The Importance Of Mediation

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Mediation can be an experience that people often shy away from because they think that they do not need to solicit the help from a third party. The types of conflicts that can require the need for mediation have a long range. The conflict I choose to have my volunteers, my mom and brother, act out was the example of a custody battle. This conflict in real life can often be messy and require mediation so that parents can work together to find what is in the best interest of the children. This is also what I as the mediator was hoping to help find. The words of Barbara Bautz (1988) helped me to prepare for the mediation, “The purpose of mediation is to help resolve conflicts by assisting divorcing parents to make decisions concerning child custody,…show more content…
I felt that this was a conflict I would be able to see both sides of the argument which proved to be true. The other part about being the mediator that I found to be interesting was the way that I was able to draw the couple back to what was most important, which was what was best for their children. This seemed to become jumbled when the couple started to fight for what it was that they wanted, and thought was best for the children. “Research indicates that the post-divorce relationship between parents is the most critical factor in the functioning of the family. In other words, the level of conflict between parents is perhaps more central to the child's post-divorce adjustment than is parental absence or the divorce itself” (Burrell, Narus, Bogdanoff, & Allen, 1994, p.…show more content…
93). The area I think I most struggled with was not inserting what I thought would be the best solution. Since I had an objective opinion that I felt was what was best for the children it was difficult for me to try to remain silent in giving my opinion of what I though would be best. In Donald Saposnek’s (1985) article What is Fair in Child Custody Mediation he says, “For the mediator, a difficulty arises when one parent boldly claims to know what is fair and right for the child but the claim is in contradiction to what the other parent asserts. Determining whether the proposed arrangement is indeed fair for the child, or merely a spousal strategy intended primarily to satisfy any number of personal needs of the parent, is certainly a central challenge for the mediator, testing his or her assessment skills as well as challenging his or her sense of fairness for the child. However, for the mediator, discriminating among these assertions is rarely a simple task” (Saposnek, 1985, p. 12). In this situation I worked hard to remain unbiased and to try and sympathize with both Tim and Lauren, but also remember that we have to make a decision about how to reach a decision about what would be best for their
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