When to Call a Family Mediator

Posted in: Intervention

April 18, 2014

A man wiping his eyes while a man and woman look at him

Families have conflicts all the time, which may be over trivial matters or more serious issues alike. Many people can work out these differences and compromise on their own, but some families need outside help to compromise. It’s unclear when families should seek professional mediators, so consider all aspects of the disagreement to know when you should seek a family mediator.

Effects of Family Conflict Resolution

Arguments often occur, and many families can work through these problems without professional help. Some families can improve their communication skills by learning about the techniques mediators use to resolve conflicts. As Sadia Latifi explains, these techniques include the following examples:

  • Setting ground rules—Have each side clearly define what rules the discussion will have, and then stick to those rules
  • Don’t secretly hunt for information—Be honest with each other and discuss your feelings directly instead of acting behind the other party’s back
  • Practice affirming nonverbal communication—You could nod your head and maintain eye contact
  • Be open to alternative answers—Sometimes, the best solution to a conflict is one that neither side has considered

Learn about family resolution skills to address your family conflicts.

Disputes a Family Mediator Can Address

Families may need to call a family mediator when they fail to resolve problems on their own. The Association of Family and Conciliation Courts defines family mediation as “a cooperative problem-solving process in which a neutral professional helps people in conflict clearly define the issues in dispute and to reach agreements that are in the best interests of their family.” This method of conflict resolution can help any of the following situations:

  • One or both sides of a disagreement are unwilling to compromise
  • One or more family members feel like they are not being heard or considered
  • The family has a major breakdown in communication

Family mediators are especially helpful in the following situations:

  • A couple going through a separation or divorce
  • A couple trying to get back together after a separation or a divorce
  • A family dealing with a loved one who has a serious physical or psychological issue, such as an addiction

Professional help is available to anyone in need.

What Is Family Remediation?

When a family meets with a professional mediator, several things will happen. The mediator will first listen to all sides of the disagreement to ensure that everyone’s point of view is heard. She will then discuss the reasons behind the disagreement, as well as possible solutions to it. Finally, she will help the family decide about how to handle the disagreement. Throughout the process, she will teach the family interpersonal communication skills, so they can resolve conflicts on their own in the future.

Find Professional Family Mediators

Disputes between family members can sometimes become intense, and if all sides disrespect the other participants, it’s hard to find resolution. When conflict seems insurmountable, a professional mediator can help you work through your issues and find a peaceful agreement.

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