The Resolution Center Resources

As a community mediation center, we train community members who reflect Essex County’s diversity (age, race, gender, ethnicity, income, education, and other elements of identity and experience) to serve as volunteer mediators.

If you are interested in helping your neighbors manage conflict and empowering others to make decisions for themselves, you are a potential mediator!

The process to become a mediator with the Resolution Center includes:

- Complete a Basic Mediation Training that complies with the Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) Uniform Rules on Dispute Resolution and meets the requirements for confidentiality as stated in the Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 233, Section 23C. This could be The Resolution Center’s own Basic Mediation Training or any training that meets the same standards.

- Apply to the Resolution Center’s Apprentice Program. We are able to support a limited number of new mediators each year to complete this program, which includes observing at least three mediation sessions and then completing at least 25 hours of co-mediation with experienced mentor mediators, including reflection and evaluation after mediation sessions

- Demonstrate through the Apprenticeship Program full compliance with the principles of community mediation and the standards set by the SJC Uniform Rules on Dispute Resolution

- Agree to be available for mediation on a regular basis (generally at least once every 3 months) and to participate in continuing education to keep skills sharp

Volunteers who complete this process are qualified to mediate Small Claims and many community disputes as members of the Resolution Center’s mediator panel. Some volunteers also pursue advanced training to mediate complex family, juvenile, housing, or re-entry cases.

If you are seeking more information about mediation this collection of Frequently Asked Questions should provide you with some insight as to the mediation process at The Resolution Center. For answers to your specific questions please contact us.

What is Mediation?

Mediation is a collaborative process in which the people involved in a conflict or a hard conversation (“the parties”) are supported by a neutral third party (the mediator) in identifying the disputed issues, developing options and seeking their own fair resolution.

Why Choose Mediation?


When is mediation recommended?

- You have not succeeded in settling a conflict on your own.
- You want to take an active role in the decision-making process.
- You want to address relevant underlying issues.
- You and the other party are willing to seek assistance from a mediator.
- You want the option of maintaining a relationship with the other party.

What happens in the mediation process?

Two mediators meet with all parties to discuss the nature of the conflict. Often the mediators will then hold a meeting with each individual to provide an opportunity for private discussions. Discussion may continue in private sessions, or the parties may come back together. Throughout the process the mediators support the parties by helping them move towards positions of common interest where joint problem-solving can occur. The mediators will bring closure through summarizing new information or progress and if any mutually acceptable solutions emerge, they may be put into a written agreement.

What happens if there is an agreement or no agreement?

If there’s an agreement, it is signed by the parties. A copy is given to each party and the Resolution Center keeps a copy in a confidential file. An agreement reached in a court-referred case is signed by the parties and can be signed by a Court Official and entered as a binding, enforceable order of the court if the parties so choose. If an agreement is not fulfilled within the prescribed time frame, either party may request another session.

If there’s no agreement, the parties retain their rights to pursue the matter through other channels. Not reaching agreement does not mean the mediation was a failure! Through the course of the mediation, parties often develop a clearer idea of their own interests while also gaining a better understanding of the interests of the other party.

Who are the mediators?

They are trained and experienced volunteers, who meet and exceed state requirements in training, evaluation and continuing education. They are committed to the ideals of neutrality, confidentiality and that people have the ability to solve their own conflicts.

Where and when are mediations held?

Mediations are held at The Resolution Center office, via video conference (Zoom), or various locations on the North Shore at convenient times for the parties. Cases referred by the court are usually held at the court. Most mediations are completed in one session lasting one to three hours. Additional sessions can be scheduled as needed.

Is there a fee for mediation?

There is a one time administrative fee for all non-court cases and the session fee is determined on a sliding fee scale. There is no fee for court-referred cases. We strive to make mediation services accessible to all by keeping costs low. See our sliding fee scale here for various types of mediation.

How does my school afford your services?

We can build a training program that suits your requirements and budget. From a quick training session at $60/hour to more complex programs, we can put something together with flexibility and affordability.

Why is there a cost if the mediators are volunteers?

While our mediators are all volunteers, they and The Resolution Center have expenses we need to cover to provide consistent, high-quality services, including salaries and office space. All of our fees are offered on a sliding scale to make them affordable for all. We also offer many types of free mediation services, including for housing crises, court-referred cases, and parenting plans, thanks to the generous support of grants and donations.

I received my training at another center, can I volunteer at The Resolution Center?

We offer an apprenticeship for people who are trained and looking to volunteer with our organization. Please give us a call to learn more.

Have a Conflict? We Can Help!

100 Cummings Center Suite 307J,
Beverly, MA 01915

Basic Mediation Training October 2024

Registration is now open! Click here to complete the registration form The training program will...