Casa Tianu Community & Family Mediation is a testimony to the importance and value of creating a personalized space where harmonious communication can be restored in a relationship, be it between spouses, co-workers or heads of state.
I named my practice “Casa Tianu” in honor of my late grandfather, Ion Tianu, a tailor, whose own Bucharest-based practice was named Tianu Tailoring (Croitoria Tianu).
My grandfather served smaller and larger communities, from individuals’ needs to the needs of Bucharest-based theaters and other organizations.
He, alongside tens of thousands of other vocational workers building a livelihood in post WWII Romania, spent many years learning a skill, then more years in apprenticeships to finally become master of a trade.
His tailor shop was a space where he created custom-made clothes for his clients. Fitting a client for a suit or a dress leaves no room for judgment, nor can the tailor change the shape of his client’s body to fit a certain size or style.
Mediation is, to me, capable of the same objectivity and kindness that custom-tailoring has provided clients looking for garments that fit them perfectly: the mediator creates a safe, neutral space, where each client is encouraged to let his or her authentic self show up, setting aside artifice, masks, hidden interests, and a win-lose attitude.
My grandfather used chalk to mark his fabrics before cutting and sewing a garment. In mediation, that chalk that marks the specifics of each particular case is called discovery. In the first one or two sessions, the mediator helps each party determine what their real needs and interests are.
The thread that ties mediation together, and helps shape the perfect agreement that fits both parties, is communication.
Communication, in its oral, written and unspoken forms, has been at the core of all the types of work I have done in the past. Yet as the years went by, the thought of serving a community crystalized. While I used to be more concerned with global policy, international communication and multinational culture, the community I decided I wanted to serve is a much more local demographic and geographic reality.
To be present and make a difference in a local community, I looked at its core value: the family. I then took a closer look at the issues that are affecting the wellbeing of the family the most, and I stopped at conflict and divorce. Family and community conflicts are some of the most disruptive “events” in the life of an individual. They create uncertainty, and many times, this uncertainty, if mismanaged, causes people to lose the most important things they have: their relationships – be they at home or at work.
Can family conflicts become opportunities, rather than problems? I believe they can. Just like my grandfather created outfits to match the body shape and also the personality of his clients, we can create (or better said, re-create) a vision for our life, at a moment when it seems we are drowning into the unknown, that matches who we really are and how we would truly like to live in the future.