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Narrative Co-Mediation

Narrative Co-Mediation

Do you use a co-mediator in narrative mediation?



Full Transcript

There is a lot going on. It’s like any practice. There are a lot of different elements to it. Specifically, because we’re so interested in the dominant socio-cultural landscapes that are playing out in individual people’s lives, we feel that we’ve got some kind of ethical responsibility. Not only to address that element in a way that makes sense to the parties, but also to mediators.


What are some of the other elements that we prize, that mediators have this inscrutable sense of being completely balanced in the way that they present themselves?


We’re very much as interested in what are the socio-cultural issues playing out with the mediator? We have to manage that too because we do want the parties to leave the process saying, ‘I felt treated fairly. I felt I was treated respectfully. I had my say as much as the other. I felt I was treated in an even-handed way.’


The idea of mediator neutrality and impartiality, if we don’t look at our own social location in the process, we’re missing a big part of the issue. We would say we’ve got an ethical responsibility to help address for ourselves, and the people we’re working with, these wider socio-cultural forces.


It is hands-on rather than more of a kind of free-wheeling, let things fall where they may. When you’re looking at parties that are sitting in front of you, their lives, from their social location, their own social position and hierarchies can be very different. Not being thoughtful about that and having a very loose, not very thoughtful idea about what’s going on here, can limit avenues of exploration that could create new openings that weren’t there before.

About the mediator

Gerald Monk Profile Pic

Gerald Monk is a Professor in the Department of Counseling and School Psychology at San Diego State University and teaches in the Marriage and Family Therapy Program. He is a practicing Marriage and Family Therapist in California and a mediator and trainer in collaborative divorce practices and mediation in health care. He has worked as a psychologist and counselor educator in New Zealand for fifteen years prior to moving to the United States ... View Mediator