As parents age, there are many difficult conversations that either don't occur or end poorly. As a result, families are unequipped to address challenges related to aging, and costly mistakes and avoidable crises can unfold. There is a better way!
Adult Family Mediation
As a trained, certified mediator and a former practicing attorney, I facilitate family conversations that bring clarity and help family members resolve conflict. I help bring the temperature down in the room, so that people's emotions do not prevent productive decision-making.
Though mediation is neither therapy nor counseling, it has therapeutic aspects and can help family members work through feelings and personal issues that interfere with problem-solving.
Where past conversations have failed to produce understanding or agreement, families find a way forward during mediation. That is because sometimes the mere presence of a neutral, knowledgeable, and skilled mediator can make all the difference.
Sometimes, a full-blown mediation to resolve significant disputes is unnecessary. Instead, there is a "mediation lite" option, one that takes less time and is more straightforward. In this instance, there may be relative calm and the time is good to consider the "what ifs" before an issue develops that can threaten family relations. This is an opportunity to get on the same page about goals, share information, develop plans and agree upon implementation. My job is to facilitate that conversation, as a neutral party who provides a supportive environment.
Sometimes, mediation is neither realistic, recommended, nor even desired. Instead, what people want is 1-on-1 support.
Adult children sometimes prefer speaking 1-on-1 regarding challenges they face with elders, siblings, or related parties e.g. regarding health status, finances, care, safety, etc.
Sometimes, it is the elder instead who wants to meet 1-on-1. Their concerns often differ, and may include frustration over not being heard or understood by their family, a need for autonomy, and "life review" / legacy concerns.
The coaching process helps clients learn how to bridge communication and substantive gaps between family members and figure out what they want to do based upon knowledge and techniques from the fields of executive coaching, conflict resolution, and geriatric psychology.
To schedule a complimentary 1/2 hour call to learn more about mediation and my background, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, call 650 382-0088 or book an appointment above.
California Locations: entire Bay Area including Menlo Park, Palo Alto, Mountainview, Lost Altos, San Francisco, San Jose, Alameda, Santa Clara and San Mateo counties.
"When our father died, my sister and I found we had a lot of emotions that we had tucked away for decades, which suddenly all came out. Nicole helped us be able to express ourselves and work through things, while also moving forward with the practical tasks and decision making together. It was a difficult time, but Nicole’s peaceful and effective skills as a mediator helped us make it through." Virginia 1/23 (Palo Alto, CA)
“Nicole was a great help to me and my family. Mediation was a really positive experience.” M.W. 8/22 (Palo Alto, CA)
"I called Nicole because I needed help bringing family members together to address issues related to turnover of ownership and control of real estate buildings owned by elderly extended family in their 90’s. Mediation wasn't necessary. Instead, Nicole helped me isolate key business and legal issues, and I was able to see more clearly how to handle them diplomatically when talking with other family members about planning for the future ownership transition. She helped me clarify goals, strategize about communication, figure out legal representation, and she even arranged a meeting with a fantastic real estate consultant on short notice." M.F. 6/22 (Bay Area, CA)
"Nicole's approach helped me set my emotions aside and focus on the goal of reaching agreement with my brother over sale of our parent's home. She was thorough in her questioning, listened well, and provided key observations that led to a successful outcome."
A.B. 11/21 (Sunnyvale, CA)
"I contacted Nicole because I was looking for practical information and professional insight regarding concerns about a family member whom I consider to be my mom. Aging is complicated and I do not have any experience in this area. Nicole is a heart-centered listener who has a lot of expertise. You can immediately tell that she is both well trained and authentic.
She made me feel so comfortable and helped me both express and understand what I was feeling. Most importantly, she gave me a new perspective and written resources which will help guide me 24/7. All this in one session! It was such a relief to talk this all over with someone confidentially and know that she is there for me, should I need to chat some more. Thank you so much, Nicole! I am very grateful.” Concerned Family Member 10/21 (Evans, NY)
"Nicole was referred by Avenidas. She is very professional and knowledgeable and she coached me wisely in dealing with a delicate family matter." A.W. 6/21 (Palo Alto, CA)
"Nicole gave me hope for a path forward. The tools and information she provided was very helpful. Overall, a great experience." A.Z. 5/21 (Atherton, CA)
"My family of four siblings needed help getting to the heart of the matter in a way that made everyone comfortable. Nicole made sure everyone feel heard and better understood. We didn't solve our problems but we understand our challenges better." M. P. 6/21 (SF, CA)
"Mediation brought clarity about family finances, which changed the way we now think about living arrangements. It took pressure off our immediate situation and we are less stressed now." G. Family 12/20 (Palo Alto, CA)
"Having a mediator instead of me ask difficult questions and probe feelings that get in the way of finding solutions made life a lot easier." J.G. 12/20 (Palo Alto, CA)
"Nicole's approach was especially caring and generous compared to other mediators I interviewed. She is so knowledgable and skilled at building trust with each family member." N. Oliver 11/20 (San Francisco, CA)
"Nicole was a tremendous help at the end of my mother's life. She helped manage conflict between me and my sister regarding her care. I highly recommend her." Jean M. 10/20 (Palo Alto, CA)
"Nicole provided a good structure for our family to discuss what we want and what our issues are. With the help of her probing questions and coaching during the mediation, I realized that I was not fully clear about some of my future goals and was able to prioritize my objectives and issues. This allowed my family and me to discuss different options and trade-offs that I was not willing to do before. I highly recommend Nicole for mediation. " Chris A. 6/20 (Belmont, CA)
Disclaimer: Offered services are not a substitute for appropriate medical, legal, financial or other professional advice. Though Nicole is a licensed attorney, she does not currently practice law. Nothing herein should be construed as legal advice. Copyright Nicole Lance 2022. All rights reserved.