As part of our 40th-anniversary celebrations, we spoke to Thowheetha Shaah, one of NFM’s Mediators, who has worked in the sector for over 20 years. She is also one of our legal trainers on our Family Mediation Training programme. Read why Thowheetha decided to become a Family Mediator, what she enjoys most about the role and what it takes to be a good mediator.
What is your background and why did you decide to train as a Family Mediator?
I have been a Solicitor specialising in Family Law since 1994. I decided to train as a Family Mediator as I could see the benefits to separating families of the mediation process and how mediation could avoid the need for families to get caught up in the costly and laborious court system.
NFM is now in its 40th year – how has family mediation changed over that time and why do you think NFM has stood the test of time?
There is much more awareness of mediation now and NFM’s ethos and professionalism have allowed the organisation to stand the test of time.
What do you enjoy most about being a mediator and what qualities does a good Family Mediator need to have?
I enjoy the challenge and the idea that I can help bring about a positive change in a relatively short space of time to people who are suffering. In my opinion, a good family Mediator needs empathy, patience, the ability to listen actively and curiosity, as well as being able to guide the parties and be assertive when things get tough.
What do you think is unique about NFM’s approach to family mediation?
NFM’s professionalism and their real concern for separating families, especially the children.
What do you think the most common misconception is about family mediation?
That it is a form of marriage guidance and that mediation is compulsory.