Sandy , Portland OR 01/26/10
Great article. I also see mediation as an alternative option to therapy in certain situations. I've also noticed that some people will seek mediation as a gateway to therapy. Interestingly, I don't often hear of people seeking therapy later turning to mediation...
Debra , Portland OR 12/09/09
Broadening the Vision of Mediation
Thanks for your article.
I agree with your ideas about the scope of mediation. You wrote: "Mediation is for those who need help with an issue or a problem."
I think the concept of mediation can actually be even broader. A skilled mediator can be of assistance in any situation where positions, needs, interests, values, identities, etc. have gotten all "mushed" together and difficult to sort - whether the situation involves intra- or interpersonal relationships.
Alan Sharland, London UK 12/08/09
Mediation 'as an alternative' not 'instead of'...'
I'm puzzled by some of the comments. The article clearly talks about Mediation as an 'alternative' to therapy and at no point says it replaces it. The author is identifying that there is a clear need that many are having met through practises such as mediation and conflict coaching that therapy is not meeting.And of course the opposite is true. But therapy is not 'the answer to everything' any more than mediation is, nor practises such as conflict coaching. I was not confused by the article. I know that there is therapy, and there is an alternative process that many can also benefit from - mediation.
Dana , Calgary AB email@example.com 12/04/09
Well, as a trained therapist AND a mediator - would say that there's lots in common and lots of differences. Like in many fields of knowledge nowadays - lots of disciplines overlap, merge, divide into different entities, transform from one to another , change names and so on.
Alternative to therapy? I'd say, another tool of dealing with people's problems. Having to be able to make EDUCATED CHOICE is the key.
Muhammad Abdullah, Madison WI Mabdullah@stu.matcmadison.edu 12/01/09
Mediation As An Alternative To Therapy
I am not a Mediator. I received training in the 90's when Conciliation, and Healing was a big part of many Social Service and Community Organizing programs, particularly those sponsored by CSAP and other Federal agencies. During that time I served as Outreach Coordinator for the Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee, and Outreach Specialist for the Opportunities Industrialization Center of Greater Milwaukee. As an Imam in the Muslim community I can attest to the fact that Mediation, "Naseeha" (Arabic for sincere advising) and "mashuraa" (mutual consultation) are prominent features of the Islamic Faith. About six years ago I became aware of Mediation as an alternative to expensive litigation, and heard about Capitol Law School's "Minorities in Alternative Dispute Resolution Conference" in Columbus, OH. I invited another Imam from Indianapolis, IN to attend with me, that is the only breif training I've had in Mediation. I have high regards for the "Art/Science of Mediation". I have been known to say that the indigenous, African-American, Muslim community has the largest population of undiagnosed and untreated cases of Mental Illness of any Faith community,in the U.S. (I will let someone who is from the immigrant Muslim community comment on their plight, since the tragedy of Fort Hood is still fresh).I have a high appreciation for the sober message of the previous contributor to this article. As much respect as I have for the Art/Science of Mediation, the last thing I would think anyone, including the author of the article would want, is for someone to mis-perceive the notion that a Mediation session could substitute for a good, qualified therapist. Even if it was only one out of ten, it would be one too many. Nuff said!
B , Mansfield 12/01/09
Mediation is not a substitute for psychotherapy!
I am trained as a psychotherapist, collaborative divorce coach, and mediator. I am quite clear that each modality has it's own time and place and none of these can substitute for the other. Your article causes me great concern as it misinforms the reader. Mediation is not a substitute for psychotherapy for non-mentally ill clients or for any clients for that matter. It is a whole different modality with its own utility, purpose, and goals. Please do not confuse people!