Family Mediation Center - 480.949.9511 - www.azfamilymediationcenter.com
Elder Mediation is an expansion of my decades of mediating family disputes. My experiences working with families included many of the issues of aging. When I considered those experiences in addition to my education in psychology, training in family and systems dynamics, work re: abuse, spirituality, addictions, and recovery, re-marriages, stepfamilies, and becoming older rather than younger - may I claim more experienced, rather than less, several years of studying and learning more about elder issues, and becoming a Certified Elder Mediator (Pepperdine University), expanding Family Mediation Center's services to include Elder Mediation was a natural evolution.
Towards the ending of the last century and growing strongly in this "new" century, many urged us to re-learn the value of our elders and their wisdom. Probably because of my long involvement in movements that valued each and all of us, I have long been headed to my interest in and commitment to elders and people as they age.
Helping others develop their own answers began when I was the only woman on a county board of supervisors. By request, I served on the mental health, drug and alcohol committee, the social services, and personnel committees. The latter is where I negotiated labor contracts. All of the committees’ disagreements convinced me that “there has to be a better way.” 30 years ago, mediation training and mediating my 1st case for a Wisconsin court showed me that indeed there was. 1,000s of mediated cases since attest that more often than not, given sufficient time, information, and support, people can mediate their way to resolution.
Always open to working with clients’ lawyers, financial and mental health experts, I tailor the dispute resolution experience to each situation. Having graduated from a Trial Advocacy course at the University of New Mexico, practicing law, and being a former labor negotiator, I mediate along a continuum from facilitative to evaluative, depending on the situation, clients’ needs, and the moment. Lawyers, their clients, and referrals are all welcome and treated as we all deserve to be treated.
I mediate with people who never married, are married but want a change, are past the marriage, are of the same gender, have elder family members in transition, struggle with family business issues, are in probate, or are struggling with post-death issues. I also consult for non-profit and for profit businesses, and with individuals. Although I practiced family and juvenile law along with mediation for years, I now focus my practice on mediation and consulting regarding conflict, change, and transformation.
I co-chaired committees that drafted Arizona’s first training curriculum for mediators, and 1st Standards of Conduct, and co-drafted a mediation course for the University of Phoenix. Long ranked at the top of professional mediator classifications, I’m an Advanced Practitioner Member of the Academy of Family Mediators, Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR), and a member of the State, County, and Scottsdale Bar Associations, being a former board member of the latter. I am also a member of the Elder Law Section of the Arizona State Bar and a member of the Elder Mediation Sections of ACR and of Mediate.com where I am also one of their Certified Mediators. I’m a member of the Arizona Women Lawyers Association and of the Arizona Interfaith Movement. Having served on several Superior Court committees, I’m also a former judge pro tem, parenting coordinator, a former board member of AzAFCC, a graduate of Scottsdale Leadership, Arizona Town Hall Panel Chair, and a member of the Fusion Foundation’s Advisory Council, and frequent presenter of CLEs and CEUs, and at local, statewide, and national conferences.
In addition to my honors psychology and law degrees, I graduated from a 2-year training at the Gestalt Institute of Phoenix, their 1-year systems and couples training, plus have 1,000s of hours of continuing education in psychology, law, mediation, communication, and spirituality. I co-led a weekly growth group with a Phoenix psychologist and am the principal at Center 4 Joy.
I was the Director of the nation’s 2nd domestic and sexual abuse counseling, prevention, and education center and shelter, an automobile dealer, an educator in the chemical dependency field, was an emergency and foster home parent, and served on political and arts boards. I had a live, public access television talk show, was the only female county board supervisor, 1st female member of Scottsdale Papago Rotary, co-led consciousness raising groups, and taught assertiveness training in a community college.
Partial caregiver for a family member, re-married for 37 years I, have 6 children, and 14 grandchildren. Since 1980, I’ve been a stepmother though we took “his” three and “my” three, bought the biggest house we could afford, and built a loving family. I’m a critter, bird, reading, and movie lover, + a MENSA member.