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.

The TFM Approach: Step-by-Step Guide: Phase 2: Premediation
The TFM approach: Step-by-step guide: Phase 2: Premediation

That a client couple may be assessed as amenable to mediation does not mean they are immediately ready to begin negotiation. It does mean that, in the mediator's judgment, they have the potential to do so. To realize this potential, however, one or several blockages must first be removed, hence their entry into mediation via premediation. As seen in Table 5.1, the ultimate goal of the premediation phase is make whatever changes are necessary so that the couple in question may engage in productive negotiation, thus allowing them to participate meaningfully in the family mediation process.

Table 5.1 Premediation
  • Goals
    • Prepare the client couple for productive negotiation
    • Inform as needed
    • Educate as needed
    • Advocate as needed
    • Intervene ...
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