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Challenges of Explaining Mediation

Challenges of Explaining Mediation

What do you think are some of the difficulties in explaining mediation to prospective clients?



Full Transcript

Yeah. I think it’s right that the more mediation is seen as the go-to service for disputes of all kinds in our culture. Like I said, you know, children need educating. ‘What are we going to do, where do we go for that? Oh, school.’ It’s just like an automatic fit. If you can get to an automatic fit between a relationship dispute of whatever context to mediation, then that’s got to be a good thing.


But, obviously, you want to make the service attractive to people, so that they see the value added. I think a lot of explanations of mediation, they say all things that mediation is not. So, in fact, I’m going to the Ministry of Justice next week to partly talk about the advert they’ve got for family mediation. And it has this series of questions which is ‘Is mediation this’? No. ‘Is mediation this’? No. ‘Does it do this’? No. Rather than saying what it is and it does say what it is, but it’s an ‘If then’ question/answer. The structure is wrong.


Then you’ll see mediation explanations where it says ‘Mediation can be quite helpful.’ Or ‘Mediation can work if this happens and that happens’. Rather than ‘Mediation works well because this is what mediators do.’ So, there’s a lot of hesitancy around explanations. No one wants to say ‘Mediation works.’ it’s like, ‘Well, it can work’. It works.

About the mediator

Liz Stokoe Profile Pic

Liz graduated from University of Central Lancashire (Preston Poly) in 1993 with a traditional psychology degree. She then completed three years PhD research at Northampton University (then Nene College) with Dr Eunice Fisher. Liz videoed interaction in university tutorials, and conducted conversation analyses of topic production, topic management, academic identity, and the relevance of gender. She developed these and other interests whilst worki... View Mediator