IN Noosa Magazine Autumn 2020

Page 141

s s e n Kind


Kate Clark and her team deal with emotionally heavy issues every day, but for this team of mediators, compassion, hope, respect and equality are not just buzz words; they are words to live by.


ate’s job is to help people resolve conflicts. If you have ever been caught in the middle of an argument, you know how taxing it can be to try and help someone navigate the emotional turmoil. But this is exactly what Kate and her team do and, as Kate explains, it is essential to maintain hope and positivity as they guide their clients through one of the most difficult times of their lives. Maintaining positivity and compassion can be difficult, but Kate knows this is integral when it comes to helping people resolve conflict. Mastering this skill is also important in life in general, as Kate learnt when she moved to Noosa in 2016 with her husband and their newborn.

“My first year in Noosa involved quite a transition for me,” she recalls. “I went from working 15-hour days almost 7 days a week to be a stay-athome mother living on the Coast.” Kate has since started her own law firm, Clark & Associates Mediation Services, specialising in restorative justice mediation and family dispute resolution. “We believe in empowering people with skills and a neutral setting to resolve their disputes respectfully,” Kate explains. “Every matter we touch provides a level playing field of respect, transparency and an ability to be heard and acknowledged, plus plenty of compassion and kindness.”


Kate shares her top tips on how to be compassionate in tough times. Compassion is different to kindness. It involves getting into contact with suffering. Sometimes we can feel overwhelmed by suffering in others and we prefer to ignore and turn away. So why should we be compassionate? It benefits the person that we are being compassionate towards and there are also significant benefits for us. Here are some simple strategies: •S et an intention to be compassionate. Try to look for the source of other people’s suffering: turmoil, disappointment, worry and sadness. •S tart small by listening to others a little longer, offer to help with small tasks, acknowledge difficulties others are facing. •E ngage the parasympathetic nervous system by being conscious of your body, voice and breath. This means standing or sitting straight with your head high, a warm friendly tone of voice and a gentle and gradual slowing of the breath. This will help you gain more awareness of your own body and being. •D emonstrate compassion towards yourself. Try saying to yourself “of course I am feeling overwhelmed. This is hard. I am trying my best.” Positive self-talk and showing yourself compassion is the best place to start.


RESPECTFULLY Clark & Associates Mediation Services offer Accredited Mediation and Family Dispute Resolution throughout South-East Queensland. • Restorative justice • Family dispute resolution • Workplace disputes • Commercial disputes • Professional care complaints

Contact Kate and the team at Clark & Associates Mediation Services about your dispute.

Phone 5406 0281 | 0417 756 410 | 141

Autumn 2020