• 10/16/2017 9:47 PM | Jeanne Jackson-Heim (Administrator)

    To have an enforceable mediation agreement, the language must require a party to do or not do something. Thus, an agreement that says "the parties agree to pay their share of expenses within 30 days” is likely unenforceable.  The agreement should say, “the parties shall pay their share…”

    Likewise, a clause requiring a child or other third party to do something is also unenforceable. For example, "the day care provider shall notify the non-custodial parent if the child becomes ill" is not something the court can enforce because the day care provider is not a party to the agreement.

  • 10/16/2017 7:15 PM | Jeanne Jackson-Heim (Administrator)
    If you are interested in serving on an IMA committee, we want to hear from you!  Contact Administrator Alex McNish for more information or to put your name on the list for 2018.  You can make a difference. 
  • 04/13/2016 8:56 AM | Deleted user


    Get in the habit of immersing yourself in positive thoughts throughout each day.  It neurologically refreshes your brain and stimulates motivation circuits.  It also generates the release of the pleasure chemical dopamine which reduces anxiety and depression.  You will notice that you will be more productive without as many worries or the desire to procrastinate. Savor every achievement and smile with every little success.  You’ll discover that in just ONE day you will better be able to focus on your goals and progress instead of on failures and fears.


    If you want to change a behavior or develop a new skill, Nobel prize winning Eric Kandel discovered that it doesn’t matter if we are a person or a snail.  The answer is repeated training interspersed with periods of rest.  When you practice a new behavior whether it be optimism, focus, etc or want to master a new skill, only a few days of repeated exposure will form neurological habits that will last for weeks.  The secret is the frequent relaxation breaks during the learning curve.  While you take these breaks, mindfully reflect on your goal, desire and progress.

    To be more specific, simply pick a new behavior on which you would like to work (ie: eating healthier, listening better, procrastinating less, etc).  Write down the goal – this affects our brain differently than simply thinking about it and makes us more likely to succeed.  Commit to four days – only FOUR! – of 20 minutes of conscientious practice.  After practice, close your eyes, yawn a few times and slowly stretch.  Your brain needs these periods of rest “to establish long-term memory”.  This is one reason that cramming for a test overnight is largely ineffective.  Special note:  Once you have learned a new skill, it will fade away after a few weeks if you don’t continue to use it.  Want to learn more about this?  Eric Kandal has several books out including a new one titled, “Learning and Memory

  • 04/06/2016 2:02 PM | Deleted user

    How often do you find yourself in a conversation with a friend, partner or colleague and realize you have no idea what was just said? If you are like most of us, it happens every day, and often. We live in a fast-paced world and our minds are often scattered and unruly. You might even be interested in what’s being said, but your mind wanders into the past or future, to something that is bothering you or something on your to-do list.

    One of my favourite things to do in training workshops is a listening exercise in which people are paired up and asked to listen to their partner without comment, but being fully “present” for 3 minutes. It is such a rare experience that most people end the exercise recognizing how little they really do listen.

    Just as we now understand the importance of regular exercise for good health, we can strengthen and build our ability as listeners in order to utilize mindful communication and get the most out of our relationships.

    Mindfulness – being fully present in each moment with kindness and without judgement – is a wonderful skill to practice in any situation that requires listening. The intent of  mindful communication is to pay attention to the speaker without interruption, without getting defensive and without a need to always be right or make a point.

    Here is a Playlist for Mindful Listening:

    • Put aside physical distractions like your cell phone, TV, computer
    • Set an intention to listen mindfully.
    • Be honest. If you aren’t able to focus at the moment, pick another time.
    • Take a mindful breath… Ahhhh… before responding.
    • Say the word, “kindness” 2-3 times to yourself, and feel it, before speaking.
    • Be curious. Ask open-ended questions that encourage dialogue.
    • Let the other person share their full thoughts before jumping in with your own.
    • Be patient. Don’t jump to conclusions.
    • Notice when your mind wanders and bring your attention back to the speaker.
    • Notice your feelings, thoughts and body sensations when they come up. What are they telling you?
    • Pay attention to the speaker’s tone and body language. What are they really saying?
    • Listen with openness and willingness to understand the other person’s point of view.

    The pay-off? The quality of your listening supports the other person to be more present, at ease, collaborative and genuine. Conversations can be more meaningful and productive. So, listen up! Listening is a discipline that takes time and practice. Be patient. Be curious. Experiment a little and see what happens.

    Elizabeth Shein, MSW, RSW
    Trainer, Achieve Training Center

    ACHIEVE Training Centre (www.achievecentre.com)

    Credit for the information is given to the ACHIEVE Training Centre.

  • 10/01/2015 8:01 PM | Anonymous

    By Carol Rodriguez and Emily Sabbah

    As a mediator, anger is a very common emotion with which we regularly assist our clients.

     However, did you know that anger can kill brain cells in seconds?  In fact, anger is the most dangerous emotion to express out loud in the presence of others. It is a primitive defense mechanism, and the neurochemicals that are released (like cortisol) damage the learning/memory centers in your hippocampus. This "protects" you by pushing everyone away....especially those we love.  “Real” anger is a neurological response to an actual threat happening in the present moment. If a person feels anger from past memories, or is chronically irritable or suspicious, the research consistently shows that it's damaging to your body, brain, and emotional well-being.

    While it is not healthy to suppress anger, it also has negative effects on our body when expressed.  As an alternative to expressing anger, it is recommended that one meditate on their anger and mindfully watch it.  They will find that it often dissipates in 5 – 10 minutes, and that the anger is actually transformed by this practice of mindfulness. This type of meditation and mindfulness is taught in most major universities, including Harvard University.  In fact, meditation and mindfulness are considered by many top neuroscientists to be more important that getting a good night's sleep and drinking plenty of water.

    Remember: Every second of anger releases stress chemicals that damage the brain!

    How does this apply to mediation?  We can share this type of information with our clients before they begin mediation.  We encourage them to discuss angry feelings with a friend before addressing another party in mediation. We can also apply these same techniques outside of mediation by discussing angry feelings with friends before having a direct conversation with the person that upset us.  There are now hundreds of studies showing that mindful reflection on anger - especially when doing it with another mindful companion - is one of the most effective ways to learn better emotional coping skills. The old "expressive" therapies like Gestalt, Primal, Reichian, etc have been shown to do more psychological harm than good. That includes many of the encounter groups from the 70's and 80's, like EST....bad psychology and bad medicine!

  • 09/17/2015 5:18 PM | Kirk Hunter

    Idaho Rules of Civil Procedure (IRCP) 16(j) and 16(k) have been relocated to the Idaho Rules of Family Law Procedure (IRFLP) Rule 602 and 603 respectively.  A few years go a group of Judges and Attorneys advocated for having dedicated family law rules as other states do.  The Idaho Rules of Family Law Procedures were developed with the Supreme Court approval, and then piloted in Ada County.  No changes to the text of 16(j) were made when it was transferred to IRFLP 602.  IRCP 16(k) was moved to IRFLP 603 with three changes: Time frame for selecting a mediator and commencing mediation; Attorneys excluded from mediation unless at the request of the mediator or ordered by the court; Details that must be included on lists/rosters distributed by the Supreme Court.  It might be worthwhile to familiarize yourself with these changes.



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