To the left are links to several articles written by Barry Simon. Articles are an excellent means by which a mediator can express his or her philosophy and approach to the mediation process. It is also a way for potential clients to "feel out" the mediator.
While Mr. Simon has focused most of his articles on real mediations he has conducted in the gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgendered communities in the greater Los Angeles area, the issues he discusses can easily apply to any intimate relationship. Because same gender relationships are not currently recognized by the law, he feels that mediation serves two main purposes:
1) mediation provides a way for a same gender couple to build their relationship consciously by writing a Living Together Agreement, and;
2) mediation provides a framework by which the partners can dissolve their relationship.
Through his extensive community work, for which he has received awards from the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors and the California State Senate and Assembly, Mr. Simon has mediated many different kinds of conflicts, including neighbor/neighbor, landlord/tenant, consumer/merchant, contractual violations, business and organizational disputes. This experience has brought him to the belief that mediation can be a transformative process. While it is not meant to be therapy, the results can often be compared to therapy. This is because, along with resolving a conflict, mediation can be a healing process, too. In "A Hero/ine's Journey", Mr. Simon explores this transformational process.
How do you resolve a conflict? In truth there is no one correct way. But in mediation, the ground rules are set so that the disputants face each other on a level field. Since a conflict is a living thing, reflecting the needs and desires of the parties involved, the road to a resolution will have many twists and turns. But if you find yourself in a dispute and need some guidance, there are some general rules you can follow. Think of the "Ten Rules for Resolving Conflicts" as road signs that can help guide you towards a successful resolution.
The growth of same gender parents is a phenomenon no one could have predicted at the beginning of the modern gay and lesbian movement. Parenthood can be either a blessing or a curse depending on how prepared and informed the potential parents are. In "Baby Making", Mr. Simon urges prospective parents to make sure their own relationship is built on a solid foundation before embarking on parenthood. Otherwise, the child will pay the price.