our mediation practices.


Working With Lawyers: A Paradigm for Mediators

What are the protocols for working with lawyers in the room, or in the background?  This interactive workshop session will present a protocol for working with attorneys in the room, including pre-mediation conference calls, speaking order of attorneys and clients, caucusing, and joint sessions.  For attorneys in the background it will include notes from the mediation sessions, individual phone calls, and conference calls, and deciding when they are needed in the room and how to overcome parties’ resistance to bringing them in. The goal is teamwork with the attorneys and mediator in the service of helping the parties reach agreement.


Working With Lawyers: Exercise and Fishbowl Demonstration

So what is it actually like to work with attorneys? In the afternoon, we will spend time looking at the various techniques for working with attorneys in the mediation. We will use fishbowl demonstration and discussion, and various exercises for issues that challenge us when lawyers are in the mediation. How do we introduce the idea of teamwork to the attorneys? How do we approach the joint session? How about the caucus with the party and attorney? How should we hold an “attorney caucus” without the parties?


This is an interactive workshop! You will get the opportunity to participate in a mediation practice including attorneys in mediation, and address the challenges you want to discuss and the skills you want to hone and/or refresh.


Registration is open and is available at, or by contacting either Ms. Zumeta at or Ms. Smythe at or You can also register by filling out the attached form and mailing, emailing or faxing to 734-762-0702. Cost is $425 for one day or $750 for both days.


We look forward to working with you!

Zena and Laura




Internationally known as both a mediator and trainer of mediators, Zena D. Zumeta is president of the Mediation Training & Consultation Institute, Zena Zumeta Mediation Services, and The Collaborative Workplace in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She received her Juris Doctor from the University of Michigan Law School. Ms. Zumeta is a former board member and president of the Academy of Family Mediators. She is a member of the Editorial Board of the American Bar Association’s Dispute Resolution Magazine.

Ms. Zumeta has extensive experience as a trainer, mediator, facilitator and consultant. She has been providing mediation services since 1981.She has taught at Hamline University School of Law, and is an adjunct professor at Pepperdine University School of Law’s Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, and Cooley Law School.

Ms. Zumeta is the recipient of the Family Mediation Council-Michigan Liftetime Achievement in Mediation Award; the John Haynes Distinguished Mediator Award from the Association for Conflict Resolution; and the Kumba Award from the National Conference on Minorities in ADR.



Laura C. Smythe, is Owner/Founder of Communication Connections, LLC and is former Executive Director of the Mediation Center of Greater Green Bay. She is an attorney, mediator and professor. She has taught conflict management and conflict resolution skills to students of all ages from Kindergarten through Ph.D. candidates for over 12 years and has been mediating and practicing law for over 17 years. In addition to her other work, Ms. Smythe has worked with various state agencies to educate staff about creating transparent conflict management policies and how to constructively address workplace bullying. As a professor, Ms. Smythe has taught a wide variety of courses including: Mediation; Ethics and the Law in Mediation; Mediation and Conflict Resolution; Business Law; Law, Politics and Society; Leadership and Organizational Cultures; Workplace Conflict Management; Organizational Cultures and Change; Critical Thinking and Creative Problem Solving; Social Diversity and many others. Ms. Smythe also serves on the board of NAFCM (National Association for Community Mediation) and on the Board of Directors of the Dispute Resolution Section of the Wisconsin State Bar. She is an international trainer.

To Register:


330 E. Liberty, Suite 3A

Ann Arbor, MI 48103




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Course Information


Course Title  Advanced Family Mediation Training


Training Date  __ April 27 and 28     ­­___ April 27 only       __April 28 only


Payment Information


Amount $                                                        (U.S.) ($425 one day/$750 both days)


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