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Founding Directors and Associates


Susanne Terry

Founding Director

Susan was the creator of the Mediation & Applied Conflict Studies Program at Woodbury College and was Program Director for twelve years. In addition be being a faculty member at Woodbury for over 20 years she has also taught at Champlain College and Vermont Law School. Susan is a mediator and consultant in private practice and has worked in several countries-including the UK, Ghana, Italy and Belgium-as well as extensively throughout the United States.

Susan has been teaching and writing about reflective practice and leading reflective practice groups for more than 30 years. She is the editor and a contributor to More Justice, More Peace: When Peacemakers Are Advocates (2020).

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Michael Lang

Founding Director

For more than 40 years Michael has mediated family, workplace, and organizational disputes. 

Michael created and was the founding director of one of the first graduate programs in conflict resolution in the US at Antioch University in 1992 and served in a similar role at Royal Roads University in Victoria, BC.

In the area of reflective practice, he has authored The Practitioners Guide to Reflective Practice in Conflict Resolution(2019) and co-authored The Making of a Mediator: Developing Artistry in Practice, (2000).  Michael facilitates or co-leads a number of reflective practice groups with participants from the US, Canada, Ireland, Nigeria, South Africa, and the UK.

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Laurie Amaya


Laurie is a family law mediator, consulting, and Collaborative attorney.  After many years as a litigator, Laurie changed her practice to help clients with peaceful, out-of-court resolutions to divorce and family law disputes.  Laurie now works full-time as an ADR professional.  She is an APFM Certified Advanced Practitioner, APFM Senior Mediator, and a Certified Senior Mediator. 

Laurie began training in Reflective Practice with Michael Lang in 2018.  Her experience includes participation in the Academy of Professional Family Mediators (APFM) Reflective Practice group as well as facilitation and co-facilitation of monthly Reflective Practice groups in British Columbia, Southern California as well as an international group sponsored by the American Bar Association.  Laurie has joined Michael Lang in giving webinars on Reflective Practice to multiple groups in the United States and Canada, as well as participated in a webinar for mediators in South Africa.

She is the author of the article Mediators Can Greatly Improve Your Skills Using Reflective Practice Groups, published in Theories of Change for the Dispute Resolution Movement: Actionable Ideas to Revitalize Our Movement, Edited by John Lande.   Laurie received her B.A from U.C. Santa Cruz 1988, JD from Southwestern University School of Law and has been licensed to practice law in California since 1993 and Arizona since 1994. Her practice is in the Pasadena area of Los Angeles, CA.

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Hansa Patel


Hansa has worked with families in conflict for the past twenty years. As an attorney, she zealously advocated for abused and neglected children or parents’ rights in the juvenile dependency court. Feeling depleted by the limitation of the court system, Hansa explored new ways to empower her clients to resolve conflict. Mediation empowers Hansa’s clients to choose how they want to engage with conflict, co-create resolutions, and maybe even transform relationships. Let them be their own superheroes. Hansa also facilitates a restorative justice peer-to-peer court to support first-time youth offenders.

Hansa teaches mediation in USA, Canada, and Africa to non-profits, community mediation programs, California Judicial Council Family Court Mediators, their directors, and local bar associations. In addition, Hansa recently completed her teacher training to teach the Understanding-Based Model, founded by Gary Friedman. Hansa is also certified by WarriorOne, a mindfulness teacher, and integrates all her mindfulness practices and learnings into her teaching and facilitation.

One of the most profound things Hansa has learned as a professional is the benefits of reflective practice. Reflections allow her to see how her professional and personal lives are interwoven, and with reflections, she can fine-tune her skills and open her heart--compassion for ourselves and others. Hansa co-created and co-led a reflective practice group for landlord-tenant mediators for a year. In addition, Hansa regularly participates in national reflective practice and is in the progress of completing her certification as a reflective practitioner.


Ellen Waldorf


Ellen Waldorf, the principal of eWaldorf Mediation in Massachusetts, helps clients navigate through conflict.  For over 20 years, Ellen has mediated divorce, vacation home, and other family issues.  Ellen teaches professionals to become divorce mediators through Divorce Mediation Training Associates.  Through Step to Center, Ellen teaches employees and managers how to navigate interpersonal drama in the workplace.  

Ellen participates in a long-running reflective practice peer group.  For several years, Ellen has used reflective practice to coach students in mediation classes taught by Susan Terry and in her own divorce mediation trainings.  Ellen has joined Susan and Michael Lang in conference presentations encouraging teachers of mediation to incorporate reflective practice into their training.

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