Initially a mediation referral for two parties from a local housing provider, which became a coaching case when one of the parties decided that they did not wish to proceed with the mediation. The remaining party had issues around noise coming from the downstairs flat and they also felt intimidated by the person downstairs and their visitors. We had been advised that noise monitoring equipment had been installed but this had not provided the evidence required for the housing provider to take any enforcement action.
What We Did
We carried out 3 visits over period of 10 weeks, with a party who was highly emotional and had recently suffered the loss of both parents. The noise issue was seriously affecting their health and we clarified what support they were currently receiving for this.
We used a variety of techniques with the party to help them explore how their perception of the situation was affecting them and practical things they could do to cope with the noise. They began to recognise that the noise may or may not be deliberate, and that they could change the way they reacted to it and what they thought. They also recognised that they were allowing themselves to be affected by the situation and that this was making them feel worse.
They identified practical solutions that they would implement and they tested these out over the course of our visits with them. Further, they identified that the impact for them was that they had become house bound and we explored a variety of scenarios with them in relation to their leaving the property. They came to realise that things were unlikely to be as bad as feared.
Throughout the course of our visits with them, we used scaling to help them recognise improvements and progress.
At the first visit they had felt that the impact of the noise affecting their life was at 11 out of 10 (with 10 being high impact and 1 being low impact); by the time the third visit was completed they felt they were now at a 5 on this scale. They said they felt able to leave the property now and did so more regularly, and felt less anxious about doing this and although the noise was still there, it was bothering them less.