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Family mediation as a method of solving conflicts in the family

Tanja Pia Metelko (2013) Family mediation as a method of solving conflicts in the family. PhD thesis.

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    As one of the ways of handling conflicts, smoothing over disagreements and settling disputes, mediation doesn’t represent an invention of the present, (post) modern age for humanity, for some say it has been around ever since the first three people walked the earth, with one of them helping the other two when they couldn’t reach an agreement on their own. Nevertheless, its current form has been known for only half a century. As a form of a complimentary method of resolving disputes, which would have otherwise been brought to court, mediation presents in certain parts of the world more, in others less established way of helping people who find themselves in situations they perceive as insoluble or difficult to solve in practically all areas of people’s lives. Family mediation, which from the relations and emotive aspects if not universally deals with the most sensitive sphere of human existence, is one its numerous and for many the most fundamental form. Family mediation stands for the building and managing of the life process between members of an extended or immediate family in the presence of an independent and impartial mediator who helps participants in mediation share their needs and desires and conceptions of what they find important through conversation and expression of their opinions and interests, thus trying to find a consensual and self-responsible settlement which shall reflect mutual satisfaction and well-being of everyone involved. In Slovenia, mediation in several organizations in the local community and with a few years’ delay as a form of court-annexed mediation began to be implemented a decade and a half ago. So this is a very young, developing method which needs to be studied, analyzed, structured and, on the basis of theoretical and empirical arguments, fully implemented into the Slovenian region; all of which presents the primary purpose of the doctoral dissertation, with the aim of applying its results to practice. During the short time of mediation implementation in Slovenia, many dilemmas have arisen within professional circles on the one hand, while on the other, numerous initiatives have been introduced for mediation analysis and structuring. Therefore, the dissertation attempts to respond to the relevance of the issue and contribute to the development of mediation. The purpose of the research may be divided into two sections. The first, a bit more extensive aim was to gather and organize regulatory acts on family mediation in the European Union regulations and in member states on the one hand, and to research the variability of interpretation and implementation of family mediation and family mediator training provided by various centres in Slovenia on the other. The goal of the other, more specific part was to identify and analyse the factors influencing the parties’ decision to opt for family mediation; to analyse the effectiveness of family mediation, the satisfaction of parties, expenses, duration and the final outcome; to identify and analyse the connection of the mediation technique usage and the mediation style of mediators to the process of family mediation and its results; and to compare the relationship of the parties prior to and following mediation. Findings based on the research results are aimed at indicating some guidelines on the standardization of professional training for family mediators and the application of family mediation in the Slovenian region; some of which is also presented in the dissertation. The results have shown that legislation on mediation in European Union member states is very similar in some parts, especially regarding the implementation process and basic principles, such as the conception of confidentiality and impartiality of mediators. On the other hand, certain differences between the countries have been observed, for example in the role and authority of mediators and in the procedure for appointing mediators. The concept of family mediation application and mediator training process have been assessed using a semi-structured questionnaire by means of which data of eleven mediation organizations and seven district courts offering court-annexed mediation programes has been analyzed. Certain techniques have been identified which three mediators, whose mediations resulted in signing the mediated agreement and have thus ended very successfully, use more often or even exclusively, as opposed to two mediators whose parties terminated the mediation process without reaching an agreement. The widest range of findings has been made on the basis of the research and analysis of open interviews conducted with participants in family mediation, which have been processed by means of a qualitative method and the semi-structured questionnaire designed for family mediators, which has been processed by employing a quantitative method of data analysis. The results represent the core of the dissertation, and at the same time also a base for certain suggestions for practice, which should also be dedicated some attention. The conclusion of the dissertation consists of a breakdown and summary of all important results, collected and analyzed on the basis of five independent, but related projects.

    Item Type: Thesis (PhD thesis)
    Keywords: family mediation, effectiveness, satisfaction of parties, mediation techniques and skills, mediation style, legal acts
    Number of Pages: 364
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    red. prof. dr. Bojan DeklevaMentor
    Link to COBISS: http://www.cobiss.si/scripts/cobiss?command=search&base=50126&select=(ID=9889609)
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 2028
    Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2014 14:29
    Last Modified: 06 Feb 2014 14:29
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/2028

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