Tami Krutz – an interview
1) Who are you? Where do you come from? What is your background?
Originally from Portland, Oregon, I attended college at the University of Oregon, and then graduate school at Lewis and Clark College in Portland. After receiving my Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology in 1996, I moved to Sandpoint, Idaho, where I began my career. Sandpoint is a small resort town in Northern Idaho featuring beautiful Lake Pend Oreille, Schweitzer Mountain Ski Resort, and where it’s not unusual to see a moose walking through town or nibbling its way through your neighborhood.
2) What do your current professional practice and activities look like?
I have a full practice in which my time is divided between seeing counseling clients, performing custody evaluations and assessments, and working with mediation clients. Together with my partner Stephen Evans, I co-developed Solution Focused Co-Parenting Education, which is a mediation-based process for working with high-conflict custody cases over time. In addition to our office in Sandpoint, we now have a second location near Coeur D’Alene, Idaho, where we work on mediation and co-parenting cases.
3) How did you first learn about mediation?
I must admit that graduate school did not prepare me for working with court-involved families. Upon moving to Sandpoint, I joined a private practice, and the owner of that practice did quite a bit of child custody work. Before I knew it, I was being referred custody cases by the local courts and quickly realized I had much to learn. Idaho was fairly progressive at that time in using ADR, including using mediation in custody cases. I was very fortunate to have a group of local attorneys, psychologists, mediators and judges mentor me along the way. It was through those individuals that I first learned about mediation and quickly became a believer in the mediation process.
4) What do you hope to accomplish as a Board Member of APFM?
I look forward to being a part of the Board and playing a role in broadening APFM’s reach to those practicing in the field of family mediation. Being continually surprised at how many people still have no idea about mediation, I plan to contribute to the public’s awareness about this process.
5) Where do you see the field of Family Mediation going?
I see continued growth in the field of family mediation. I believe that, as public awareness of Professional Family Mediation increases, it will be recognized as the preferable method for resolving family disputes. I also believe that, as mediator credentialing becomes standardized and more robust, the field of Professional Family Mediation will grow, and the Professional Family Mediator will be recognized by professionals and the public as the gold standard in resolving family disputes.
6) What do you like to do when you are not mediating?
I enjoy spending time outdoors and, luckily, I live in a beautiful place to do so. My activities include golfing, hiking, kayaking, yoga, and spending time with good friends.