THE BASICS OF MEDIATION AT APS
What to expect:
Prior to your first session, the mediator will contact you to gather initial information necessary to proceed with mediation. This will include questions about what disagreements are occurring and what both parties are looking to resolve in mediation. This will allow the mediator to determine the number of sessions needed. The initial session will involve goal setting and setting an agenda for the mediation session/s. Following sessions will go over issues and attempt to come to an agreement. This could be done in the initial session dependent on the issues at hand. At the end of mediation, the mediator can assist the parties with filling out a pro se order to document their agreements. **This order is not official until signed by an attorney and filed with the courts.
Limitations of Mediation:
A certified mediator is not an attorney or a legal advisor or guardian ad litem. They cannot draft legal documents or enforce a court order or legal agreement between you and another party. They will also not make decisions based on their opinion about the best interest of the children. Any agreements that occur in mediation will need to be taken to a licensed attorney to sign off and file the document with the courts. Mediation is intended to help you and another party come to an agreement without incurring high legal fees or other court associated costs while involving both parties in the decision making process. It is most commonly effective with issues in regard to placement or visitation with minor children, legal custody of children, minor financial issues (child support, division of household items, etc.), and other family decisions. **Please do not bring any minors along to mediation.**
Cost for mediation:
All mediation costs are self-pay at the time of service or before. For your information, the rates for mediation at APS are (lengths of sessions are approximate): MAX of 4 sessions.
Initial / First Session: $75.00 per person for 60 minutes (includes time for clinic and filing system integration)
2-4 Sessions: $50.00 per session per person for 60 minutes
Records of any services you receive at the agency are maintained in the form of an Electronic Healthcare Record (EHR). The EHR is maintained by a HIPAA compliant and cloud-based company, PIMSY, in order to secure your records more securely than can be done in paper form. Digitizing the record is in response to changing health care practices at this time in the industry. Access to these files is limited to professional and administrative staff bound by confidentially agreements. Also, counselors may choose to keep records of any treatment related communication with you in your file such as phone notes, copies of emails, and any personal notes/papers received during counseling. In an effort to provide you with the best possible services, your counselor may choose to consult with another therapist and/or an independent psychologist or psychiatrist that may provide consulting services to our agency. Colleagues who provide such services are subject to current confidentiality restraints.