In high conflict situations there is always a resolution lurking.  My job as mediator is to assist the parties to find the missing piece that will unlock the resolution.  Dialogue unlocks the mystery.  As people think together the future becomes obvious.  As mediator, I use a structured conversation approach that is guided by specific question about the past, the present and the future.  In hundreds of mediation I have seen many people locked in conflict who, given the right atmosphere and encouragement, can find their own resolution once all of the information pertaining to the case is disclosed.  Creating an atmosphere where parties are willing to lay their cards on the table face up is the key.  I have been working with clients and with future and experienced mediators on techniques to create that atmosphere for the past ten years.  Although each situation is different, there is a formula that works for bringing people together, even when it seems impossible that they can agree on anything.