Mediation Creates a Holistic Approach to Family Conflicts
by Denisha Shah
Family conflicts are a natural phenomenon. Disputes within the family are a part of the basic human lifecycle and create a process of gaining better understanding to the evolution of human relationships. There are innumerable options to evaluate and resolve family conflicts as counseling, facilitation, litigation, psycho-therapy, arbitration, and most importantly mediation. Mediation is a path of love and compassion that offers a win-win ideal process in allowing the family conflict to a natural, harmonious resolution. There are 10 reasons listed below why mediation creates such a holistic and balanced approach in generating more love within family conflicts.
1. Lack of Stressors & Pressure.
The process of mediation is completely voluntary for all parties involved including the neutral mediator. Spouses can terminate the process whenever they want but no one can impose any type of decisions upon them. Unlike litigation or arbitration that may host a win-lose ideal with limited options, mediation opens creative doorways to infinite opportunities for all of the parties involved in setting a win-win ideal standard and allowing the parties to be empowered within to come to a mutual agreement or resolution (Grusin, 2015). In the engagemen of mediation, parties often stand alone with mediators, and in the absence of the other party, they can divulge about all of their desires, problems, and perspectives; while the neutral mediator empowers them to discover creative and holistic options in the process.
- Equanimity and Emotional Balance.
One of the major affairs dealing with family conflicts is substantial emotional pain for all parties involved in the conflict. In most cases, spouses usually dramatize the controversies and often consider harming one another as the only option. Mediation recognizes emotions from an equitable stance, transcends the orthodox win-lose models (especially litigation), and offers a holistic process for all parties to express themselves in a healthy manner (Malcom & O’Donnel, 2009). It is aimed to help parties seek a solution that will meet their interests in a strictly confidential and extrajudicial procedure that is also intertwined with a humanistic mechanism that involves extensive empathy, love, and compassion by the neutral mediator.
- Emergence of Loyalty and Trust.
Another essential element of mediator’s influence on the restoration of healthy family relationships is loyalty and trust, which has two aspects. Firstly, each spouse knows that his / her partner always works with the best prompts. Secondly, each spouse is sure that his / her partner will never hurt intentionally (Nolan, 2013). This is the holistic foundation of mutual principles for the benefit of the whole family.
- Induction of Kindness and Benevolence.
Usually, the emotions of the parties in breaking the marriage are an obstacle to a civilized settlement of all the necessary moments of further life. When spouses come to the mediator with a firm decision to separate or dealings of child custody for example, it is advisable to consult such clients about the key issues. In such situations, reconciliation is likely to happen (Beardsley, 2011). Thus, to a certain extent, the degree of hostility is reduced and the attention of the parties switches to maintaining relationships with holistic factors as kindness and benevolence.
The mediator is not allowed to support one of the parties and is an impartial participant in all of the conflict discussions. Furthermore, the mediator also provides restoration of the ability to negotiate with the partners in the conflict, structures the conflict, and organizes the negotiation situation for the benefit of all parties involved (Ashley, 2001). The neutral mediator helps parties develop a holistic, mutually acceptable, and viable resolution process in the context of their existing divergent interests.
- Evolution of Equal Vision.
Selfish and sublime attitudes of one partner to another are common and frequent appearances in the family misalliances. The inequality of partners is of a very social nature in unbalanced family relationships (Herbert & others, 2011). Mediation sets a strong ideal in not only avoiding the root of the problem but also aids in transcending the family conflict. The holistic standard is to seek solace, support, and re-education through the neutral mediator in discovering equality and a harmonious balance in family relationships.
- Bona Fide Impact.
The bona fide mediator restores the ability of the spouses to exert a healthy and positive influence on each other. Instead of a forcing a resolution, the mediator pays particular attention to the ability to carefully listen and respond holistically with love and compassion (Roepstorff & Bernhard, 2013). The evolution of mediation process allows each of the spouses to develop a strong conviction that he/she can fully express the feelings and will be listened to with dignity, sincerity, love, and respect.
The positive difference between mediation and psychotherapy is that during mediation partners do not clarify relationships, but seek a solution with a third party (MacKinnon & Fairchild, 2009). The neutral mediator serves to engage the parties in conflict through empathy and deeper understanding. The journey of mediation is not about the change of family relations. The primary focus is about discovering the root of the family conflict. Furthermore, the solution of which is achieved by active contributions of the conflicting parties themselves through the guidance and holistic empowerment strategies of the neutral mediator.
- Emergence of Dignity & Stature.
The constitutional focus of family happiness is having a strong sense of dignity and respect for the partner and the whole family, establishing unity, without which the family foundation is destroyed (Mcewen & others, 2014). The mediator teaches couples that this sincere stature is based on awareness and acceptance of both the strengths and weaknesses of the partner.
- Visionary Model of Solving Family Conflicts for the Future.
The mediator’s competence includes not only the duty to help solve an already existing conflict, but also to teach the parties not to allow such situations or at least to correctly solve them in the future (Moore, 2014). Ultimately, the mediation process offers a visionary model for preventive strategies, especially in generating a harmonious flow of energy for the holistic benefit of all parties involved in a family conflict. With this training, all of the parties of the family conflict will fully understand the consequences of their own decisions.
Ultimately, one can say that the bona fide mediator creates holistic conditions for work and its style, maintains equanimity, loyalty, benevolence, and neutrality, seeks for dignity, equal vision, respect, empathy, and trust within the interaction of all parties involved in a family conflict. Conflicting partners with the mediator’s help represent their positions, visions, and interests from the current situation and all harmoniously develop solutions. The mediator finds a holistic, balanced, and visionary approach to the conflicting sides, helps them solve problems, activates future prevention strategies, and thus contributes to generating more love for a family conflict.
Ashley, B. (2001). The Mediation Field Guide: Transcending Litigation and Resolving Conflicts in Your Business or Organization. Jossey-Bass. 271-272.
Beardsley, K. (2011). The Mediation Dilemma. Cornell University Press. 156-157
Grusin, R. (2015). Radical Mediation. Critical Inquiry, 42(1), 124-148.
Herbert, W., De Palo, G., Baker, A., Anthimos, A., Tereshchenko, N., & Judin, M. (2011). International Commercial Mediation. The International Lawyer, 45(1), 111-123.
MacKinnon, D., & Fairchild, A. (2009). Current Directions in Mediation Analysis. Current Directions in Psychological Science,18(1), 16-20.
Malcom, E., & O’Donnel, F. (Eds.). (2009). A Guide to Mediating in Scotland. Edinburgh University Press. 25-36
Mcewen, C., Mather, L., & Maiman, R. (2014). Lawyers, Mediation, and the Management of Divorce Practice. In Larson E. & Schmidt P. (Eds.), The Law and Society Reader II (pp. 147-156). NYU Press.
Moore, C. (2014). The Mediation Process: Practical Strategies for Resolving Conflict. Jossey- Bass. 451-453.
Nelson, Lisa. “What is A Divorce Mediator”. Mediation Blog. Lisa Nelson. Retrieved 29 July 2012.
Nolan, K. (2013). Mediation:.Litigation, 39(1), 59-60.
Roepstorff, K., & Bernhard, A. (2013). Insider Mediation in Peace Processes: An Untapped Resource? Sicherheit Und Frieden (S F) / Security and Peace, 31(3), 163-169.
by Denisha Shah
Dr. Denisha Shah, DO, MPH, is aspiring to advance in a multi-dimensional study of integrative health-care, holistic medicine, global healing, and eternal peacemaking through a triple degree pursuance as a doctorate in osteopathic medicine (DO), masters of public health (MPH), doctorate in conflict analysis and resolution (PhD) and multiple other educational, humanistic, and artistic endeavors internationally.