Live Blogging from the International Academy of Mediators

From the blog mediator blah…blah…

It’s great to be in clean, green Portland, Oregon. The license plates say ‘Keep Portland Weird’ – how does that work?

And the IAM Fall conference kicked off here today.

Fear, Anger and Risk in Mediation has some great papers over the next couple of days – the session I’m sitting in right now is Motivational Interviewing – Moving Towards Resolution by Dr Kelly Lundberg, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Utah.

Dr Lundberg is a leading expert in addictions and her presentation seeks to connect up what she does to turn clients around from addiction, with what we do as mediators to move people to resolution.

We are both involved in moving people, moving them to change. To give up substance abuse, to resolve the dispute, to make peace… whatever.

There are 4 stages of change:

1. Pre-contemplative – I’m not even thinking of moving/changing/resolving

2. Contemplative – maybe I want to/maybe I don’t
3. Action – OK let’s just do it
4. Relapse – back out of action, and go back to 1 or 2

We want people at mediation to be in the ACTION stage.

How do we get them there? Well, if they are in mediation and are pre-contemplative, we’re all in trouble.

If they are CONTEMPLATIVE, and that’s a good place to be heading to mediation, our job is to move them to ACTION.

Techniques to get them there include (and mediators know some of these well);

1. Concerned empathy –
we know this one

2. What are your 5 most important values – how does this problem fit with those 5?
3. Develop discrepancy – I like this one and it’s similar to values fit question – create a situation where they acknowledge that there is a difference between what they want and what they are doing
4. Role with their resistance – if you push, they resist
5. Change talk – get them talking about why they want to change, move, whatever

Want to know more? – sorry no links but try finding this (if I can, I’ll try to get it up online as it’s interesting stuff);

Lundberg, K.J. (2000). Motivational interviewing and substance abuse. Utah Neuropsychiatric Institute, Salt Lake City, UT.


Geoff Sharp

Geoff Sharp is a Commercial Mediator from Wellington, New Zealand. Geoff works in the Asia Pacific region, including New Zealand, Malaysia, Thailand and Pacific Islands. He is a mediator resolving business problems. He is a fellow of the International Academy of Mediators and mediates complex and hotly debated litigation covering… MORE >

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