Peter Cook has been approved by the Kansas Supreme Court as a court-approved parent/adolescent mediator and is now available to parents and adolescents who are experiencing problems and would like to have help.
“In my six years as a member of the Parsons community, and through my work as publisher and columnist for the Parsons Sun, I have realized there are many challenges facing both parents and adolescents in Southeast Kansas, and I would like to help parents and their kids resolve some of the issues they face,” said Cook.
Cook, who holds a bachelor’s in religion and philosophy and a master of business administration in marketing, retired from newspaper work in February this year, saying that instead of just observing community relationship challenges he would like to help resolve them wherever possible.
Cook completed his classroom work and practicums for parent/adolescent mediation at the end of 2016 and has now completed course work in domestic mediation. He is a member of Heartland Mediators Association.
According to Cook, mediation is not a substitute for legal advice or tax advice. It is an opportunity for two people involved in a dispute to sit down with a neutral party in an effort to resolve that dispute and potentially avoid expensive legal action.
He explains that a mediator does not represent either party in the dispute, and that the parties involved do not have to feel friendly toward one another, just willing to work toward a solution in their dispute.
The mediation conference is confidential and privileged, allowing participants to be candid and creative, which often increases chances of resolving differences in a satisfactory way. Confidential information presented to the mediator will not be disclosed to the other party without the consent of the party disclosing the information.
“I believe that mediation is possibly the best way to resolve disputes,” said Cook. “It doesn’t eliminate other options like arbitration or court if the mediation is not successful,” he said, “but honest communication between those in dispute often facilitates resolution. Sometimes it can at least create an atmosphere of peaceful co-existence as an alternative to an unresolved dispute.”
He explained that a mediator promotes communication and negotiation, but does not make any final decisions for the parties involved.
Cook says he charges for the service and has rates on a sliding scale, based on income. He will conduct mediation by appointment only and is flexible about the hours he will meet with clients. For information, or to schedule an appointment, call (620) 717-4191 and leave a name, a message and a phone number where you can be reached. He promises to return your call within 24 hours.