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What style of meditation does Adelaide Family Mediation practise?



A practitioner can use many styles of mediation when facilitating family mediation. While the Attorney Generals Department does outline certain obligations that Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners must comply with, the facilitation style is up to the practitioner and the parties involved.


Our obligations to clients that Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners need to comply with are;

  • confidentiality

  • conducting intake and assessments

  • providing information for parties in dispute

  • reporting of child abuse obligations

  • ensuring there are no conflicts of interest

  • and issuing section 60I or a Certificate of Dispute Resolution

Mediation though at its core, is an interactive process in which a neutral mediator works jointly with the parties to negotiate and settle matters outside of the courtroom. Mediation ensures that the parties involved maintain control of the outcomes, with most issues settling before reaching the courtroom.


I genuinely believe that mediation is an excellent dispute resolution tool. It might sound like I am selling my wears. Still, mediation allows you to get the best outcome for your situation while retaining the power. However, it's essential to find the right mediator and mediation style for you.


Adelaide Family Mediation will use more than one mediation style, depending on the situation. A few techniques are widely known and used, and others are emerging. So what are they?


1. Facilitative mediation


Facilitative is the most familiar style of family mediation and has been around since the 1960s. Facilitative mediation aims to support all parties to meet their needs and develop a sustainable and long-lasting agreement. Facilitative mediators believe that parties can reach a sustainable agreement if they have the information and the time to work through the negotiation process. Facilitative mediators don't advise the matters likely outcome should the case proceed to court. Facilitative mediation allows the parties involved to come to a reasonable conclusion with the support and guidance of an unbiased mediator without pushing for a specific outcome or giving too many of our own opinions during the session.


2. Evaluative mediation

Evaluative mediation is all about negotiating and reaching an outcome. You can have this if I can have that... The focus is more on recognising the likely result if the parties went to court and less on the parties' personal interests or want. This is a great option when parties are looking for a fast outcome and want to get through the process quickly. This style is commonly used and has more structure than the facilitative approach.


3. Narrative mediation

Narrative mediation focuses on reshaping a conflict by creating a new 'story' or 'narrative' around the dispute to find a reasonable agreement. It is a newer mediation approach and focuses on reshaping conflict by talking through past issues and creating a new narrative around the conflict to find an appropriate agreement. This isn't a typical mediation style, and not all mediators practice the narrative style.


4. Transformative mediation


Transformative mediation is newer and focuses on fixing the relationship between parties engaging in conflict coaching before moving on to resolve the matters in dispute. Mediators who practise this style tend to have a counselling or social science background. Transformative mediation is not always suitable and can't be forced by one party onto the other. It can take longer and is less effective if you want a parenting plan or financial settlement in just one or two sessions. Still, it is beneficial for parents that don't communicate effectively and want to work towards a healthier co-parenting relationship.


At Adelaide Family Mediation, we practice all four styles. We consult with our clients to determine the best style or styles to use based on the desired outcome of the process. We think that mediation needs to be tailored to the individual and that different styles and not just one suit different situations. We will work with you to identify the technique required for your specific case.

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