Trauma-informed Mediation
A Webinar for Cross-border Family Mediators
with Konstanze Welz

 Workshop Description

 As Cross Border Family Mediators, we are very likely to work with traumatized parties. Both the parents and the children have usually just experienced a very difficult separation situation in which everything familiar has broken away and instead uncertainty has come to dominate their lives. In modern trauma research, such an experience is described as “traumatic” because it “overwhelms the nervous system of an individual to cope with an experience” (Bessel van der Kolk, MD).

Neurobiological research over the last 30 years has shown that trauma changes the brain and thus the way a person perceives and reacts to their environment. A distinction is made between different reaction patterns. What all traumatized people have in common, however, is that the nervous system remains in a hypervigilant permanent state. If it is triggered, it reacts at lightning speed – not rationally, but emotionally! This can range from short-term emotional dysregulation to dissociation. The rational thinking part of the brain is “offline” in this state and it is often impossible to calm down the affected person with words. The trauma-informed mediator is prepared for this situation and knows how to deal with it.

Based on the latest neurobiological research, in the first part of this webinar we will look at the effects of trauma on people. We learn how adaptive responses that helped a person to survive at the time of trauma are often maladaptive later in life. We distinguish between adult traumatization and childhood trauma. As the latter often goes hand in hand with attachment trauma, we also look at the consequences of attachment disorders and attachment ruptures in childhood. We look at emotional dysregulation through a trauma-informed lens and understand the mechanisms behind this out-of-control reaction. As a trauma-informed mediator we can learn to develop a compassionate attitude towards trauma survivors and their ways to cope with their trauma.

In the second part of the webinar, we will develop tools with which the trauma-informed mediator can support their clients to feel safe during the mediation session and ensure that they will remain within their “window of tolerance”. But we also develop solutions for situations where a client “loses their cool” and dissociates.

To make thoughtful decisions, parties need to be in the best frame of mind possible. A trauma sensitive and trauma-informed mediator has the knowledge and tools to help his traumatized clients to make the best decisions for themselves.

This webinar is meant to be interactive and I invite all of you to bring in your experiences, both personal and professional.


This webinar requires no prior knowledge of neuro-psychology. All terminology will be explained.