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The family mediation It emerges as an alternative method to those already known in conflict resolution. From this model, the vision of a third person is provided, which in an impartial and neutral way aims to help the opposing parties. Their role will be to negotiate and seek alternative solutions in a consensual manner in order to unblock the existing communication between both parties. In this way, a mutually beneficial solution to the conflict will be reached.
The family mediation It began to be used in the United States in the 1960s for the resolution of conflicts related to separations and divorces, but it can be used to resolve any family disagreement. For example:
- Differences between parents and children in adolescence.
- Conflicts between brothers for an inheritance.
- Incompatibilities of the parents in the education of children.
- Discrepancies between family members for the care of relatives with illnesses or disabilities.
- Incompatibilities in foster care between the child and the adults when there has been an adoption process.
The family mediation it is still little known and used, for example, in Spain, although more and more people are turning to this model as a means of conflict resolution. This occurs due to the various advantages that this model provides:
- Offers the family a neutral and confidential space to be able to talk about the issues that define the conflict.
- Help create a cooperative environment in which everyone puts the interests of the family first over personal wishes
- It will be a space where family members look for their own consensus solutions, that is, they are not imposed by anyone.
- It is a form of training that helps family members know how to negotiate.
- Thanks to this method the emotional cost is decreased that cause conflicts
- It is faster to find solutions than other models.
When you choose to use the family mediation all affected parties have to participate voluntarily. The fact that any of the parties is forced to participate would be contradictory and of little benefit to the end sought. Thus, any of the participants can suspend the activity unilaterally and not continue with the mediation.
Participants will play a very active role. They will be the ones who provide the solutions. So, the mediator will only direct the processIn other words, it will simply be the guide in a negotiation process that the affected parties must carry out. In this way, the mediator neither suggests nor gives the solution. It will be impartial.
In addition, these sessions will be completely confidential and will only be dealt with in the space addressed to it, that is, the information discussed here may not be used in other places, such as a trial if that route is chosen.
Once the bases of voluntariness, active participation and confidentiality are clear, it is important to know what the times of family mediation.This process usually covers 6 to 9 sessions in which the following will be carried out:
- The first phase, called pre-mediation, in which the mediator seeks to obtain all the information about the problem in question. To do this, the mediator will have a first interview (maximum 3) with the members of the family participants to find out about the circumstances that have led them to that point and to find out what the point of view of each of the parties is. If necessary, and exceptionally, they may be interviewed separately but on the condition that everything that is discussed is expressed together in the next session.
- In the next phase, the negotiation for try to find a consensual agreement.
- If an agreement has been reached on all the points dealt with in the negotiation, the next thing will be to draft a document in which your approach is made manifest.
To date in Spain, for example, there is no regulation that indicates who is trained to act as a mediator. This implies the proliferation of intrusion in this sector.
He mediator requires specific qualification. Although he is not a therapist, nor is he a counselor, it is necessary that he have extensive knowledge in disciplines such as law and psychology due to the situations that he has to live through mediation process.
In addition, he must have a series of personal characteristics such as empathy, flexibility, tolerance and patience that allow him to perform his role properly
To find properly trained mediators for mediation, it will be necessary to look at U.N.A.F. This is an organization belonging to the European Mediation Forum in which psychologists, social workers and lawyers prepared to act as mediators work.
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