Our new address: 396 Richland Avenue. 

Souper Bowl Fifteen held at the Athens Community Center in march, was a wonderful success.  Thank you to the many restaurants, musicians, potters, and volunteers who contributed and to all who attended.

Fundamentals of Mediation Training was attended by 20 people during 5 sessions in February and March, with John Schmieding, Trisha Lachman, Jen Dockham, Danny Yahini,  and Mac Stricklen helping out as trainers.  From  folks attending:
  • "If more people went through mediation training, life would be much less stressful for everyone. "  
  • " I was able to use some of the communication skills with students" 
  • "Working with kids, I think that these skills will be very useful in many situations" 
  • "I loved the training!"

Let us know if you are interested in a future training.

What does Athens Area Mediation Service Do?

We help people in conflict, many, many kinds of conflict in a wide variety of situations.  Some are long term, deeply seated conflicts; some do not seem as serious.  Some involve the court and legal system; some do not.  Some with people who are ready and willing to work things out; some with people who are angry and discouraged.  We have helped people have important conversations and resolve disputes including those between:

  • Spouses and partners
  • Co-workers
  • Business owners and consumers
  • Parents and teens
  • Landlords and tenants
  • Neighbors
  • Roommates and house mates
  • Boards, staffs, and groups trying to work together
  • Residents and officials
  • … and more

Mediation is fast, affordable, and effective.  Contact us to find out more.


Conflict Resolution Training

We all help many groups with training in handling difficulties effectively.  Our trainings are highly participatory, geared to the needs of those attending, and, surprisingly, relaxed and enjoyable.  Many groups have reported a big shift in their ability to communicate well and work together more smoothly as a result.

We also offer a regular training series in the fundamentals of mediation for those who want to learn more.  These trainings are offered four times each year, with three or four sessions totaling fourteen hours.  We focus on developing listening and questioning skills that help people explore a crucial issue, “where do we go from here?”  Participants report new understandings and growth from engaging with a diverse group around these important communication issues.

What is the Athens Area Mediation Service?

The Athens Area Mediation Service is a nonprofit organization that provides the residents of Athens County with cooperative approaches to dispute resolution.   AAMS is dedicated to promoting and supporting reconciliation, integrity, openness and inclusion. In addition, by training community members to serve as mediators and sharing these skills with others, AAMS empowers individuals and community groups to respond to conflict effectively.


Our past

With a team of many trained mediators, the Athens Area Mediation Service officially opened its door in the fall of 1993. In its first two years, the group conducted five mediations. Since that time, the organization has grown dramatically.  Over 500 area residents have completed mediation training.  Our pool of potential mediators averages about 50 trained individuals.  Nearly 1000 people in southeastern Ohio Have participated in mediations over the last ten years.  About 87 % of our mediations result in signed agreements between the parties involved.

The Ohio Commission on Dispute Resolution and Conflict Management was established in 1989 to provide Ohioans with constructive, nonviolent forums, processes and techniques for resolving disputes, but it wasn't until 1991 that a group of community members began to discuss the possibility of a mediation service in the Athens area. In June, letters of invitation were sent to a variety of community leaders, civic organizations and local agencies announcing an informational meeting. At this meeting, the group was officially named the Athens Area Mediation Service, and a formal board and advisory group was selected.

Sue Smith served as the first director of AAMS. Under her direction, Claudia Hale of Ohio University's Interpersonal Communications Department used her experience as a mediator in Ames, Iowa to train the first group of Athens mediators.

In January1997, John Schmieding became the first paid director of AAMS, a position he still holds. We now conduct about forty mediations each year and are continuing to reach out to organizations and individuals to expand our services.

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What The Heck is Mediation?

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