EVENTS

Upcoming Events

Crystal Thorpe and Arline Kardasis will offer an Elder Decisions® online training in Elder / Adult Family Mediation in July and October, 2021.  Visit Elder Decisions® for more information and registration.

Event Archive

2020

Crystal Thorpe and Arline Kardasis provided online trainings in Elder / Adult Family Mediation in December 2020, and July 2020, bringing online the Elder Decisions® flagship program that has been delivered in-person for over a decade.

Crystal Thorpe participated on a panel with Michael Lang and colleagues for the pre-conference workshop “Excellence in Mediation is not an Accident: It Takes Practice” on October 15, 2020 prior to the 2020 Annual Conference of the Academy of Professional Family Mediators: “Family Mediation in a New Online World.”

Crystal Thorpe participated on a panel on “What Have We Achieved? How Did We Get Where We Are?” at Mediation 20/20: Navigating Mediation’s Best Future, an online conference celebrating Mediate.com’s 25th Anniversary, which was held September 30 to October 2, 2020. 

2019

Crystal Thorpe presented the keynote presentationAn Introduction to Elder Mediation: Challenges and Opportunities at the fall conference of the Maine Association of Mediators on November 14, 2019, in Augusta, ME.

Halee Burg, Crystal Thorpe and colleagues participated in a five-person panel on “Experts and Mediation: How to Bring Them in Without Popping the Safe Space Bubble at the Annual Conference of the Association of Professional Family Mediators on November 9, 2019, in Boston, MA.  The conference was titled:  Next Generation of Innovation: Divorce Professionals Partnering for Excellence.

Crystal Thorpe presented a workshop “Innovating from Elder Mediation’s Hybrid Approach,” and participated on a panel discussing “How to Earn a Living as a Family Mediator” at the Annual Conference of the Association of Professional Family Mediators on November 8, 2019, in Boston, MA.

Halee Burg presented “Making Hard Conversations Easier: Mediation – What It Is and Why It Worksat the National Association of Divorce Professionals Westborough chapter meeting on April 12, 2019, in Westborough, MA, and at the Metrowest Business Partners meeting on August 21, 2019.

Crystal Thorpe provided an “Introduction to Mediation” as a guest speaker for a course on Alternative Dispute Resolution at Curry College on March 21, 2019.

Halee Burg taught the Adult Education course, Navigating Divorce: Process and Financial Considerations at Keefe Technical High School in Framingham, MA, and at Tri-County Vocational High School in Franklin, MA, regularly between 2017-2019. 

2018

Crystal Thorpe led a workshop, “Navigating Family Conflict Around Aging Parents,” on December 13, 2018, at Temple Emanuel in Newton, MA.  The workshop was part of a series co-sponsored by Hebrew SeniorLifethe Newton Senior Center and the Temple Emanuel Senior Fund.

Crystal Thorpe led a workshop, “Heads Up for the Holidays:  Communicating Through the Family Dynamics of Elder Care, at Artis Senior Living of Reading on November 14, 2018.

Halee Burg and Crystal Thorpe joined a panel of colleagues to present the workshop:  Family Mediation: It’s Not Just For Divorce Anymore at the 2018 Annual Conference of the Academy of Professional Family Mediators in San Diego, CA, on October 18, 2018.

Halee Burg, Crystal Thorpe, and colleagues presented the workshop:  Family Mediation: It’s Not Just For Divorce Anymore for the Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation on April 11, 2018, in Wellesley, MA.

2017

Halee Burg taught the Adult Education course, Navigating Divorce: Process and Financial Considerations at Keefe Technical High School in Framingham, MA, and at Tri-County Vocational High School in Franklin, MA, regularly between 2017-2019. 

Crystal Thorpe participated in the panel presentation “Beyond the Courthouse: Dispute Resolution Options for Families In Transition” on October 18, 2017, in Marshfield, MA, as part of the Mass Bar Association‘s “Dispute Resolution Week.”

Crystal Thorpe presented “Elder / Adult Family Mediation – Challenges and Opportunities” at the 2017 Annual Conference of the Association for Conflict Resolution on October 12, 2017, in Dallas, TX.  She also participated on a panel on “Building an Elder Mediation Practice” at the Elder Mediation Workshop Day, October 11, 2017, prior to the conference.

Crystal Thorpe presented the workshop “Mediating Complex Family Disputes with Elder Mediation” at the NEACR Biennial Regional Conference on September 8, 2017 in Waltham, MA.

Crystal Thorpe presented a workshop “Bridging the Divide Among Adult Families with Elder Mediation” at the 2017 Annual Conference of the Academy of Professional Family Mediators, in Memphis, TN, on March 31, 2017.

2016

Crystal Thorpe spoke on “Bridging the Divide Among Adult Families with Elder Mediation” at the ACR-GNY Annual Conference on June 16, 2016 in New York, NY.

Crystal Thorpe presented the workshop “Elder & Adult Family Mediation: Opportunities and Challenges in this Growing Field” at the 18th Annual Spring Conference of the American Bar Association (ABA) Section of Dispute Resolution on April 8, 2016, in New York, NY.

Crystal Thorpe and Halee Burg presented a workshop, Effective Communication for Families at the Follen Community Church in Lexington, Massachusetts, on March 21, 2016.  

Halee Burg presented, Adult Family and Elder Mediation: Helping Families Untangle Conflict and Build Bridges to Resolution for Your Elder Experts on February 2, 2016 at Jewish Family and Children’s Services in Waltham, Massachusetts.

2015

Halee Burg and Crystal Thorpe led a pre-conference workshop “Meet the Morales Family: A Role Play Demonstration of Elder (Adult Family) Mediation” on October 22, 2015; and Crystal Thorpe presented the workshop “Expanding Your Practice to Include Elder & Adult Family Mediation: Challenges and Opportunities” on October 24, 2015; both held in Reston, VA, at the 2015 Annual Conference of the Academy of Professional Family Mediators, titled “Selling Peace in an Adversarial World.” 

Crystal Thorpe presented the workshop “Elder / Adult Family Mediation: Opportunities and Challenges in this Growing Field” at the 2015 ADFP Catalyst Conference on October 2, 2015, in New York, NY.

Arline Kardasis moderated a panel discussion titled “A Focus on Elder & Adult Family ADR” featuring several panelists including Crystal Thorpe at MCLE’s 7th Annual New England ADR & the Law Conference on September 25, 2015.

2014

Crystal Thorpe led two workshops on October 9, 2014, at the ACR 2014 Annual Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio, entitled “Elder / Adult Family Mediation – Challenges and Opportunities and Elder Mediation Story Swap.”  She also participated in a panel discussion on Ethical Considerations for the Work We Do,” held October 11th at the Elder Decision-Making & Advanced Practitioner Family Mediators’ Retreat, following the conference.

Arline Kardasis was the featured presenter at the 5th Annual Vermont Elder Law Summit of the Vermont Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys – held on October 10, 2014 at Vermont Law School in South Royalton, VT.

Crystal Thorpe presented the workshop “How to Hold a Family Meeting” at the HESSCO Caregiver Day of Resources and Relaxation on September 23, 2014, in Wrentham, MA.

Arline Kardasis was featured in the webinar “Preparing Families for Productive Family Mediations: An Interactive Conversation with Arline Kardasis” on May 14, 2014, for the ACR Elder Decision Making and Conflict Resolution Section.

Crystal Thorpe presented a workshop titled Using Mediation to Resolve Elder/ Adult Family Disputes at the NASW Massachusetts Chapter Symposium 2014 on April 4, 2014 in Framingham, MA.

Thank you to all who joined us in celebrating our 10th anniversary with a free screening of SPLIT:  Divorce Through Kids’ Eyes” – A film about divorce for kids (and their parents) followed by a conversation with Director Ellen Bruno.  February 14, 2014, 9:30 AM, at the Wellesley Free Library.  (Details and registration information are archived here.)

2013

Crystal Thorpe presented on Resolving Family Disputes” at Foxmoor Continuing Education’s Mass Health Update 2013, featuring Harry Margolis and William Brisk, held on October 25, 2013 in Waltham, MA.

Arline Kardasis presented a workshop titled Elder/Adult Family Mediation – Setting the Table for Success at the Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR) 2013 Annual Conference, held October 9-11, 2013 in Minneapolis, MN.

Arline Kardasis and Crystal Thorpe presented a workshop titled An Adult Family Case Study: An Insider’s View at the Second Annual Conference of the Academy of Professional Family Mediators – “Mediating in the Landscape of the Changing Family” – held October 3-6, 2013 in Denver, CO.

Arline Kardasis was a guest on The Texas Conflict Coach® Blog Talk Radio program on September 17, 2013 with guest host Zena Zumeta in the program:  Got Conflict around Eldercare and Estate Issues? Here’s a Guide for Resolution!

Crystal Thorpe presented Communication when Connection is Lacking: Bringing Adult Family Members to the Table in the Growing Field of Elder Mediation at the Regional Conference of the New England Chapter of the Association for Conflict Resolution – “Conflict, Communication and Connectivity:  Navigating New Terrain in the Digital Age” – held June 14, 2013 in Sturbridge, MA.

2012

Crystal Thorpe co-presented with Jeffrey Bloom, Esq. of Margolis & Bloom, LLP, on “Sharing the Pie: Estate Planning Conflicts and Recipes for Resolution” for the Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation on December 12, 2012, in Wellesley, MA.

Crystal Thorpe presented a workshop on Managing Family Conflict So It Doesn’t Derail Caregiving Decisions at the 2012 Conference of the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers – New England Chapter, held on November 5, 2012, in Marlborough, MA.

Arline Kardasis and Crystal Thorpe presented a workshop on Elder & Adult Family Mediation – Completing the Circle of Family Mediation Practice at the Founding Conference of the Academy of Professional Family Mediators on September 28, 2012, on Cape Cod, MA.

Arline Kardasis presented An Introduction to Elder & Adult Family Mediation at the April 18, 2012 meeting of the Rhode Island Mediators Association, held at Roger Williams University. She described the landscape of Elder and Adult Family Mediation and how it differs from other types of mediation, and shared her insights on why families come to mediation, who should be at the table, and the model her firm employs to serve clients. Click for details.

Crystal Thorpe participated in a panel on Financial and Estate Planning as part of the “Aging in Weston” Symposium at the Weston Council on Aging on April 10, 2012.  She discussed how to use the mediation process as a tool for productive family meetings.

Arline Kardasis presented a webinar for the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers on March 7, 2012, titled “Using Mediation with High Conflict Families.”  She shared her experiences as an Elder Mediator who has helped adult family members reach consensus on some of the most difficult decisions they have ever faced together.  She discussed the types of disputes that GCMs have referred to her firm and explained why families get “stuck ” in a conflict.  The program provided insights and techniques for GCMs to help them “think like a mediator” in order to uncover the interests that are at the heart of every dispute.  She also discussed how to: convene a productive family meeting, determine who should be at the table, and craft an agenda that can create a roadmap to resolution.  View details.

2011

Crystal Thorpe shared her experiences as a mediator working with families in conflict, and offered some tips about what people can do in their own families to bring about more collaborative decision-making, in the program “Mom Always Liked You Best:  Getting ‘Unstuck’ When Facing Difficult Family Decisions” on November 17, 2011, at the Auburn Public Library in Auburn, ME. 

Arline Kardasis shared strategies for resolving adult family conflict from the book at NewBridge on the Charles Assisted Living on November 15, 2011.  Her talk – “Using Family Mediation to Resolve Family Feuds, Inheritance Battles & Eldercare Crises” – was part of the three-part series “Aging: Talking About the Tough Stuff.”  This event was sponsored by HouseWorks,Jewish Family and Children’s Services, and NewBridge on the Charles.

Blair Trippe spoke on “Managing Family Transitions and Conflict” at the Kellogg Speaker Series on November 15, 2011, at the Elephant & Castle in Boston.

Arline Kardasis participated in a panel discussion presented by Bayada Healthcare at the JCC Newton on November 3, 2011.

Crystal Thorpe presented a workshop for residents and family members titled “Mom Always Liked You Best:  Move Beyond Rivalries to Collaborate with Adult Siblings on Family Decisions” at Fuller Village in Milton on November 2, 2011.  The program was co-sponsored by Partners HealthCare at Home.

Arline Kardasis and Rikk Larsen discussed the book Mom Always Liked You Best” at the Boomers and Beyond Special Interest Group teleseminar for healthcare professionals and caregivers on November 1, 2011.  

Blair Trippe discussed methods participants could use to help family members and/or clients resolve adult family conflicts at a program held the law offices of Margolis & Bloom, LLP in Boston on October 3, 2011.

Rikk Larsen and Blair Trippe were featured guests on the nationally syndicated CBS radio show NightSide with Dan Rea on September 30, 2011 from 10:00-11:00 PM.  The show is broadcast live in 38 states and several Canadian provinces.

Crystal Thorpe and Blair Trippe led a Roundtable Discussion of the book Mom Always Liked You Best at Mediation Works Incorporated in Boston on September 21, 2011.  Crystal and Blair addressed the types of issues adult siblings grapple with as their parents age, the reasons families get stuck, and how they can move forward.  They discussed the landscape of  elder and adult family conflict, why it is so challenging, and some tools mediators can use to help family members make decisions and overcome impasse.

Crystal Thorpe was the Keynote Speaker at the HESSCO Caregiver Day of Resources and Relaxation held on September 20, 2011 at Four Points by Sheraton in Norwood.  Her presentation was entitled Getting to the Heart of the Matter: Managing Difficult Decisions.”

Blair Trippe and Rikk Larsen were interviewed about the book Mom Always Liked You Best on the WGBH television show, Greater Boston with Emily Rooney.  The program aired on August 1, 2011.  You may view the interview at WGBH.org.

Arline Kardasis presented at the Association for Conflict Resolution’s Family Section 2011 Conference“A Family Odyssey”- in Minneapolis, MN.  Her workshop, held on July 30, 2011, was titled “Elder Mediation: Not your Grandmother’s ADR Process.”

On June 17, 2011, Arline Kardasis and Crystal Thorpe presented a workshop titled Elder/Adult Family Mediation: Not Your Grandfather’s Mediation at the Regional Conference of the New England Chapter of the Association for Conflict Resolution (NE-ACR).  They discussed how to “Let the Forum Fit the Fuss” in this interactive workshop on the Hybrid Model of Elder Mediation, noting that to match problems to processes, effective practitioners in this burgeoning field will want to rethink their classic methodologies and consider a broad array of process models, interventions, styles, skills, and tools.

2010

Blair Trippe participated in a LiBrA (Lives of Brearley Alumnae) panel entitled “Informing Our Golden Years: Navigating the Complex Dimensions of Aging on November 8, 2010 at Brearley in NYC.  The Golden Years provide opportunities, challenges and an ever-changing landscape filled with decisions on a host of issues. From medical and insurance questions, to estate planning, to the practical issue of dealing with accumulated belongings, to managing family relationships as well as those with a range of professionals, the panel explored the complexities of living the best life while keeping families whole.

Elder Decisions’ mediators Arline Kardasis and Blair Trippe joined Attorneys Lynda Robbins and Doug Reynolds to discuss how mediation and collaborative law can be used effectively to resolve elder law and probate disputes, in a program entitled:  Solutions That Maintain Relationships for all Parties and Interests in Elder Law and Probate Disputes through Collaborative Practice and Mediation,” at a meeting of MassNAELA on October 25, 2010.  The program was moderated by Attorney Emily Starr.

Arline Kardasis presented a talk at the third World Summit on Elder Mediation on May 10, 2010 in Chicago, IL.  Her presentation, to an international audience of Eder Mediators, described the “Hybrid Model of Dispute Resolution developed by Elder Decisions for complex elder mediation cases.  These cases are often multi-party and multi-issue with geographically dispersed stakeholders who have long-standing and entrenched relationships.  Arline Kardasis, a founding partner at the firm, discussed this model which draws from a variety of dispute resolution processes, including:  mediation, consensus building, facilitation, dispute systems design and coaching – all in the service of “interest based” negotiations. 

Arline Kardasis presented on “Elder/Adult Family Mediation: A Hybrid of Dispute Resolution Processes?” for the inaugural teleseminar of the Elder Decision Making and Conflict Resolution Section of the Association for Conflict Resolution on April 6, 2010.

2009

Crystal Thorpe co-presented at a workshop of The Eldercare Alliance of the Neponset Valley Chamber of Commerce titled “Conversations Before the Crisis” at the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, MA, on November 12, 2009.

Arline Kardasis and Blair Trippe presented at the American Bar Association Midyear Meeting on February 13, 2009 in a program co-sponsored by the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution, the ABA Commission on Law and Aging and the ABA Senior Lawyers Division.  Their session was entitled: “Elder Mediation: The Challenges and Rewards of this Evolving Practice Area.” The session highlighted the challenges of working with adult families in multi-party disputes around care giving, estate planning, inheritance matters, living arrangements and other issues brought on by aging.  Topics covered included:  presenting issues; characteristics of adult mediation; who should be included; when the elder does not/should not participate; obstacles to and strategies for bringing parties to mediation; ethical challenges; and defining success.  The program was held at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, MA, and simultaneously via teleconference.

Arline Kardasis and Blair Trippe presented a teleconference to the Family Section of the Association for Conflict Resolution on February 4, 2009 entitled “Elder Mediation: Reconsidering Principles and Practice to Accommodate Family Conflict Around Aging Issues.”  In the session, Arline and Blair discussed Elder Mediation, an evolving practice area for family decision-making around issues triggered by the aging process: care giving, housing changes, medical decisions, safety concerns, finances/estate planning, etc.  As elder mediators face logistical and ethical challenges that are specific to these adult family conversations, this program focused on: characteristics of elder mediation; who should be included; capacity of the elder to participate in mediation; obstacles to and strategies for bringing parties to mediation; and ethical challenges.

2008

Arline Kardasis participated in a panel presentation:  “Elder/Adult Family Mediation: A New and Evolving Field” at the 2008 ACR Annual Conference of the Association for Conflict Resolution in Austin, TX. 

The Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School (PON) featured the Elder Decisions team in a panel presentation on “Elder Mediation: An Evolving Practice Area for its April 16, 2008 Dispute Resolution Forum.  The panel described their work in this emerging field and shared some preliminary conclusions about well-considered and innovative dispute intervention processes appropriate for adult family conflicts.  Panelists included Arline Kardasis, Rikk Larsen, Crystal Thorpe, and Blair Trippe, all founding partners of Elder Decisions, along with the Honorable John R. Maher (ret.), who recently joined the Elder Decisions team.  The Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School (PON) is a world-renowned interdisciplinary center on negotiation and conflict resolution. 

2007

Crystal Thorpe presented the program “Taking the First Step: How to Start a Conversation With Your Loved Ones About Their Future” at the AstraZeneca Eldercare Employee Network Lunch & Learn on November 7, 2007.

Crystal Thorpe provided a presentation about Mediation and Conflict Resolution at a meeting of the Senior Service Network of Boston South on July 19, 2007.  

On April 13, 2007, Arline Kardasis and Blair Trippe presented a workshop entitled Elder Mediation:  A Valuable Resource for Resolving Disputes Involving Elders and Their Families at the 23rd annual conference of the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers, Inc.  For more information, please visit www.caremanager.org.

On March 20, 2007, Rikk Larsen spoke at the Massachusetts Bar Association Probate Litigation Section seminar for probate lawyers and elder law attorneys on elder law and probate mediation.

2006

Rikk Larsen was the featured speaker at the Margolis & Associates First-Thursday Breakfast Series on November 2, 2006, speaking on Mediating Family Conflicts Over Care Issues.”  He discussed a new field developing in the mediation world – Elder Mediation.  Elder mediation is proving to be an effective way for families, dealing with complex emotional decision processes, to efficiently and safely make tough choices. This is especially true at the beginning of the decision process – when families are fact finding, struggling with options and discovering feelings about their parents or adult children that well up and make clear thinking difficult.

Crystal Thorpe and Arline Kardasis presented a workshop entitled  “Working it Out: Using Conflict Resolution Skills to Enhance Employee Satisfaction and Improve Workplace Relationships” at the 2006 New England Human Resources Association (NEHRA) annual conference on November 2-4, 2006 in Providence, Rhode Island.  This workshop helped participants to understand and embrace conflict and to see it as an opportunity for learning and for improving the work environment.  Participants left the workshop with tools and skills to use when conflict arises at work, at home and in the community.  For more information:  www.nehra.com/convention

Arline Kardasis and Rikk Larsen presented a workshop at the Association for Conflict Resolution (International) Family Section Mid-Year Conference on July 13 – 16, 2006. The workshop was entitled “The Emerging Field of Elder Mediation: Its Unique Challenges and Remarkable Rewards.”  Topics included: mediator advocacy for the welfare of the senior; when and how to include elders in the mediation sessions; working with large and widely dispersed family groups; barriers to participation; new strategies for intake; who pays for mediation; and when to offer conflict coaching to family members. Please visit: http://www.acrnet.org/

Blair Trippe was the featured speaker at a recent meeting of the local chapter of More Than Money. Her presentation, “Elder Mediation: Facilitating Difficult Family Decisions,” described how this dispute resolution process helps families cope with the complex and emotional issues surrounding major life changes. She discussed difficulties families face in dealing with issues related to aging family members (e.g., health care, giving, conversations about money, potential loss of financial control and changes in living situations). Blair also discussed the mediation process. The More Than Money Institute is a national nonprofit organization committed to creating a better, more caring society by supporting people as they explore the impact of money in their lives and act on their highest values. Please visit http://www.morethanmoney.org/

Blair Trippe presented a workshop with Oran E. Kaufman, J.D., at the Alzheimer’s Association of Massachusetts – Map Through the Maze Conference on May 3, 2006 in Marlborough, MA. Their workshop, entitled “When Disputes Arise“, addressed the significant stress that can develop between family members when confronted with Alzheimer’s disease.  When disagreements occur about care or over finances, mediation and facilitated family meetings can prevent or reduce family conflict.  This interactive session introduced the basics of mediation and facilitation principles and techniques. See: http://www.bu.edu/alzresearch/documents/brochure-completepdf.pdf 

2005

On October 17, 2005, Arline Kardasis and Rikk Larsen were interviewed on Lawline, a Newton, Massachusetts Cable TV program. The host, attorney B.J. Krintzman, led a rich discussion about the role of mediation in resolving family conflicts concerning eldercare and estate issues, and the importance of elder mediation for the growing population of baby boomers and their aging parents. The program was aired more than 20 times over several weeks during the Fall of 2005.

At the 2005 Dartmouth Alzheimer’s Conference, at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, NH, on October 29, Blair Trippe and Rikk Larsen presented a workshop entitled When Families Struggle with Dementia: Facilitating Solutions through Mediation.” Participants included primary care physicians, psychiatrists, neurologists, geriatricians, registered nurses, social workers and nursing home administrators.

On November 7, 2005, John Dugan and Arline Kardasis presented a program entitled When Aging Issues Lead to Family Conflict: Resolving Conflicts through Mediation at the University of Massachusetts Boston. The program was sponsored by the Graduate Programs in Dispute Resolution at the College of Public and Community Service along with the Gerontology Institute and Department at the McCormack Graduate School of Policy Studies. 

Blair Trippe and Rikk Larsen of Elder Decisions presented a Pre-Dinner Program entitled Using Mediation in Elder Law at the April 26 Meeting of the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (www.manaela.org). The program was held at the Boston Marriott Newton Hotel, 2345 Commonwealth Avenue, Newton, MA.

John Dugan and Arline Kardasis of Elder Decisions presented a workshop entitled Mediating Family Disputes Involving Elders at the Spring 2005 Conference of The New England Chapter of the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers. The conference was held on April 4 at the Radisson Hotel in Marlborough, Massachusetts, and was entitled “Geriatric Care Management: The Complexities of Caring.” Details are available at www.gcmnewengland.org

2004

Blair Trippe and Rikk Larsen of Elder Decisions presented a program on “Elder Mediation” at the December Members Meeting of the Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation, on December 15, 2014, at the Concord Courthouse in Concord, MA.