As a mediator, it’s my goal to help people in conflict have the best conversation they can have. I do this by supporting each of you as you make your own choices in the conversation. This support can help you to clarify and express your own perspective, while also hearing the needs and concerns of the other.
Mediation can help with any kind of conflict (e.g., between divorcing spouses, separated co-parents, a parent and teenager, friends, partners, co-workers, and neighbors).
As a conflict coach, my goal is to empower you to handle conflicts in a way you can feel good about. In conflicts, we’re often pulled in two directions - we have our own individual needs, but we also want to preserve the relationship. At the very least, we want to treat the other person in a way that will make us feel proud, rather than in a way we’re likely to regret.
Through coaching, you will receive one-on-one support as you make choices that are right for you. You will also learn skills that can deepen and strengthen all of your relationships.
With a background in both law and psychology, I have a long-standing interest in helping people resolve conflicts and rise to challenges. I've come to believe that people, at their best, want to get along with each other. We want to take care of ourselves without victimizing others. In fact, we often want to help each other - even strangers. But when we're in conflict, it's difficult to be our best. We often find ourselves attacking the other person, or giving in simply to end the conflict. Neither response feels right to us, and both tend to make the conflict worse - if not in the short run, then in the long run.
As a mediator and conflict coach, my goal is to empower you to be your best, and to make choices that are right for you. If you're in mediation, the mediator's support might be all you need to have a constructive conversation. If mediation is not the right option for you, or if additional support is needed, conflict coaching can make all the difference. Through coaching, you will get clear on your own needs and priorities, and will learn the skills you need to handle any conflict effectively. Both mediation and coaching can help you make choices that honor yourself and the other person, serving you well in conflicts large and small.
Five (and a Half) Paths Through Conflict
If you’re confused by the conflict resolution process known as mediation, and all its many meanings, look no further. In The Mediator’s Approach: Five (and a Half) Paths Through Conflict, winner of the 2022 Dorothy Della Noce Writing Prize, you will learn the theory, goals, and practices of five (and a half) of the main approaches practiced by mediators today.
The Art and Science of Mirrors and Lights
In this groundbreaking resource, Dan Simon and Tara West illustrate how self-determination can mean much more than the absence of coercion—it can mean the opportunity for participants to increase their sense of agency as they gain clarity and confidence to make their own decisions, including those that express their highest values.
“Tara has a gift for helping others . . . She has a genuine concern for others and is willing to really get into the weeds like no one else I've met before. She has a great balance of logic and care. She's very supportive, but will also call you to task and challenge you. She will open your eyes and help you to find the answers and motivations you need to give you the clarity to move ahead. I am truly impressed."
"Tara worked with me over the course of several sessions with conflict resolution strategies. We began after I had recently had a difficult conflict with a family member, as I knew that learning new conflict resolution tools would be helpful to navigate challenges in my life. Tara is an excellent listener and teacher, and helped me to think about, and approach, the conflicts I was experiencing in a new way, with more beneficial outcomes for all parties."
"I recently had a session with Tara where she helped me navigate a conflict that was presenting in my life. Her approach was gentle and safe which I needed in order to explore the wisdom within me. I walked away with steps towards how to work through this conflict. Thank you Tara for your guidance!"
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When conflict is handled well, it can bring you closer to those you care about rather than further apart. Find out how you can transform your conflicts - and your relationships - with a free consultation.