As divorce rates rise, family mediation represents an alternative way of making settlements without involving an already overburdened judicial system. This book presents a discussion of the current North American trends in the burgeoning field of family mediation by featuring both a review of the literature and a model for family mediation practice. The practice model presented here, Therapeutic Family Mediation, stresses an ecological perspective, and considers the feminist critique of the mediation process. The authors also address mediation's role in the important issues of joint custody, ethnicity, and child protection. Future directions in family mediation are examined in the final part.

Toward a Feminist-Informed Model of Therapeutic Family Mediation

Toward a feminist-informed model of therapeutic family mediation


As we have seen in Chapter 4, under certain circumstances women in mediation can be at risk, both in terms of their physical safety and the fairness and equity of agreements arrived at through this approach. Both concerns have been uppermost in the minds of feminist critics and observers of family mediation. However, their subsequent response has been less than unanimous, a function of the complex state of modern feminism.

At present, feminism is not a monolithic perspective, but rather involves several divergent schools or factions (Luepnitz, 1988, p. 15; Wilson, 1991, p. 8). One of the central notions of some feminist proponents is in patriarchy, that social arrangement in which ...

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