Family Conflict Resolution

Family conflict resolution is possible with an experienced mediator. There are so many family conflicts: adult siblings no longer speaking, adult children who have a rift with their parents, adult siblings who are not in agreement as to who or how their aging parents will be cared for, one half of the family not speaking to the other half, parents who are unable to communicate properly with their teenage children and so many other scenarios.

Transformative Mediation 

Mediation is not something that is typically considered, because most people are not aware that mediation exists for non-litigated cases. I’ve learned that the type of mediation most effective in family cases is transformative mediation. By definition, transformative mediation seeks to empower the parties to change their relationship with each other by gaining an understanding of each other’s needs and interests.

Family Mediation 

During a family mediation, all interested parties can attend the mediation. There are ground rules, which I set at the beginning of the mediation. These rules may include: no interruptions, no yelling, no name-calling, and no accusations of lying. These rules serve a very important purpose. It allows for the parties to remain calm and it keeps their brains activated in such a way that they can continue to practice active listening throughout the mediation. I may also use other active listening strategies such as mirroring and reframing as ways to ensure that each side is actually understanding what they are hearing and are able to mirror it back to the other side. Each side is allowed to speak and respond to comments without interruption. The interruptions that are so ingrained in their normal pattern of conversation are minimized, thus de-stressing the speaker.

Experienced Mediator 

Most times, family members who are having conflict with each other are no longer listening to each other. When they are locked in conflict, each side only sees their own side and feels like the other side is not hearing them at all. This is completely true. I’ve seen it over and over as a mediator. No one is listening to anyone and all conflict resolution tactics have been ignored or forgotten. When these fighting parties engage with me, as an experienced family conflict mediator, they are able to hear one another much better, which leads to greater understanding.

 New beginnings 

The typical outcome of family mediation (or family conflict resolution sessions) is a better understanding of the other parties. They may not fully resolve everything, but their relationship has shifted, and they are able to move forward with a more positive attitude. In cases where the parties were not speaking at all for long periods of time prior to the mediation, the family mediation is an opportunity to heal old wounds and set boundaries. It can serve as a new beginning of an old relationship.

“Alice was incredibly helpful when our family was at a standstill. Communication was impossible prior to our mediation session. I highly recommend Shikina Mediation and Arbitration if you are feeling stuck and unable to communicate with someone you don’t want to lose. THANK YOU ALICE!!!”

Dana

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