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Narrative mediation
Loosening the Grip of a Conflict, Narrative Mediation.
 
The choice of beginning the mediation with either joint session or with private sessions is made depending on what the mediator feels serves the process best. If you as mediator begin the mediation in private sessions rather than in joint session, you may consider whether just to talk about the process of the joint session, or you can, as in the example below, also deal with the content of the dispute. Whenever you act as mediator, it is wise to leave at least two third of the talking to the parties, - preferable more. It is difficult though.
 
In the video cut here the mediation is conducted by co-mediators having determined to begin the mediation with private sessions. The first cut shows the mediators met to prepare the mediation.
 

The co-mediators decide to meet with Jim first and this cut shows the opening.
Title:
Loosening the grip

Tape Running Time: 74 minutes

The DVD can be bought at
http://masterswork.com/
shopsite_sc/ store/html/
product107.html

$80.00 for the DVD and
$40 for the film on VHS

Videotraining clip ↓
Gerald Monk and Alison Cotter of the University of Waikato's (New Zealand) Mediation Services act as mediators in this familiar conflict between neighbours. Disagreements about type of music and level of sound have led to police involvement and some physical violence. The viewer is led through the interviewing process from the planning, reviewing the guidelines and to the actual mediation. This video is a good accompaniment to the book by Winslade and Monk.
 
John Winslade is one of the leading figures in the narrative therapy movement and is a teacher of narrative counselling at the University of Waikato in Hamilton, New Zealand. He is the co-author of Narrative Counselling in Schools (1999), Narrative Mediation (2000), and Narrative Therapy in Practice.

Videotraining clip ↓
Jim’s story. (22 mb)

Gerald Monk and Alison Cotter of the University of Waikato's (New Zealand) Mediation Services act as mediators in this familiar conflict between neighbours. Disagreements about type of music and level of sound have led to police involvement and some physical violence. The viewer is led through the interviewing process from the planning, reviewing the guidelines and to the actual mediation. This video is a good accompaniment to the book by Winslade and Monk.  

John Winslade is one of the leading figures in the narrative therapy movement and is a teacher of narrative counselling at the University of Waikato in Hamilton, New Zealand. He is the co-author of Narrative Counselling in Schools (1999), Narrative Mediation (2000), and Narrative Therapy in Practice.
Private pre-mediation
Occasionally the mediator or the co-mediators meet privately either before or during the mediation with one party. What we see here is part of a pre-mediation in a case with the neighbours Jim and Elizabeth.
 
 
Joint session after starting up in private sessions
Jim and Elizabeth is now in the joint session following the private sessions as shown below. They have been introduced to the process, and the opening is influenced hereof.
 
 
Part of the narrative process is to make the parties aware what the conflict has done to their quality of life.
 
In the next cut you see Jim and Elizabeth tell about that.
 
 
Elizabeth is now encouraged to tell about the impact of her life.
 

Elizabeth tells about the impact on her life.
 
Videotraining clip ↓
Elizabeth lost her pace (6 mb)

The mediators now try to get the parties to agree on a context, - name of what happened. This is done to externalize the actions done in order to make the parties realize that concentrating on the action makes up an obstacle to get to where the parties want to go. The mediators try to make the parties relive other stories in which the both were participants.
 
Videotraining clip ↓
Externalising questions (21 mb)
 
Mediator tries to get Jim to define the kind of neighbourliness he would like to have. Also that is a way to prepare for the alternative future common story.
 

Differences between what the parties have experienced in the conflict and what they would like to happen.
 
 
In this cut the mediators are discussing strategy in front of the parties and with the parties resulting in an adjournment of the mediation till next day.
 
Videotraining clip ↓
Strategy discussion (5 mb)
 
The parties have now had a day to ponder and are meeting the next day.
Videotraining clip ↓
Reviewing the new story (6 mb)

 
Post-Modern Epistemology
Narrative mediation originates in the assumption that both feelings and conflicts arise in relations and are not an internal matter. The starting point is that we live in language and in stories as we tell them to others and tell them to ourselves. As stories or narratives are social constructions, it is to a wide extent possible, through other social constructions (other alternative stories), to change the feelings and to change the conflict.
 
From Which Position Is the Story Told?
The mediator tries to make the party take a place in another story dealing with the future. From the place in the story about the future, the perspectives and the feelings are different.
 
The Story Takes Room
Throughout the mediation, the mediator tries to make the alternative narratives broader, richer, more filling, more comprehensive, more constructive and confirming. The idea is to make room for the alternative narrative and to restrict the dominance of the formerly overbearing narrative.
 
Why Are Stories Told?
Stories are told as an outlet for pent-up emotions, to get reactions from others, to understand yourself, to create meaning amid chaos, to get attention, to request support from others and to involve others.
 
What Do Stories Tell?
Stories lay out the right and the wrong about differences between the party and others, about events, surprises, offences, difficulties, inconveniences, dreams and focuses.
 
Stories Influence
Part of the appeal of narratives is that it involves others, and also because it contains the dynamic to influence others. Stories wake up our feelings while connecting the heart with the head.
Externalising
Problems are externalised and identified as roadblocks on the way to the hopes expressed in the beginning of the mediation. Such obstacles are externalised, isolated and liberated from the individual and regarded from the outside. Externalising can, for instance, sound like this: “So, the calls are constant? What will it take to ignore them?” “How does the problem interfere with your work and life? What will it take to reduce or eliminate the interference?”
 
Deconstruction
The deconstruction of the dominating discourse (here, a story) can happen by the mediator making the parties focus on what the whole conflict really is about. Is there anything that they have left out of their stories? Is the story escapable?
Questions about identifying a context might sound like this:“About well-being?”
“About finances?”
“About how you normally experience how and what you stand for (self-identity)?”
Co-Author
The mediator’s deconstructing work is done along with constructing work. Having brought the parties to look at the alternative places together, the parties are now brought to the point of realising that there are now more options for action than they could see from their original place in the dominating conflict-saturated story.
Example
In the book you will find the transcript of a narrative mediation conducted by John Winslade.
Exercise
Try to answer the questions below
 
  1. What commonalities and differences to you see between cognitive-systemic and narrative mediation?
  2. Try to formulate five externalising questions.
  3. Try to formulate five deconstructing questions.
  4. What would you do to make a party realise that, simultaneously with this conflict, he participates in a number of other stories as well?
  5. What would you do to make a party realise that the other party, along with this conflict, is participating in a number of other stories as well?
  6. How can you make the parties talk about those other stories?
  7. How can the parties’ dialogue about the other stories be used?
  8. How do you move a party from one place in the conflict story to another place in another story?
  9. What are the consequences of being moved from a place in the conflict story to a place in another story?
  10. How does the narrative mediator view the concept of neutrality?
  11. How does the narrative mediator view the concept of impartiality?
  12. In cognitive-systemic mediation, the focus is on problems. What does the narrative mediator focus on?
   
 
Book's Website Day 5
 
Narrative mediation
Loosening the Grip of a Conflict, Narrative Mediation.
 
The choice of beginning the mediation with either joint session or with private sessions is made depending on what the mediator feels serves the process best. If you as mediator begin the mediation in private sessions rather than in joint session, you may consider whether just to talk about the process of the joint session, or you can, as in the example below, also deal with the content of the dispute. Whenever you act as mediator, it is wise to leave at least two third of the talking to the parties, - preferable more. It is difficult though.
 
In the video cut here the mediation is conducted by co-mediators having determined to begin the mediation with private sessions. The first cut shows the mediators met to prepare the mediation.
 

The co-mediators decide to meet with Jim first and this cut shows the opening.
 
Videotraining clip ↓
Jim’s story. (22 mb)
 
Gerald Monk and Alison Cotter of the University of Waikato's (New Zealand) Mediation Services act as mediators in this familiar conflict between neighbours. Disagreements about type of music and level of sound have led to police involvement and some physical violence. The viewer is led through the interviewing process from the planning, reviewing the guidelines and to the actual mediation. This video is a good accompaniment to the book by Winslade and Monk.
  
John Winslade is one of the leading figures in the narrative therapy movement and is a teacher of narrative counselling at the University of Waikato in Hamilton, New Zealand. He is the co-author of Narrative Counselling in Schools (1999), Narrative Mediation (2000), and Narrative Therapy in Practice.

Title:
Loosening the grip


Tape Running Time: 74 minutes


The DVD can
be bought at
http://masterswork.com/
shopsite_sc/ store/html/
product107.html


$80.00 for the DVD and
$40 for the film on VHS

 
Private pre-mediation
Occasionally the mediator or the co-mediators meet privately either before or during the mediation with one party. What we see here is part of a pre-mediation in a case with the neighbours Jim and Elizabeth.
 
 
 
 
Joint session after starting up in private sessions
 
Jim and Elizabeth is now in the joint session following the private sessions as shown below. They have been introduced to the process, and the opening is influenced hereof.
 
Part of the narrative process is to make the parties aware what the conflict has done to their quality of life.
 
In the next cut you see Jim and Elizabeth tell about that.
 
 
Elizabeth is now encouraged to tell about the impact of her life.
 
Videotraining clip ↓
De-constructing questions (17 mb)
 
Elizabeth tells about the impact on her life.
 
Videotraining clip ↓
Elizabeth lost her pace (6 mb)
 
 
The mediators now try to get the parties to agree on a context, - name of what happened. This is done to externalize the actions done in order to make the parties realize that concentrating on the action makes up an obstacle to get to where the parties want to go.
The mediators try to make the parties relive other stories in which the both were participants.
 
Videotraining clip ↓
Externalising questions (21 mb)
 
Mediator tries to get Jim to define the kind of neighbourliness he would like to have. Also that is a way to prepare for the alternative future common story.
 
 
Differences between what the parties have experienced in the conflict and what they would like to happen.
 
 
In this cut the mediators are discussing strategy in front of the parties and with the parties resulting in an adjournment of the mediation till next day.
 
Videotraining clip ↓
Strategy discussion (5 mb)

The parties have now had a day to ponder and are meeting the next day.
 
Videotraining clip ↓
Reviewing the new story (6 mb)
 
 
 
Post-Modern Epistemology
 
Narrative mediation originates in the assumption that both feelings and conflicts arise in relations and are not an internal matter. The starting point is that we live in language and in stories as we tell them to others and tell them to ourselves. As stories or narratives are social constructions, it is to a wide extent possible, through other social constructions (other alternative stories), to change the feelings and to change the conflict.
 
 
 
From Which Position Is the Story Told?
 
The mediator tries to make the party take a place in another story dealing with the future. From the place in the story about the future, the perspectives and the feelings are different.
 
 
 
The Story Takes Room
 
Throughout the mediation, the mediator tries to make the alternative narratives broader, richer, more filling, more comprehensive, more constructive and confirming. The idea is to make room for the alternative narrative and to restrict the dominance of the formerly overbearing narrative.
 
 
 
Why Are Stories Told?
 
Stories are told as an outlet for pent-up emotions, to get reactions from others, to understand yourself, to create meaning amid chaos, to get attention, to request support from others and to involve others.  
 
 
 
What Do Stories Tell?
 
Stories lay out the right and the wrong about differences between the party and others, about events, surprises, offences, difficulties, inconveniences, dreams and focuses. 
 
 
 
Stories Influence
 
Part of the appeal of narratives is that it involves others, and also because it contains the dynamic to influence others. Stories wake up our feelings while connecting the heart with the head.  
 
 
 
Externalising
 
Problems are externalised and identified as roadblocks on the way to the hopes expressed in the beginning of the mediation. Such obstacles are externalised, isolated and liberated from the individual and regarded from the outside. Externalising can, for instance, sound like this: “So, the calls are constant? What will it take to ignore them?” “How does the problem interfere with your work and life? What will it take to reduce or eliminate the interference?”
 
 
 
Deconstruction
 
The deconstruction of the dominating discourse (here, a story) can happen by the mediator making the parties focus on what the whole conflict really is about. Is there anything that they have left out of their stories? Is the story escapable?
Questions about identifying a context might sound like this:“About well-being?”
“About finances?”
“About how you normally experience how and what you stand for (self-identity)?”
 
 
 
Co-Author
 
The mediator’s deconstructing work is done along with constructing work. Having brought the parties to look at the alternative places together, the parties are now brought to the point of realising that there are now more options for action than they could see from their original place in the dominating conflict-saturated story.
 
 
Example
 
In the book you will find the transcript of a narrative mediation conducted by John Winslade.
 
 
 
Exercise
 
Try to answer the questions below
 
 
  1. What commonalities and differences to you see between cognitive-systemic and narrative mediation?
  2. Try to formulate five externalising questions.
  3. Try to formulate five deconstructing questions.
  4. What would you do to make a party realise that, simultaneously with this conflict, he participates in a number of other stories as well?
  5. What would you do to make a party realise that the other party, along with this conflict, is participating in a number of other stories as well?
  6. How can you make the parties talk about those other stories?
  7. How can the parties’ dialogue about the other stories be used?
  8. How do you move a party from one place in the conflict story to another place in another story?
  9. What are the consequences of being moved from a place in the conflict story to a place in another story?
  10. How does the narrative mediator view the concept of neutrality?
  11. How does the narrative mediator view the concept of impartiality?
  12. In cognitive-systemic mediation, the focus is on problems. What does the narrative mediator focus on?
    
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