I have always wanted to experiment with group mediation but never have had an opportunity. There are two forms of group mediation.
An article on the internet at http://www.edr.state.va.us/docsnforms/med/Med-C.doc says, “Traditional group mediation is a voluntary process in which trained mediators assist members of a work group in an open and confidential forum to: (1) identify and discuss the issues that are affecting the group; (2) explore alternatives that may resolve the issues; and (3) reach agreement on the alternatives that would best resolve the issues. The mediators meet with the work group, explain the process and answer questions, interview each group member privately to obtain his or her perspective of the situation, identify and list issues from the information shared during the interviews and present the list to the group for approval; the group may add or delete issues, ask the group to prioritize the issues and decide the order of discussion by the group, facilitate the discussion of the issues, establish with the group a schedule of two or three meetings, 3-4 hours each, to discuss the issues, help the parties define the issues involved
• encourage and assist the parties to have open and honest communication
• do not make judgments on who is right or wrong
• do not make decisions or impose solutions
• are voluntary participants who want to discuss and resolve the issues
• must be willing to talk openly and honestly about their concerns and issues
• must be willing to generate alternatives to resolve the issues”
I would like to experiment with a different type of group divorce mediation. It would be more like group therapy. I would meet with a few divorcing couples and try to mediate all the divorces at once. It would save the couples money. I am not sure if it would make problem solving easier or harder. Probably both. So far it has the logistics or getting couples and have them meet has prevented me from trying. Perhaps, one day it will all come together.
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