Mike MacConnell

Mike provided calm guidance and a supportive process. He believed in me and my potential to grow past the place where I felt stuck. I am thankful for the kindness and balance that helped me get through these tough times.
— Melissa K.


Mike MacConnell is a mediator, educator, public speaker and author.  He is a certified member of the Ontario Association of Family Mediators (OAFM), the Alternative Dispute Resolution Institute of Ontario (ADRIO), and the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT).   

In 1989 he founded a private high school, SOLA (School Of Liberal Arts), which he co-owned and co-directed in central Toronto until 2010.  The school provided a model for educating bright, under-achieving teenagers by combining intellectual stimulation with emotional support and personal accountability. As a teacher and administrator, Mike had a talent for motivational counselling.  He helped many teens to reach their academic goals and improve family dynamics by guiding them, and their parents and teachers, in taking practical steps towards greater autonomy and accountability. 

His experience as an educator, plus the negotiation of his own peaceful divorce, inspired Mike to become a professional mediator and conflict management coach.    In his professional and private life Mike has experienced firsthand the benefits of a mindfulness practice. This refers to techniques for calming and empowering people through increased self-awareness.  Extensive study and research led to the formulation of a dispute resolution model that combines traditional ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) with recent research in stress reduction practices.  Out of this process, Reflective Mediation was founded, and Yoga of Divorce was written (to be published by Friesen Press in fall 2015).  


Mike is an innovator working to change the way people experience themselves in conflict.  He strives to transform crisis into opportunity.  He helps individuals, families and school communities to reach settlements that efficiently satisfy the underlying interests of all parties.  His practical, solution-based guidance helps clients reach agreement with a minimum of emotional fallout.  

His long term goal is for clients to reach beyond solving the immediate crisis.  Reflective Mediation also offers solutions for the long term.  Individuals, families and school communities can better prepare to resolve future issues on their own, when mediation services are complemented by conflict management coaching and the practice of mindful stress reduction.  


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