Gail H. Goodman has over 30 years of management experience in government, nonprofit agencies and foundations. She began her career in the counseling field and worked in social services. She received her Certificate in Mediation and Conflict Resolution from New York University and was trained at CLUSTER, a New York State Unified Court System accredited mediation center. Gail received her specialized training in Elder and Adult Family Mediation from Elder Decisions. She has been mediating with parents and teens for Family Services of Westchester, has mediated in courts in New York County and Westchester counties and provides conflict coaching.


For over 25 years, Ruth Weinreb has been a Senior Attorney with the National Labor Relations Board investigating, litigating and mediating labor/management disputes. Ruth received a certificate in Mediation and Conflict Resolution from New York University, training from CLUSTER, a New York State Unified Court System accredited mediation center and specialized training in Elder and Adult Family Mediation from Elder Decisions. Ruth is also on a panel of mediators to resolve Hurricane Sandy disputes for the American Arbitration Association and a panel of mediators to resolve Federal employee/management disputes. In addition, Ruth has experience mediating parent/teen issues for Family Services of Westchester.

Mediators affiliated with Talking Alternatives are formally trained, some are bi-lingual, and all have extensive mediation experience.

Benefits of Mediation

Empowering: Mediation lets you make the decision rather than having another person decide the outcome. If it is a potential court matter, it allows the parties to reach an agreement rather than having a judge dictate the decision. Going before a judge means that one party will win and one will lose, and there is no guarantee that the case will be decided in your favor. In mediation, both parties have the opportunity to resolve the conflict, allowing for both of their interests.In family disputes, it enables factions or disagreeing family members to work together towards a solution rather than having one member assume all responsibility for decision making, possibly creating further conflict. Mediation can level the playing field if one party chooses to obtain counsel while the other party is not able to. In mediation, both parties can come to the table on equal terms and work through their conflict themselves.

Financial Cost: All studies have found mediation to be more cost effective than going to court. The cost of litigation, involving expensive legal fees and courts costs, is far more than the cost of a mediation session/s. Whether landlord/tenant or small business conflicts, litigation is going to be more expensive than mediation.

Time Investment: Litigation involves a huge time commitment. Regardless of the type of case there is the time investment put into preparing the case, time spent in court, and time invested in delays and court adjournments, all time that diverts attention from business operations or family time. Mediation can provide a quick resolution in a safe, non-judgmental environment, without the administrative constraints of the court system. Extending the time for resolving the conflict allows hostile anger to fester increasing the emotional toll and often making positions more intractable.

Emotional Costs: Just the fact that mediation revolves around conflict means that there is a strong emotional element. Conflicts are emotionally draining because they involve anger, frustration and hurt, all energy-depleting emotions. The quicker resolution that mediation offers mitigates that emotional drain. There is an opportunity to express feelings in the mediation process which does not happen with a court decision, allowing the parties to vent and be heard by one another and leaving them with a greater sense of emotional satisfaction.

Relationship Costs: There is no monetary value for the loss of relationships. Mediation is about communication and avoiding the warring situations that litigation creates. Because mediation is focused on having the parties settle their differences by talking and coming to an agreement, there is more of an opportunity to come out with an understanding that preserves the relationship, whether it is a familial one or business related.

You guys are pros and I've already recommended you to a friend who has some similar issues.

...probably should have been resolved years ago but it took our mediated conversation to figure that [the solution] out.

...thank you. I admire what you do.

I checked out several website but yours stood out because of your emphasis on preserving relationships.

The fact that you specialize in adult family disputes, rather than divorce, was reassuring to us.