Mediation Trainings

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Family Mediation Training
This training is a 3-day skill-building course in mediating conflicts between separated & divorcing couples. Topics covered are: dissolution process, asset & debt division, effects of divorce on children, power, control, and domestic violence, cycle of emotion associated with grief, mediation process specific to families.
Prerequisite: 36-40 hours of Professional Mediation Training
Course fee: $350, $300 for early bird rate - course paid in full ($100 deposit needed to register). CLE Credits available for an additional $50.
Course Instructor: Deborah Forgays, PhD. Deborah has a PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Vermont and is currently a Professor in Psychology at Western Washington University. Her teaching and research have focused on issues important to children, adolescents and families.
Additional instructors include: Moonwater, WDRC Executive Director, Leon F. Henley, Jr., Whatcom County Superior Court Commissioner, and WDRC family mediators.

The mediation training has provided me with an amazing set of tools and a tried and true process through which I can better enter into and work with conflict in my life.

Parent-Teen Mediation Training
This training is a 3-day skill-building course in mediating conflicts between teens and their parents or guardians. Combining theory and practice, this is an engaging and intensive course for professionals and community members. Participants will learn how to use the 8-stage interest-based parent-teen mediation model to navigate family conflicts between teens and their parents or guardians.
Prerequisite: 36-40 hours of Professional Mediation Training
Course fee: $350, $300 for early bird rate - course paid in full. ($100 deposit needed to register)
*Discount available for active Dispute Resolution Center Practicum Students and Mediators.
Course Instructors:
Emily Machin-Mayes, Youth Program Manager - Emily is a trainer and mediator, bringing conflict resolution education to youth, educators, and community members since 2011. She co-manages the Parent-Teen Mediation Program and holds a Masters Certificate in Restorative Practices from the International Institute for Restorative Practices.
Luke Wiesner, Mediation Program Manager - Luke is a trainer and mediator for the Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center.  He co-manages the DRC Parent-Teen Mediation Program and supports the development of the DRC’s mediation programs.  He has provided conflict and communication training and mediation to parents and teens since 2015.

Professional Mediation Training
This intensive 40-hour course is designed for those who are interested in developing mediation and conflict resolution skills. Participants will learn the eight-stage mediation model, conflict theory and styles, mediator communication skills, and principles of conflict resolution. Combining theory and practice, students will also participate in mock mediations and receive a certificate of completion after the course.
Course Fee: $650, or $595 for those registered by the early bird deadline ($100 non-refundable deposit needed to register). Continuing Education and CLE Credits may also be available.
Spring Early Bird Registration Deadline: April 9, 2019 at 5:00pm .
Fall Early Bird Registration Deadline: August 30, 2019 at 5:00pm
Full balance must be paid in full by the deadline to take advantage of the Early Bird Rate.
Need financial assistance? We provide partial scholarships for students who can provide volunteer support for the class in exchange.  Click here for our Financial Scholarship Application
Spring Session 2019: May 8 - 10 & 15 - 17, Wednesdays from 1 - 5 PM, Thursdays & Fridays from 9 AM - 6 PM
Spring Session is currently full. We are now accepting registrations for our wait-list.
Fall Session 2019: Oct. 2 - 4 & 9 - 11, Wednesdays from 1 - 5 PM, Thursdays & Fridays from 9 AM - 6 PM
Course Instructor:  Moonwater, MPA, WDRC Executive Director
Moonwater is an experienced mediator, facilitator, and trainer. She holds an MPA from Seattle University, where she specialized in non-profit management, and a BA in Psychology from Whitman College. She is co-president of Resolution Washington, and a past board member of the Washington Mediation Association. She currently serves on Whatcom County's Incarceration Prevention and Reduction Task Force, the Bellingham-Whatcom Commission Against Domestic Violence, and Washington State's Charities Advisory Council. Currently, she is the Executive Director of the WDRC and has enjoyed teaching students the art of mediation for the past 14 years.

Mediation Practicum Program
In order to become certified as a mediator, you must complete the following steps:

  • Complete the Professional Mediation Training

  • Apply and be admitted to the Practicum Program

  • Complete the Practicum Program, including a mock mediation assessed by WDRC certification team

  • Once certified, fulfill annual continuing education hours and actively mediate

The WDRC upholds stringent standards for mediators-in-training in order to ensure that the service our clients receive is high caliber and professional. The majority of our mediation services are provided by volunteers. At a minimum, all of our mediators have completed the professional mediation training, a practicum program in which they have been evaluated and certified according to the standards set forth by Resolution Washington and the Washington Mediation Association (WMA). Our practicum is an approved WMA Practicum Program. Family mediators have taken at least 24 additional hours of Family Mediation Training, and completed an additional practicum program. Many of our mediators also have backgrounds and experience in human resources, law, healthcare, education, and community planning, which enhance their skill sets and sensitivity to a variety of different types of disputes.

The Mediation Practicum Program is a rigorous process. If you are considering pursuing mediator certification, please carefully review this document. Once admitted to the program most people take 12-18 months to reach certification. If you are interested in family or other specialized mediation certification, please note that advanced training in the topic area and additional practicum steps will be required. 

To apply, please print the following application documents and submit your complete application to Luke Wiesner. If you would like us to email you the application documents, please contact Luke at or 360.676.0122.

Application Documents:

  1. Mediation Practicum Program Guidelines

  2. Basic Mediation Certification Written Exam

  3. Exam Mock Mediation Scenario

  4. Exam Mock Settlement Agreement

  5. Volunteer Application

We accept new practicum students twice a year. To submit your application for our Fall cohort, all materials must be submitted on or before Friday, July 12, 2019.