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Inside the Mediation Room with Michael and Karen Aurit - Guest Don Saposnek

by Donald T. Saposnek, Karen Aurit, Michael Aurit

February 2022

This is the first episode of Michael and Karen Aurit's video podcast "Inside The Mediation Room," devoted to hearing stories and insights from some of the world's most experienced mediators and dispute resolvers.

In this episode their guest is the legendary Don T. Saposnek, Ph.D., a clinical-child psychologist and family therapist in practice since 1971, and a child custody and family mediator and national and international trainer and consultant in child psychology and mediation since 1977. He was director of the family court services in Santa Cruz County for 17 years and has mediated over 5,000 child custody and visitation cases in both the public and private sectors. He has published extensively in the professional literature on children and families and is the author of a number of books on the topics of children, families, divorce, and mediation.


Donald T. Saposnek, Ph.D., is a clinical-child psychologist, a child custody and family mediator and a national and international trainer and consultant in child psychology and mediation since 1977. He is the author of the classic text, Mediating Child Custody Disputes: A Strategic Approach, and co-author of Splitting America: How Politicians, Super Pacs and the News Media Mirror High Conflict Divorce. He is a Founding Board Member and Editor-in-Chief of Academy of Professional Family Mediators’ publications and has published extensively in the professional literature on children, divorce, and mediation. He has taught on the Psychology Faculty at the University of California, Santa Cruz, for 41 years, and has been an Adjunct Professor at Pepperdine University School of Law, Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, since 2009.


Karen Aurit believes that mediation is best taught from the inside out. She is a trailblazing mediation entrepreneur and trainer, mindfulness expert, and Licensed Associate Marriage and Family Therapist. Under Karen’s leadership as Director and Co-Founder of The Aurit Center for Divorce Mediation in Scottsdale, Arizona, her team has helped thousands of people resolve their divorce and child custody issues in a healthier way. Karen teaches mediation as an Adjunct Professor of Law at The Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University School of Law, and at Arizona State University's Sandra Day O'Connor School of Law. She provides mediation training and private personalized coaching as Director and Co-Founder of The National Mediation Training Institute, where they believe that it doesn’t have to take a lifetime to become a master mediator and they teach mediation core values, attitudes, techniques, and strategies from the inside out.

Karen and Michael Aurit—her everything-partner—co-host, Inside the Mediation Room with Michael and Karen Aurit, a live monthly podcast in partnership with Mediate.com. Karen is honored to serve as Conference Co-Chair for The American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy in Arizona, and on the Town Hall Committee of The Academy of Professional Family Mediators (APFM). She earned her Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University and holds her Mediation Certificate from The Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution. She earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from Arizona State University. Karen lives in Phoenix, Arizona with Michael and their daughters, Daniella and Eliana.  


Michael Aurit can help any aspiring mediator reach their greatest potential. He is a nationally respected professional mediator, prominent mediation trainer, and inspiring thought leader in the field. As Director and Co-Founder of The Aurit Center for Divorce Mediation in Scottsdale, Arizona, he and his team have helped thousands of people resolve their divorce and child custody issues in a healthier way. Michael teaches mediation as an Adjunct Professor of Law at The Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University School of Law and at Arizona State University's Sandra Day O'Connor School of Law. He was honored to serve as President of The Academy of Professional Family Mediators (APFM) from 2019 to 2021, where he led the family mediation field through the pandemic’s many challenges and opportunities and championed the embrace of online mediation for mediators everywhere. He currently serves as Ethics Chair of the Maricopa County Association of Family Mediators. 

He provides mediation training and private, personalized coaching as Director and Co-Founder of The National Mediation Training Institute, where they believe that it doesn’t have to take a lifetime to become a master mediator and they teach mediation core values, attitudes, techniques, and strategies from the inside out. Michael and Karen Aurit—his everything-partner—co-host, Inside the Mediation Room with Michael and Karen Aurit, a live monthly podcast in partnership with Mediate.com. He earned his Juris Doctorate from Pepperdine University School of Law and Master’s Degree in Dispute Resolution from The Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution. He sang his way through his Bachelor’s of Fine Arts Degree from The Boston Conservatory of Music at Berklee College. Michael lives in Phoenix, Arizona with Karen and their daughters, Daniella and Eliana. 

The views expressed by authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Resourceful Internet Solutions, Inc., Mediate.com or of reviewing editors.
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