In the Mirror earlier this month, there was an article featuring a mother and daughter, who had taken part in a pilot mediation scheme called the Time Out project. The scheme was designed to help families and was launched in Lambeth, South London.

In the first 12 months, the Time Out project showed a 91 per cent success rate, reconciling 91 per cent of families referred to them. This project actually allows troubled teens to stay in a home for up to six weeks, the only requirement being that they and their family take part in mediation to help resolve their problems. Mediation is a neutral way to discuss problems. It is important to understand and remember that a mediator will not judge or take sides in the disagreements in front of them. They are there solely to help negotiate and find a mutually agreeable resolution.

When mediation is first suggested to people, they often worry about a third party listening in to their talks but, after one or two sessions, most find that it really helps. Mediation isn’t just for family problems either, but for any disagreement where two or more parties are involved, whether in a small business, large corporations, neighbours, families or any other situation.