Preparing for mediation - some general advice
The first step is to resolve that you want to end a dispute. Quite often the other party won't be at the same stage of resolution. However, mediation can allow for communication in a controlled environment, and it may enable you or the other party to properly understand yours or their own position.
It is all to easy to respond to personal comments in the same way or to let your anger get the better of you. It won't help your blood pressure or help resolve your dispute. It is often said about public speaking that it can become less nerve racking if you imagine your audience is naked. Try the same sort of thing with your mediation, for example try to make it a competition to stay calm and not to lose your temper before the other side. Ignore personal comments, and try to focus again on getting a result. Practice what you want to say if you need to. If it is becoming too difficult or you are getting angry, take a break. The mediator should manage this but don't let the other party oppress or bully you.
Don't be scared or intimidated
If you need to have someone else present to cope with the stress, like a relative, then take them along. Don't let the process worry you. Mediation is far less stressful than judges and lawyers in court. Don't feel that you have to give in on something important to you. Remember you can get up and walk away at any time, the process is not binding, only its outcomes are.
Remember that very often mediation does not result in an immediate agreement. It can take the parties weeks or even months to go away and think about the discussions and to take a view on what they want to do, especially if one of them is being deliberately unreasonable or intransigent. If you don't get a result, don't be disheartened, it is very common for mediation to have no specific outcome. In those cases the benefits will have been measured by the fact you have had an opportunity to communicate your issues in a safe and controlled environment. You should also be better able after mediation to understand the other party's position as well as explaining your own and you will have more information on which to base your likelihood of success if court becomes the next step. Mediation can also help court proceedings to be shorter and therefore less expensive by highlighting those issues on which the parties simply cannot or will not agree.
Do it again
In family mediation there can be so many issues that it is sensible only to focus on one or two at a time. For this reason more than one session is often advisable.