Training and Consultation

Basic Mediation Training 


This 3-day workshop will train you to become a mediator using the facilitative style of mediation. In this workshop, you will learn facilitation skills and techniques to enhance communication, conflict resolution, information gathering, perspective-taking, problem-solving, interest-based negotiating, and agreement writing. Some of the topics covered include: confidentiality, mediator neutrality, active listening, the mediation process, and the legal and ethical considerations involved in mediating disputes. The training format includes mini-lectures, video, group exercises, and coached role-playing. The workshop focuses on community issues such as neighbor disputes, landlord-tenant disputes, workplace conflict, and small claims matters. 

You must attend all 3 days to receive a Certificate of Completion. 


Communication and Conflict Resolution 


Participants learn communication and conflict management skills and develop an understanding that (1) conflict is normal; (2) how we deal with conflict determines the outcome; and (3) there are positive ways to handle conflict. 

The training format combines mini-lectures; group practice exercises; discussion; and role-plays designed to suit the needs of the trainees. You may add or subtract agenda items to fit the time available (usually three to eight hours) and needs of participants. The topics that can be covered include: 

  • What is conflict? 
  • Conflict management styles: self-assessment to learn more about how you deal with conflict situations (e.g., avoid, confront, negotiate, collaborate). 
  • Communication skills: active listening; paraphrasing; reframing; turning complaints into requests; nonverbal cues; “I” and “You” messages. 
  • Perceptions and attitudes: seeing things differently; cognitive biases; how fights begin and how they escalate. 
  • Six-step conflict resolution process: setting the stage for collaborative problem-solving; fighting fair (how to handle disputes peacefully); the difference between facilitated (mediation) and non-facilitated processes to resolve interpersonal conflicts; clarifying issues; brainstorming for options; evaluating options; and interest-based negotiating. 
  • Putting it all together: role-playing the six steps; questions and answers; course evaluation; certificates of completion.

    Restorative Justice Practices 


    Through this 3-day workshop, participants will become proficient in facilitating Restorative Circles and Victim-Offender Conferences, and gain a comprehensive understanding of the historical context, indigenous traditions, principles, and political analysis that have shaped Restorative Justice.  

    The workshop learning objectives include:  

    • How Restorative Justice defines conflict, harm, and abuse 
    • How Restorative Justice defines accountability, apologies, and restitution 
    • How to identify and assess cycles of violence 
    • How to conduct a trauma-informed intake and determine whether an incident is appropriate for restorative justice 
    • How to plan a restorative process 
    • How to host Circle Process 
    • How to host Victim-Offender Conferences

    Restorative Justice in the Classroom 

    This 3-day course, designed for educators and support staff, will train participants in Circle Process and Victim-Offender Conferencing; the two primary Restorative Justice models for transforming conflict and harm within schools. The curriculum, comprised of group dialogue, roleplay, lecture, and multimedia, will guide participants in examining and expanding their approaches to conflict, support them in developing an everyday culture of restorative justice in the classroom, present real-life examples of how other schools have implemented restorative justice programs, and provide them each with one private consultation. 


    Peer Mediation 

    CORA Good Shepherd Mediation offers a range of training and implementation packages to support schools in establishing and maintaining Peer Mediation programs. Peer Mediation is a student-led approach to resolving conflict and enhancing school climate that has proven to decrease youth-related violence, suspensions, truancy, and increase positive relationships amongst the student body and staff. CORA GSM has provided training and implementation for over 60 schools in the Greater Philadelphia Area. Our packages are customized for Elementary, Middle, and High Schools. We conduct a comprehensive needs assessment; facilitate a robust mediation training for student leaders and their support staff; assist the administration with policy making; and offer additional consulting as needed.


    Who are the mediators? 

    Mediators are specially chosen and trained students who help other students find solutions to their conflicts.


    What do mediators do? 

    When students are involved in a dispute, they are asked if they would like a mediator to help them resolve their problem. If the disputants so choose, the mediators support them by using the mediation process to clarify the nature of the dispute, seek options, and reach consensus on a mutually satisfactory solution.


    What skills will mediators learn in the training? 

    • Leadership Communication 
    • How to listen without taking sides 
    • How to express feelings and needs 
    • Problem solving 
    • How to improve school environment 
    • How to take responsibility for their own actions

    What are the benefits of instituting a Peer Mediation Program? 

    A study published by The Education Resources Information Center confirmed that Peer Mediation is proven to decrease youth-related violence, suspensions, truancy, and increase positive relationships amongst the student body and staff. 

    • Mediators gain confidence in their ability to help others. 
    • Mediators learn to get along better at home and at school. 
    • Mediators’ grades often improve. 
    • Other students learn from mediators how to get along with each other better. 
    • Arguments decrease, so students spend more time learning. 
    • Students and teachers are able to work together in more friendly, relaxed way. 
    • Students are empowered to resolve their own problems.
    Benefits of Peer Mediation

    Benefits for School Staff 

    • Staff spends less time settling disputes among students 
    • Mediation decreases the pressure on teachers to serve as constant disciplinarians 
    • Mediation reduces tension among staff and students 
    • Mediation improves overall school climate through better student-staff relationships

    Benefits for Mediators 

    • Mediators develop leadership 
    • Mediators enhance their note-taking and summarizing skills 
    • Mediators increase their self-esteem 
    • Mediators’ positive status among their peers is increased 
    • Mediators learn communication skills which are valuable to many situations 
    • Mediators learn problem-solving techniques applicable to may situations 
    • Mediators influence other students in a positive manner

    Benefits for the Students 

    • Students become active in the problem-solving process 
    • Mediation leads to a greater commitment to making solutions work 
    • Mediation provides positive role models for solving conflicts 
    • Students assume greater responsibility for solving their own problems 
    • Students recognize that adult intervention is not always necessary 
    • The mediation process encourages students to share their feelings and search for constructive ways to meet their needs

    Benefits for Families 

    The mediation process carries over to families. Parents and students have reported that peer mediators use their problem-solving skills at home with their siblings and significant others.


    Benefits for Society 

    Schools that teach students positive ways to resolve conflicts are aiding in the reduction of violence in our society today. Youth who learn to resolve conflicts positively are likely to do the same when they grow up. 

    Mediator trainees must attend all 24 hours to receive a certificate of completion. The CORA Good Shepherd Mediation peer mediation training is recognized throughout the Commonwealth of PA professional mediation community and meets all of the Association for Conflict Resolution School Mediation Training Guidelines. 

    This Peer Mediator Training does not ensure a student’s competency as a mediator or qualify the adults who participate to train others as peer mediators. Mediator and trainer competency is best assessed through apprenticing with an experienced mediator (or trainer), supervised development and experience.


    To schedule this course, please contact CORA Good Shepherd Mediation at (215) 843-5413. 


    Collaborative Problem Solving in the Workplace 


    This workshop, available in a 4-hour and 8-hour format and tailored to your team’s needs, prepares you and your colleagues to cultivate a cooperative, productive, and rewarding work climate. Through group dialogue, roleplay exercises, and lectures with multimedia, participants will learn how to facilitate effective meetings, build consensus, de-escalate tension amongst staff, transform unhelpful power dynamics, and become experts in their own conflict styles. This workshop is about turning difficult situations to into an opportunity to improve communication and strengthen relationships. It is ideal for executive directors, managers, supervisors, and team leaders. 


    Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Becoming a Mediator (and more) 


    To orient aspiring mediators regarding the nuts and bolts of starting a career in dispute resolution. 

    People contemplating a career switch or a second career as a mediator have lots of questions: 

    • Do I need a license? 
    • What training should I take? 
    • Are there any prerequisites? 
    • What does the training prepare me for? 
    • Are there scholarships available? 
    • Do I need special training to be a divorce mediator? 
    • Do I need to be a lawyer? 
    • Do I need insurance? 
    • Where can I mediate? 
    • Where can I find a mentor? 
    • How long does it take to build a practice? 

    Whether you are interested in volunteering, working full-time in dispute resolution or starting a private practice to supplement your income, this workshop will answer all of these questions and more. 

    In addition to the lead trainer there will be a panel of expert mediators who practice in various areas on hand to share a wealth of knowledge with you. 


    Mediation Orientation 


    This FREE mini-workshop is designed for groups that want to learn more about mediation, how it works and how it can benefit you. This introductory workshop will answer these questions and more: 

    • What is mediation? 
    • Why mediate? 
    • What is the difference between mediation, arbitration and litigation? 
    • What is the difference between mediation and therapy? 
    • What kinds of issues are appropriate for mediation? 
    • Who are the mediators? 
    • What happens if we can’t settle our dispute in mediation? 


    To schedule a FREE Mediation Orientation for your group, please contact CORA Good Shepherd Mediation at 215-843-5413 


    Advanced Training: Multi-Party Mediation and Group Facilitation 


    Mediators are being called upon to help in conflict situations that go beyond two or three disputants. Multi-party mediations involve more parties, more issues, more sessions, and new kinds of power imbalances. This workshop will prepare mediators for the challenges of facilitating and mediating multi-party disputes in a community setting. Some of the topics covered include: assessing the conflict & needs of the parties, designing & planning a process that meets the parties’ needs, confidentiality and neutrality, adopting ground-rules and procedures, facilitating the process, defining the roles of the mediators/facilitators, and the role of the participants, educating the participants about the process and roles, dealing with power imbalances, dealing with difficult people, dealing with the media, identifying interests, clarifying issues, generating and evaluating options, building consensus, reaching closure, following-up, legal and ethical considerations for mediators/facilitators. The workshop is for experienced mediators. You must demonstrate that you have completed at least 24 hours of mediation training and mediated at least five disputes in order to register for this course. Completion of this workshop does not guarantee mediator competency or quality. 

    CORA GSM will customize the course material and learning objectives for your organization’s needs. We can hold the workshop at your place or ours, or virtually. For more details, please contact CORA Good Shepherd Mediation at 215-843-5413.


    Click HERE to contact us to schedule a training.    

    See calendar for upcoming trainings open to the public.