ACR Approved Trainers - Family Section

The goal of accrediting continuing education trainers is to make it easy for practitioners to select high quality training opportunities and for trainers to promote their work with a seal of approval from their peers.  All applicants must be current Advanced Practitioner member of ACR's Family Section and must have previous experience as a presenter in relevant workshops, seminars, and courses. To ensure currency and relevance of experience, applicants must have mediated no fewer than 20 family cases within the past two years. Active involvement and currency in the field (e.g., service on local councils, participation in continuing education opportunities, etc.) is desirable but not required.

Listed below is a listing of ACR Approved Trainers.

Interested in becoming an ACR Approved Trainer?
The ACR Family Section approves 30 hour family and 40 hour divorce mediation trainings. 
Click on the links below for more information.
(Adobe PDF File)
(Adobe PDF File)
Find Approved Trainers Below
This area is being updated and will back soon. 

Robert Berlin

The New Decision Management Associates, Inc. Decision Management Associates, Inc.

Macon GA


Sue Bronson

1219 N Cass St

Milwaukee WI. 53202

414 - 841-6689


Rated by students as “excellent.” “Great program. I have already recommended it to many people. Enjoyed everything!"

Christine L. Crilley

Crilley Law Offices PLLC & Crilley Mediation Services
320 Miller Road
Hiawatha, Iowa 52233



40 Hour Basic Comprehensive Divorce Mediation Training

The purpose of this 40-hour program is to train Mediators in compliance with Iowa law so as a Mediator you can Mediate family law disputes in the state of Iowa.  You will be given a basic training that will form a foundation for your Mediation.  Although this training is not intended to be advanced skill training, some advanced skill development may be introduced.  Training will provide a comprehensive background in dispute resolution enabling you to develop your own style and area of Mediation.


The training will help you to develop a basic plan to set up a practice/business in Mediation or to use the knowledge gained to become more effective with other people that you encounter. The training will be a seminar style of learning with active participation by each participant. And, yes, we do a lot of role playing so you get a chance to practice mediating. Please feel free to ask questions as we proceed through the training. This is a 40 hour course and to complete your certificate, you must attend all 40 hours. I will incorporate breaks within the training and we will break for lunch daily.

Cheryl Cutrona, Esq.

Executive Director

Good Shepherd Mediation Program

2000 Hamilton Street, Suite 301 Rodin Place

Philadelphia, PA 19130

215-843-5413 (office)


This workshop is a combination of lecture; discussion; large, small and individual reflection exercises; video-taped simulations; and role-playing. This five-day workshop walks participants through the mediation process from convening to drafting the Memorandum of Understanding. Training topics include: Conflict Theory 101, Conflict Management Styles,  Basic Mediation information & process, Mediator skills and techniques, Convening the parties, Screening for Domestic Violence, Parenting Arrangements, Property Division, Support issues, The Impact of Divorce on Children, Working with attorneys in the process, Professional Standards of Conduct, Ethical and legal considerations. 


This training has been approved by the Association for Conflict Resolution Family Section and meets the mediator training requirements in Pa. R.C.P. 1940.4. You must attend all 40 hours to receive a certificate of completion.  Limited seating is available.


About your Trainer - Cheryl Cutrona served Good Shepherd Mediation Program (GSMP) as a volunteer and Board member from 1986-1990. She has been the Executive Director of GSMP since 1991. She is a mediator, facilitator, conflict coach, trainer, arbitrator, editor, attorney and adjunct faculty at Temple University Beasley School of Law. She mediates for the PA Department of Education Office of Dispute Resolution, the Philadelphia Bar Association Lawyer Fee Disputes panel, the Philadelphia Landlord-Tenant Appeals Mediation Program, the EEOC Philadelphia Region EASE program, and the United States Postal Service REDRESS. She arbitrates for the Better Business Bureau, DeMars Associates, and the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Arbitration Center. Cutrona sits on the SR 160 PA Task Force on Alternative Dispute Resolution Advisory Committee, the Philadelphia Bar Association Lawyer Fee Disputes Committee, the Pennsylvania Bar Association ADR Committee (currently Vice Chair), the Philadelphia Bar Association Family Law Section ADR Subcommittee (currently co-chair), and the Editorial Board of Conflict Resolution Quarterly. She served on the Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Council of Mediators for more than 20 years between 1991 and 2014. She is the 2008 recipient of the Pennsylvania Bar Association Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee “Sir Francis Bacon Dispute Resolution Award” and was named “Most Valuable Peacemaker” by the Pennsylvania Council of Mediators in 2010. Cutrona holds a BA from Michigan State University, a Masters in Library Science from Wayne State University, Detroit Michigan, and her J.D. from Temple University Beasley School of Law.

Gregory Firestone, Ph.D.

My Florida Mediator

Tampa, Florida

Telephone: 941-202-3002




This forty-hour Family Mediation Certification Training is approved by the Association for Conflict Resolution and by the Florida Supreme Court.  The course is comprehensive and covers a wide range of topics including mediation theory, process and practice; mediation ethics; family law; psychology of divorce; effects of divorce on children; financial aspects of divorce; court process; etc. and trains mediators to mediate both parenting and financial issues in divorce.  The target audience includes attorneys, mental health professions, accountants, physicians, and other individuals who possess a master’s or doctorate (such as a Ph.D., J.D., M.D., Ed.D., LLM) and the course provides continuing education credits for attorneys (CLEs), mental health professionals (CEUs), certified public accountants (CPE) and physicians (CME). Others may enroll with permission of the instructor. A complete list of all courses offered by My Florida Mediator and other requirements for mediator certification by the Florida Supreme Court can be found at


The Honorable Nancy Flatters, B.A., LL.B., LL.M

 (Spec. Alternative Dispute Resolution) Retired Judge, ADR and Judicial Trainer/Practitioner, ACR Advanced Family Practitioner.


Larry Fong

Fong& AssociatesLtd

Dr. Larry S. Fong& Associates Ltd.

115-1st St. SW; Calgary, AB; CAN T2P0B3

One of Canada's longest running interest based training programs, the techniques of the program has been used in training mediators worldwide in at least 25 different countries. His training DVD's in mediation are used worldwide and he is the book 'Mediation' is available in all bookstores. Dr. Fong is the recipient of the John Haynes Distinguished Mediator Award (2001) and served as a Past President of ACR, AFM, FMC, and as well the two regulatory boards of psychology in Alberta. He is a Past Board member of AFCC.

Lynn A. Gaffigan, JD

Gaffigan Mediation
736 N. Western Avenue, St 122
Lake Forest, Illinois 60045
(847) 615-7220 office/fax

40-hr Family and Divorce Mediation Certificate In this highly interactive, multidisciplinary program, you will explore a variety of approaches to mediation and conflict resolution, then put theory into practice through coached role-plays, skills exercises, hypotheticals and more. This class focuses, in particular, on mediating parental responsibility and financial aspects of divorce and other family conflicts. Classes emphasize the interdisciplinary nature of mediation skill sets and incorporate nationally recognized professional standards of practice and required screening for domestic abuse and impediments.  The course follows the model standards set by the Association for Conflict Resolution and American Bar Association Family Sections and the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts.

Lynn A. Gaffigan, JD, is lead instructor, along with a team of highly experienced mediators from a variety of professional backgrounds.  A mediator for more than 20 years, Lynn taught the Family and Divorce Mediation Certificate Program through DePaul University Continuing Professional Education for more than 12 years. She is an Advanced Practitioner member of the Association For Conflict Resolution, and was appointed to the Mediator Screening Committee for the Circuit Court of Cook County Domestic Relations Division. She was nominated by her peers as a Leading Lawyer in Illinois in the area of Family as well as Employment Alternative Dispute Resolution, and authored the chapter on Child Custody Mediation for the Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education (IICLE). She is a graduate of Emory University School of Law, and has a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Colorado. Her prior experience includes professional skills training as a management consultant. 

Ericka B. Gray

DisputEd, | Arlington, MA




Program Description: This intensive five-day course provides students with the opportunity to acquire the skills and knowledge needed to assist couples who are separating, divorcing, or addressing issues following divorce. Participants will learn how to assist couples in reaching agreements on issues such as parenting roles and responsibilities post separation/divorce, including parenting schedules, child support, property distribution, spousal maintenance and many other topics that couples must address. Divorce mediation training prepares students to fulfill an important role in family law under the tutelage of experts in the field. Guest lecturer may include a Domestic Relations judge, a divorce Financial Planner, and other Family and Mediation specialists. This program has been approved by the Association for Conflict Resolution - Family Section and is widely accepted by courts and mediation rosters to fulfill the minimum training requirements. Course Dates: This course is offered 4 times a year. Please see our website for dates. Program Link:

Nicole Hull, Esq.

3720 Atlanta Highway, Suite 3

Athens, Georgia 30606

(706) 395-5303 Office

(706) 534-5413 Fax

Domestic Mediation Training: This Domestic Mediation Training focuses on teaching individuals to become effective domestic/family law mediators using the most pertinent research and information, active demonstrations, and participating in real life role play scenarios with on the spot feedback and coaching to enhance their mediation skills. 


Bio: Nicole graduated cum laude from Mercer University with a dual degree in Sociology and Criminal Justice and also the Walter F. George School of Law. Nicole currently practices law and mediates in the areas of Domestic/Family Law, Juvenile Law, and Education and Special Education Law.  Before going into private practice, her professional experience included two judicial clerkships with Judge John Beam, Jr. (Chatham County) and Judge Robin Shearer (Athens-Clarke County); clerking for the Carl Vinson Institute of Government’s Children and Family Policy Division; working with the Emory University School of Law Summer Child Advocacy Program; and working for the Ninth Judicial Administrative District Office of Dispute Resolution as the Director of Operations.  Nicole is also an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) Meeting Facilitator through the Georgia Department of Education.  Additionally, Nicole has served as the Vice President for the Board of Directors for the Georgia Conflict Center, currently serves on the Juvenile Mediation Sub Committee for the Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution, and is as an Adjunct Professor for Brenau University's Conflict Resolution & Legal Studies Program.



Melissa Heard

Divorce (Domestic) Mediation Training for Professionals – 5 days, 42 hours. Prerequisite: in Georgia, complete an approved 28-hour basic mediation course and practicum or five observations.

There are situations that arise in all marital and family arrangements in which mediation is sought instead of or in addition to the court-based litigation process. This course has been designed in an effort to ensure that individuals, attorneys, courts, therapists, and others have access to approved, professionally trained neutral third parties to assist couples to identify, negotiate, and resolve the issues arising from those situations.  An intense course, it covers all aspects of the domestic process and provides training and role-play opportunities regarding child support, parenting time (visitation), assets, liabilities, hooks, anchors, domestic violence, taxes, and a wealth of other information.  This course and an approved domestic practicum meet the training requirements for registration as a domestic mediator in the State of Georgia.

The cost is $1390.  To register:


The course is typically scheduled five (5) consecutive days, from 8:30 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. The course content includes, but is not limited to: The process of mediation, Conflict resolution, problem solving, Emotional "hooks" affecting mediator neutrality, All issues dealing with separation/divorce, Standards and ethics, Starting your own mediation practice Domestic Violence, Coaching feedback from experienced mediators, One hour for lunch (provided), two 15-minute breaks


Melissa C. Heard, MSSW: MS in Social Work Treatment 1994. Background in providing services of conflict resolution training, mediation, facilitation, program development, grant writing and small business formulation and planning assistance; training and consultation in social services, for law enforcement and for professionals working with severely behaviorally and emotionally disturbed (SEBD) populations. Approved by several states as a training provider and by the Association for Conflict Resolution.  Has conducted numerous mediation trainings with JCA since 2009. Trained as a Mediator and registered mediator in Georgia since 2001. Has mediated a wide range of cases and many domestic cases since 2001.

Lynn MacBeth, J.D.

Attorney at Law


Suite 301 Law & Finance Building, 429 Fourth Avenue

Pittsburgh PA  15219

Phone:  412-303-2505

Basic Mediation Training in Family & Civil Conflicts

Lynn MacBeth has provided 40-hour basic mediation training approved by the Association for Conflict Resolution’s Academy of Family Mediators since 2004.  The course is held several times per year, in Pittsburgh and throughout Pennsylvania.  It meets the training requirements for custody mediators set forth in Pa. R.C.P. 1940.4 and has been approved for 36 hours Pa CLE credit, including 2 ethics hours.


Lynn MacBeth’s mediation training provides a foundation in theory and practice of civil and family mediation.  It begins with history of mediation in America followed by a study of mediation styles and their applications.  Family systems and communication theory are examined and applied to conflict scenarios.  Mediation techniques for responding to and managing conflict and high emotion are offered as well as more than two dozen advanced techniques.  The course includes 2 hours of ethics, 2 hours of domestic violence training, and 16 hours of mediation simulation practice, as required in many programs.  Students will view a live mediation demonstration and several video demonstrations, in addition to participating in numerous mediation role-play scenarios.  The training provides a foundation for all types of mediation.  Everyone enrolled receives a copy of Lynn MacBeth’s 2014 book The Art of Family Mediation: Theory and Practice (2nd Ed.).  For more information, 12-303-2505.


Lynn MacBeth is a child custody mediator in the Generations program for the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas, the U.S. Postal Service, and the U.S. District Court of Western Pa. and has also served as a mediator for the U.S. EEOC and U.S. Bankruptcy Court.  In addition to her private mediation practice, she is an Adjunct Faculty member of Duquesne University School of Law where she teaches The Art of Mediation, as well as an adjunct faculty member of Capella University and Strayer University.

Katherine Nevins PhD

Bethel University

Mediation Center

Mitchell Hamline School of Law

875 Summit Avenue

Saint Paul, MN  55105




Training: 40 Hour Family Mediation Training

Family mediation gives people a creative alternative to the family courts for making decisions about parenting, separation or divorce, and other family concerns.  Many professionals who work with families benefit from learning the mediation process and practicing the skills of a mediator.  This training covers the structure of a family mediation, and emphasizes mediator tools and strategies. It includes conflict management and problem solving theory and skills that are broadly applicable, with a focus on learning through practice. The class includes media presentations, demonstrations of family mediation sessions, skills practice, hands-on exercises, role-plays and real life examples. Experienced mediators will give guidance and feedback to mediation participants during and after role-play mediation sessions. MN Supreme Court has certified this training to qualify participants for the family facilitative neutral roster under the MN General Rules of Practice for the District Courts Rule 114.  


Susan Raines

Kennesaw State University

3778 Hardee Drive NW, Kennesaw GA 30152


42-Hour Domestic Relations Mediation Training

This training meets the requirements for registration as a domestic relations mediator in the State of Georgia. Taught by Professor and mediator, Susan Raines, this course pays particular attention to the types of divorce, custody, and property issues commonly encountered in the court- connected setting, including issues of domestic violence and recent changes to the child support guidelines. For more information call:1- 770-423- 6081



Carl D. Schneider, Ph.D

Mediation Matters 
3920 Washington St.
Kensington, MD. 20895 


40-hour Divorce Mediation Training:

    “Exceeded my expectations; the best money I’ve ever spent on an educational program. I wish I’d taken (it) earlier in my career…Trainers care about your development…Highly recommended!”    Aaron Fray, attorney, Newark, Delaware


This workshop is designed to provide both hands-on training and a clear framework to help you work with divorcing families. Past participants tell us that this is some of the best professional training they have   ever received.  Our workshop uses an interactive format with role play, videotapes of mediations, demonstrations, lectures, discussions, simulations, and even music and poetry.  Our 400-page manual covers all the basic  content areas of divorce mediation, including property division, support and parenting arrangements. A distinctive feature of this training is extensive use of videotapes for instruction, including tapes of actual mediations. We will also provide you with the forms we use with clients. The workshop includes a   minimum of six mediation role-plays so that each participant can practice and develop his/her skills.         Workshop is limited to ten participants.



Louise Senft

Baltimore Mediation Center

Louise Phipps Senft & Associates/Baltimore Mediation Baltimore, MD

20-Hour Mediation and Conflict Transformation Skills Training Focusing on Sources of Conflict and Systems Approach (October) 40-Hour Fundamental Mediation and Conflict Transformation Skills Training (December) Advanced 20-Hour Mediation and Conflict Transformation Skills Training Focusing on Custody, Visitation and Child Suport (January) 20-Hour Mediation and Conflict Transformation Skills Training Focusing on Legal and Ethical Issues (February) Advanced 20-Hour Mediation and Conflict Transformation Skills Training Focusing on Workplace Issues (March) 20- Hour Mediation and Conflict Transformation Skills Training Focusing on Mediator Self-Awareness (June) Contact: Louise Phipps Senft at




Zena Zumeta, J.D.

Mediation Training & Consultation Institute

330 E. Liberty, Suite 3A

Ann Arbor, MI  48104

(734) 663-1155/F (734) 786-0702




40-hour Divorce and Custody Mediation Training

Through a combination of role play, lecture, simulation, discussion and videotapes of actual mediation, this workshop takes participants through the process of divorce and custody mediation from the orientation session to the completed memorandum of agreement.

Each workshop covers the following: Effective conflict management, Mediation techniques, Power balancing, Support and parenting arrangements, Custody issues, Property division, Tax, pension, and financial issues, The emotional stages of divorce, Working constructively with attorneys, Using experts in mediation, Screening for domestic violence and other impediments to mediation, Ethics and standards of practice, Marketing, networking and professional development.


You'll also receive a comprehensive training manual and CD with ready-to-use forms. Attendance at each workshop is limited to assure direct feedback and coaching in role plays. We also connect participants to supervision and continuing education programs.

State Approvals - The training has been approved in a number of states. If we are not approved in your area, we provide documentation for your application. Please check with us.

Association for Conflict Resolution

40-hour comprehensive divorce mediation training program.

This training may be applied toward the requirements for

practitioner membership in the association.



Meets the requirements for Custody Mediation programs

in the courts, and is approved for Social Work CEU's

and 36 MCLE credits and 36 Professionalism credits.

(Add $40 to receive MCLE credits.)


Meets requirements for Iowa courts.


Approved by State Court Administrative Office of the

Michigan Supreme Court as a Domestic Relations Mediation

Training Program under Michigan Court Rule 3.216.

Additional day ofDomestive Violence Screening Trainingand

observations are required for court list. (Learn more.)

New York

Meets requirements for New York programs.

North Carolina

Meets requirements for North Carolina court programs.


Meets requirements for PA Court Rule 1940.4 and

PA Continuing Legal Education credits.


Meets requirements for Washington courts.