Certified Mediation Training Program

Elizabeth runs a boutique conflict resolution and mediation training program called Planning Change.

Planning Change is one of the most comprehensive and individualized conflict resolution training programs in the country. As a mediation trainer, Elizabeth imparts the knowledge and skills that are necessary to be an effective mediator while fostering a deep understanding about conflict resolution that is meaningful in one’s personal life.

Elizabeth believes that mediation is fundamentally a personal practice. In her training students learn that being a good mediator depends just as much on skills and practice as it does on introspection and self-awareness. As a result, participants come away with the knowledge and hours required for the most rigorous certification programs in the state as well as a profound self-awareness about what it means to be in conflict.

Planning Change- Mediation Training Process Map


Certified Mediation Training Program

Elizabeth offers three trainings which can each be taken separately or in succession as part of the full Planning Change curriculum.

In Basic Mediation Training students learn the fundamentals of mediation and become qualified to mediate in the New York Courts.* This training is held once a year with a limited number of students.

At the second level, Advanced Mediation Training, students deepen their practice and are introduced to more sophisticated skills. Students also have an opportunity to focus on a particular area of mediation practice and may choose one of three student tracks in which to specialize: Small Business, Family & Divorce or Professional Development.

The final phase of training is Mastery in Mediation. This level focuses on the personal qualities of the mediator and looks at what the mediator brings to the table internally, and how by knowing themselves better they can learn to resolve conflict with more proficiency and from a higher level of consciousness.

The complete certification requires 100 hours of classroom and mediation case work, which is provided in classroom groups of 8-12 people, and apprenticeship groups of no more than four. The small group size allows Elizabeth to mentor the students individually, and understand the strengths and skills they bring into the program, and the ways in which they are able to grow into the unique abilities that mediators possess. She coaches students in not just becoming strong mediators, but helps connect them to the field and develop their professional practices.

As one of Elizabeth’s students, there will be opportunities throughout the year to mediate live cases, and take additional training that consists of mediating cases in civil court. Elizabeth does not offer this to students that are not in her certification program.

Program Details

Segments are divided into 34-hour courses taught over a weekend (Sat & Sun 9 am – 5 pm), followed by six 3-hour apprenticeship classes (held during the week) where students continue their training by mediating live cases. This training combines classroom content with opportunities to practice on actual case facts using actors as parties, giving students real mediation experience while offering the freedom to make mistakes and grow.


Elizabeth Clemants teaches all the courses and is certified by the New York State Unified Court System’s Office of ADR Programs to provide Basic Mediation Training for the Community Dispute Resolution Center’s programs. The Basic Mediation Training is also approved by the New York State Unified Court System under part 146.* We also offer a Planning Change Certification, where mediators will be listed on the website as having completed the program.

Restorative Justice
Certification Program

Restorative Justice is the practice of addressing the needs of individuals, and the greater community system that holds them, after harm has occurred. As a part of its method, Restorative Justice gives the responsible party or parties an opportunity to rectify and make amends directly to the ones harmed by their actions. The practice also provides safe space for group members to express how the harm impacted them. Through conscientious presence and support, the restorative practitioner holds this space to allow for the honest expression of deep emotion held by all members of the group. Through this practice, an affected system can rebalance itself and the community can move forward.

Circles are a type of Restorative Justice practice that is widely used as a response to harm in a community. In the Circle, the group comes together to engage in healing, support, decision making and/or conflict resolution. The group will work to form an intentional interaction in which honest communication and right relationship are the norm. Through the circle process, the group will come to a new understanding of themselves, each other, and the path forward.

The Planning Change Restorative Justice Certification Program trains circle keepers to facilitate a process focused on helping family systems when there has been a traumatic event or context that has caused the family to become imbalanced. This can include alcoholism, abuse, sexual trauma, and other circumstances that can deeply affect family members and their healthy relation to one another and themselves. This certification program is meant for those in the healing professions or the conflict resolution profession who wish to expand their practice or begin working with family systems where harm has impacted the individuals.

The certification consists of 3 parts: Foundational, Advanced and Mastery. The program begins with the Foundational, a 3-day basic circle training in which participants will experience being in circle throughout and obtain a deep sense of its wisdom and possibility. The Advanced Training is an 8-week program, meeting once a week for three hours, where participants will study restorative justice theory as well as become familiar with different issues family systems face. Each participant will have a chance to deepen their understanding of group work by facilitating the learning community as a circle keeper. Upon completion of the 8-week advanced course, students will move on to the Mastery. This training will be a continuation of the original three-day basic training, and will build on more advanced understanding of peacekeeping circles.

Program Details

The three courses are meant to be taken together. The foundational course is taught in a three day intensive – Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Following the foundational, the advanced course is taught in an eight week experiential series of meeting in circle. During this eight weeks, the group will explore family system issues and restorative justice theory. During the eight weeks each participant will have an opportunity to lead the circle in order to develop their facilitation skills. Finally, the mastery will expand each participants understanding of circle keeping and will be taught in another three day intensive – Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Career and Post-Training Options

In addition to training her students in conflict resolution, Elizabeth also recognizes the need to translate skill into practice — especially for those pursuing a career in the ADR field. Elizabeth is committed to the professional development of her students and actively promotes their participation in the larger ADR community in New York City.

Sometimes a person’s main purpose for taking the training is not professional. This training program is not just for those who would like to be career mediators. Each group of trainees usually has one or two students who come for professional and/or personal development. They find this training to be a critical part of obtaining the vital conflict resolution skills they need to be more skilled in their own professions or for managing conflict better in their personal lives.

*Final placement on any court roster is at the jurisdiction of the local Administrative Judge and participation in a course that is approved by Part 146 does not guarantee placement on a local court roster.

Click Here For Planning Change Certified Mediators


    Mediation Training

  • Basic Mediation Training $2,450
  • Advanced Mediation Training $2,450
  • Mastery Mediation Training $2,450
  • Full Certification Program* $6,950
  • Restorative Justice Training

  • Foundational Restorative Justice Training $700
  • Advanced Restorative Justice Training $700
  • Mastery Restorative Justice Training $700
  • Full Restorative Justice Certification* $1,785
  • *Includes Planning Change Certification and preferred provider listing on the Planning Change website

Discounts available for current or former students. Full Certification Training and early bird discounts available. Scholarships offered when spaces available.
More Information


Upcoming Trainings

  • Basic Mediation Training Fall 2015:
  • Classroom: September 19 & 20, 2015 – 9am-5pm
    Apprenticeship: Sept 23, 30, Oct 14, 21, 28 Nov 4 – 9am-12pm

  • Advanced Mediation Training Winter 2015:
  • Classroom: December 12 & 13, 2015 – 9am-5pm
    Commercial Track: Dec 16, Jan (2016) 6, 13, 20, 27, and Feb 3 – 9am-12pm
    Family Track: Dec 17, Jan (2016) 7, 14, 21, 28, and Feb 4 – 9am-12pm

  • Mastery Mediation Training Winter 2016:
  • Classroom: Feb 20 & 21 2016 – 9am-5pm
    Apprenticeship: Feb 24, March 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, April 13, & 20, 2016 – 9am-12pm



  • 375 Greenwich Street
    New York, New York 10013
    (Between N. Moore and Franklin Streets)