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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Click here for the mediation FAQ or here for the coaching FAQ.

Mediation FAQ

What is mediation?

Mediation is a way for parties in conflict to settle the issues between them without having to go through the lengthy and often costly court process. This voluntary process is based on a belief in people's capacity to resolve their own conflicts with the assistance of an independent, neutral person. By fully engaging in the process, parties retain control and are often able to identify creative and flexible solutions, which would not be avaiable to them through the courts. 

How much does it cost?

Most mediators charge an hourly rate. The rate can vary enormously but is usually less than an attorney's hourly rate, and is usually split with the other party (or parties) to the dispute. The number of hours your case takes will depend on the number of unresolved issues and the level of conflict over those issues. As with any other service, it is often true that you get what you pay for. When searching for a mediator, qualifications and experience should be checked as well as price. 

What are the benefits of mediation?

Mediation helps parties to make their own decisions rather than having an outsider (a judge) make their decisions for them. Mediation allows the parties to be creative and to consider solutions that could not be ordered by a court. Mediation often results in better compliance with decisions afterward because the parties have an investment in a solution they created themselves. Resolution is usually quicker and is often less expensive than going to court. 

Is mediation always successful?

Success is measured in several ways. Since mediation is based on helping the parties to reach an agreement, if the parties are unable to reach agreement many would say the mediation fails. However, the process may have helped to improve communication and may assist the parties to resolve the dispute (or other similar disputes) later. It is also possible to reach agreement on some issues but not all, making it necessary to go to court or to some other method of dispute resolution, such as arbitration, to resolve the remaining issues. 

Can I have legal advice or representation during mediation?

Most mediators encourage you to obtain legal advice before and after mediation sessions. Attorneys sometimes attend sessions, but not always. It is often more productive for the parties to meet with the mediator without their attorneys, especially when discussing issues that are not legally technical, such as a parenting schedule. It is sometimes very helpful for attorneys to attend sessions if the issues are complex or one party is unfamiliar with financial matters. It is definitely better to get legal advice during mediation than to take an agreement to an attorney after the mediation is finished, only to find that the attorney advises you to change it.

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Coaching FAQ

What is ParentCoaching?

ParentCoaching is a new and encouraging way of assisting parents/caregivers develop cooperative and healthy relationships with their children. A ParentCoach assists parents expand their awareness, understanding and knowledge while developing alternative parenting skills. ParentCoaching encourages an environment of mutual respect and family harmony- the foundation for nurturing independent, confident and self-disciplined children.

What is professional coaching?

Coaching is a profession that promotes excellence within individuals and groups by facilitating learning, engaging untapped potential, and supporting effective action.

How did ParentCoaching get started?

Adlerian theorist and educator, Dr. Richard Kopp, initiated ParentCoaching in 2000. ParentCoaching draws on the works of Dreikurs, Dinkmeyer, and other well known Adlerian parent educators. Over the past two years the concept was fine-tuned by a group of coaching and counselling graduates from the Adler School.  The testimonials from parents who have experienced ParentCoaching and coaches who have been using the ParentCoaching model are nothing short of “two thumbs up!!!”

How do parent education, family counseling & ParentCoaching differ?

Parent education is generally conducted in groups rather than being tailored to individual families; family counselling or therapy is tailored to individual families but tends to be problem and/or pathology oriented; ParentCoaching generally focuses on the individual parent. The emphasis is building on existing strengths and skills while encouraging parents to find their own solutions. Parents find that they are in a position of choice in responding to their children’s behaviour.

What is coaching? 

Coaching is a new profession. Coaches:

  • Help people set better goals and then reach those goals. 

  • Ask their clients to do more than they would have done on their own. 

  • Focus their clients better to more quickly produce results. 

  • Provide the tools, support and structure to accomplish more. 

How is coaching different from consulting? Therapy? Sports coaching? A best friend? 

Consulting. Coaching is a form of consulting. But the coach stays with the client to help implement the new skills, changes and goals to make sure they really happen. Therapy. Coaching is not therapy. We don't work on "issues" or get into the past or deal much with understanding human behavior. We leave that up to the client to know and figure out while we help them move forward and set personal and professional goals that will give them the life they really want.

Sports. Coaching includes several principles from sports coaching, like teamwork, going for the goal, being your best. But unlike sports coaching, most professional coaching is not competition or win/lose based. We strengthen the client's skills vs help them beat the other team. It's win/win.


Best friend. A best friend is wonderful to have. But is your best friend a professional who you will trust to advise you on the most important aspects of your life and/or business? Have a best friend and a coach.

What is the basic philosophy of coaching? 

Simply put, that we humans are great, that we're all discovering what we really want and that we get can get what we want faster and easier by having a coach who's been there and who can help us. 

Who hires a coach and why? 

People hire a coach because 

  • They want more. 

  • They want to grow. 

  • They want it easier. 

It's as simple as that. Coaches help a client get all three. Quickly. 

What happens when you hire a coach? 

Many things, but the most important are: 

  • You take yourself more seriously. 

  • You take more effective and focused actions immediately. 

  • You stop putting up with what is dragging you down. 

  • You create momentum so it's easier to get results. 

You set better goals that you might not have without the coach. 

Does the coach work on personal goals or business/professional goals?

Both, actually. And, with the line between personal and business life blurring in the 90s, the coach is the only professional trained to work with all aspects of you.

Where does the coach focus with an average client? 

We focus where the client needs us most. And, we tend to weave in the following discussions: 

  • Getting the client's Personal Foundation strengthened. 

  • Helping the client beef up their Reserve. 

  • Helping the client set goals based on their Personal Values. 

By including these with what the client wants from us, we help the client have fewer problems and focus on what's going to make them the most successful. We've found that clients really enjoy the approach. 

Why does coaching work? 

Coaching works for several reasons: 

  • Synergy between the coach and client creates momentum. 

  • Better goals are set -- ones that naturally pull the client toward the goal rather than goals that require the client to push themselves to the goal. 

  • The client develops new skills, and these skills translate into more success. 

Why is coaching becoming so popular? 

Coaching is becoming popular for several reasons: 

  1. Many people are tired of doing what they "should" do and are ready to do something special and meaningful for the rest of their lives. Problem is, many can't see it, or if they can, they can't see a way to reorient their life around it. A coach can help them do both. 

  2. People are realizing how simple it can be to accomplish something that several years ago might have felt out of reach or like a pipedream. A coach is not a miracle worker (well, they are, sometimes) but a coach does have a large tool kit to help the Big Idea become a Reality. Fortunately, people now have time and resources to invest in themselves in this kind of growth. 

  3. Spirituality. If you've tracked the phenomenal success of James Redfield's Celestine Prophecy on the NY Times best-seller list during 1994, you get a sense of just how many people are willing to look at, and consider, the notion of spirituality. Wow. Many coaches are spiritually based -- even the ones who coach IBM and AT&T. America is getting spiritual quickly. (Our working definition of spirituality? How connected you are with yourself and others.") The coach helps the clients to tune in better to themselves and others. 

What about people who are already doing great in their lives. Why would they need a coach? 

They might not need a coach. But it is helpful to find out: Are they doing what they most enjoy? Are they tolerating anything? Is life easy? Are they going to be financially independent within the next 15 years? Do they have what they most want? We've discovered that, often, people need to expect more out of their lives. A coach can help in this process. 

Can a dependency be created between coach and client? 

Not really. The client may "need" the coach in order to maximize an opportunity or accelerate their growth, yet not be "dependent" on the coach. Anyone who's up to something "needs" structure, advice, support and a place to brag, so in that sense, the coach is necessary. But an emotional, psychological dependency is not created. The coach works with people who are just fine and strong enough on their own. Remember, we're not resolving issues here. The coach is helping the client to create a better future: More success, more money, and a higher quality of life. 

Can coaching hurt someone? 

No. How? We aren't doing psychological work. We're not trying to control the client's thinking. We're not cattle prods; we're partners. 

Can I hire a coach just for a short-term, special project? 

Yes. Some clients hire a coach to help them accomplish specific goals or projects. Usually, however, the client keeps working with the coach after that because there are even more interesting things to accomplish.

How long must I commit if I start working with a coach? 

Most coaches ask for a three to six month commitment but usually let you stop immediately if coaching is not working for you right now. Very, very few coaches ask for a written agreement or contract. (As a coach, I never did, and my practice stayed full. And while clients do come and go, I don't think a contract is wise.) For the corporate client, however, a signed agreement is simply good business.

What does it cost to hire a coach? 

Most coaches working with individuals charge about $200 to $450 per month for one half-hour call per week. Executive coaches charge more and some clients work with a coach for an hour or two a week. It all works about to about $100 to $150 per hour. Obviously, corporate coaching or programs is more, often running $1,000 to $10,000 per month.

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