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Transformative v Narrative Mediation

Transformative v Narrative Mediation

Do you see any similarities between transformative and narrative mediation?

 

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I think there are some similarities. I think conceptually, philosophically I think there is quite a lot of strong overlap. I think having met with Joe Folger, we shared some space at a conference in Moscow actually a couple years ago. I think some of the distinctions are about the management of the process.

 

I think in narrative practice, the mediator is much more active in managing the dynamics because we’re teasing out . . . We’re doing a lot of nuanced things. We want to guide. We want to guide how the problem-saturated story is talked about. We want to guide the externalising, the mapping. We want to talk explicitly about evaluating preferences.

 

Then, in this double listening process, we’re doing some very fine tuned work in managing the conversation in eliciting these kinds of elements that have been put aside.

 

I’m not at all knowledgeable about transformative mediation. The one thing that just stayed with me was it tends to be more of a free-wheeling context. There can be a lot of full expression of feelings, emotions, and issues the parties had prior to the conflict, and then coming together and there being a lot of room to go where the parties want to go in terms of venting or expressing.

 

We tend to want to take the edge off the intense venting in the separate sessions. There’s going to be some venting in the joint sessions, but we’re trying to minimise that because we don’t want to lose sight of all of these other pieces.

 

People can get carried away with the venting and not always confident that we can stay tracking the preferred narrative. I think the narrative mediator is a lot more hands-on in guiding the whole process from beginning to end.

About the mediator

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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