Family Conflict Mediation
Discovering Destinies offers Family Conflict Mediation for conflict between family members leading to some form of relationship or communication breakdown because of challenges such as:
♦ Parent-child relationship difficulties, which is often the result of ineffective and unclear communications and porous boundaries.
♦ Caring for a disabled or chronically-ill relative, and the challenges, confusion and divergent opinions about medical care, education and appropriate therapies.
♦ Addiction – a member of the family may be in recovery from addiction and wanting to rebuild broken relationships that arose from the consequences of their addictive behaviour prior to entering into recovery.
♦ Following a family bereavement there can be difficult feelings about situations that arose prior to a relative passing away, perhaps in relation to funeral arrangements or attendance, care of the relative before dying, financial issues etc. and mediation can help with restoring broken or difficult relationships following this experience.
♦ Other family conflict issues that can arise simply through the day-to-day challenges of effectively connecting with family members.
How can Family Conflict Mediation help?
Family Conflict Mediation provides an opportunity to ‘step out’ of a family relationship breakdown or conflict situation in order to have a conversation with the person or people with whom the conflict has arisen.
The sole purpose of the mediation process is to help support the possibility of a better way forward in the situation. This is achieved by giving each person the opportunity to talk through the situation with the mediator separately, in what we call the Initial Mediation Meeting, about the difficulty from their perspective and to think about how it is affecting them and what they would want in order for things to improve.
This discussion by itself can often help people to start to create better ways forward because of the focus of the approach we use at Discovering Destinies where each interaction with the mediator allows for a discussion of ways of improving the situation.
We do things this way because mediation is a voluntary process and so it may be that one or even all of the people involved in the family conflict may not wish to go to the next stage of having a Joint Mediation Meeting with each other all together in the same room.
By taking this approach it is often possible for improvement to occur even if there is not a Joint Meeting. Indeed sometimes it may only be one person who is wanting support in trying to improve the situation in which case they may, instead, work 1-on-1 with us without the other party to deal with the unresolved conflict.
If a Joint Mediation Meeting is requested by at least two of the family members involved in the situation, we will meet with those participating family members to open-up effective communications, clarify issues, mediate the dispute with the goal of achieving a negotiated resolution satisfactory to all parties. Follow-up sessions are scheduled and held as mutually desired and agreed.
Mediation is a great way to work on any family dispute.
Why does Family Conflict Mediation work?
There are many reasons why using mediation to help resolve family conflict situations can be beneficial and some of these are given below:
The Mediator is not someone the family knows, nor will they have an ongoing relationship with them beyond the mediation process. Mediation is a ‘step-in-step-out’ process that provides a temporary ‘bubble’ in which those involved can have a constructive, even if challenging, discussion. The Mediator is present to support that discussion in being effective and creative, not to give advice or to take over and ‘assess, diagnose and prescribe’ an answer to the situation.
Family Conflict Mediation is a process where the outcome created is down to the participants themselves, no-one else. It may lead to an ‘agreement’ of some kind but often the outcome has simply been that the people involved have gained a better understanding of each other’s point of view and feel less upset by it, and they have also felt listened to by the other person(s) who attend. Whether via an agreement or simply better mutual understanding they then have ideas for better ways of doing things in their family relationship in the future.
In this way, Family Conflict Mediation supports the empowerment of the people involved to create their own way forward in the situation, something which can sometimes be lost sight of when a difficulty has involved a lot of other people, whether friends and other relatives or professional agencies.