Anxiously awaited by fans of the 1st and 2nd editions of Lisa Parkinson’s definitive work on Family Mediation, the Third Edition of this book was published at the beginning of the year. Drawing on decades of experience and scholarship, Parkinson, one of the “founding mothers” of family mediation in the UK, has produced a comprehensive,…

Amati, the Association of Mediation Assessors, Trainers and Instructors, held their second international conference in Coventry at the beginning of this month. The theme was Moving Over: Developing Conversation Training and Hybrid Models in Mediation. This relatively new organisation, aimed at those of us training and assessing mediators, has the aim of “benchmarking best practice”…

“Crikey it’s like herding cats!” a student said to me recently during a multi-party mediation role-play. It struck me as a fairly accurate description of mediation alright; the parties, the other stakeholders, the multitude of issues, apparent and covert, the emotions and the changes in pace and direction. And that is only in the mediation…

A couple of years ago in January I wrote a post on likely developments in Ireland in the New Year which, if I recall correctly, had the expression “High Hopes” in the title. Those hopes related primarily to the publication of a new, comprehensive piece of legislation on mediation and the impact it might have…

At this time of annual reflection, I always feel it is worth looking back and picking out some of the better readings and materials I have come across over the past number of months. My father recently said he wished he had been in possession of a wheel barrow when visiting Harvard University’s bookstore, and…

“There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.” (Nelson Mandela) The inspiration for this piece has come from a two very different sources. First the extraordinary event that was the World Conflict Resolution Day conference in Stafford in October which focused on children and…

Never one to turn down the opportunity to try out new technological developments, I was interested to come across software designed to assist in formulating parenting plans earlier this year. This may sound rather “out there” to many mediators, so bear with me while I try to set out how it works and how I…

The weekend past saw Irish and international conflict resolution professionals gather in the (sunny!) leafy setting of the National University of Ireland, Maynooth for a conference entitled “Where next? Creative Responses to Conflict through Mediation and Restorative Practice”. With an ambitious broad ambit, the conference features no less than 60 speakers, presenting on an enormous…

“When you look into the abyss, the abyss looks into you.” (Nietzsche) Relationship breakdown and the resulting fall-out is an abyss most people do not like to look into, even as they tumble into it. As family mediators, our job is to accompany and support people’s navigation into, through and, hopefully, out of the abyss…

At the risk of being accused of being too much of a purist, I just have to have a little grumble about the latest misappropriation of the term mediation. All involved in promoting and encouraging the use of mediation know how one of the largest barriers to people availing of this process is the lack…