Mediating with Families 3rd Edition - Book

Mediating with Families 3rd Edition - Book

By Mieke Brandon, Linda Fisher


$135.00 RRP

Date: 31/08/2012

Code: 9780455229775

Thomson Reuters, AUSTRALIA

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Book Mediating with Families 3rd Edition - Book 31/08/2012 9780455229775 $135.00 Add to cart
Book+eBook Mediating with Families 3rd ed - eBook & Book 25/09/2012 30160177 $174.00 Add to cart
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  “The 3rd edition of this essential title continues its significant role in providing a substantial resource for practitioners, anchoring their work in best practice, standards and ethics.”  - From the Foreword by Professor Hilary Astor

 Mediating with Families 3rd edition provides unique insights into the theory and practice of mediation in Australia. It considers the variety and diversity of family relationships, such as those between same-sex, de facto and married couples, parents and adolescents, extended family relationships, siblings and their elderly parents.

Mediating with Families has established itself as the pre-eminent resource for:

  • Seasoned family dispute resolution practitioners and those starting out in the field;
  • Lecturers and trainers in family dispute resolution;
  • Administrators and managers of family relationship centres;
  • Family lawyers, collaborative lawyers, child consultants, social workers and psychologists; and
  • Mediators interested in working with families in all their variety.

Mieke Brandon and Linda FIsher have thoroughly revised the 3rd Edition, capturing a wide range of new developments and continuing to provide unique insights into the theory and practice of family mediation in Australia. They authoritatively discuss assessments for suitability and the range of dispute resolution processes such as shuttle, co-mediation, the conduct of financial and property matters, and the child’s voice in mediation.  

It also considers how concerns of family violence can influence power relations and the ability of parties to problem-solve and to negotiate.

New developments in this edition include:

  • Significant changes to the relevant law for parenting and property matters for same sex and opposite sex couples;
  • Issues that can arise in families when children are conceived through surrogacy, donor sperm or adoption;
  • Expanded coverage of the role of the mediator in facilitative practices such as problem-solving, narrative, transformative and therapeutic mediation;
  • The use of mediation and conciliation in the Children’s Court in care and protection, and guardianship matters;
  • Increasing use of electronic means to conduct mediation; and
  • Dealing with complaints about practitioners.

The 3rd Edition also reflects the latest research and issues from the ‘coal-face’ for mediators, such as:

  • Fresh approaches to cross-cultural issues, expanded sections on the art of questioning, and information on indigenous mediation from centres which have large and diverse ethnic populations;
  • The importance of hearing the child’s voice in mediation and understanding their needs;
  • Intake processes, the role of support people, and the capacity of parties to mediate;
  • Issues of family violence, its impact on the parties and on the mediation; and
  • The need for supervision, mentoring and coaching to support practitioners in their personal and professional development.

Mediating with Families 3rd Edition includes many case studies and reflective examples which inform  readers and enable them to consider how their own values and beliefs can influence the mediation process.

Editorial Reviews

From: Australian Dispute Resolution Association, July 2009
Reviewed by Joe Harman

Nearly any dispute can be mediated and most sectors of Australian Society are now familiar with mediation-from Local Court civil claims matters through employment and compensation proceedings to the Armed Forces.

But mediating with families is different. Mediation involving families addresses:

   -  far more complex and intertwined relationships than a commercial dispute
   -  more intangible (and, when dealing with children, important) subject matter
   -  people and relationships beyond the parties to the dispute and the myriad of stakeholders,   some involved and some not, in the negotiation and outcome 
   -  very real and human consequences which can profoundly affect the development and future of children and thus have generational repercussions.

In Mediating with Families Linda Fisher and Mieke Brandson recognise and acknowledge the fundamental uniqueness and diversity of disputes involving families and, by so doing, commence a comprehensive dialogue regarding mediation and families. The discussion around these issues is practical, authorative and, most importantly, responsive to the strengths and skills of the mediator/practitioner and sensitive to the needs of and respecting family participants.

The text commences logically by setting the context of the family-both intact and separated. These themes are returned to throughout the text and with a view to the mediator reflecting upon and increasing their own skills and being conscious of their own beliefs and experiences. In discussing these issues, in particular, Linda and Mieke's experience shine through-like all good mediators they don¡¦t proffer the solution to all questions but ask the right questions to help the reader find the answer that works for them (together with the resources within the text to inform those decisions).

In discussing the various models of mediation available Linda and Mieke sub consciously reflect the spirit and intention of the regime of mandated mediation operating in Australia in 2009-the mediator must step beyond rigidity and must shape and manage a process that is responsive to the needs of and able to engage parents. Rigid models of services delivery take ownership of the process away from the family participants.

Regulation 29 requires a flexible response and this text should, perhaps, become compulsory for all FDR practitioners and, more importantly, managers and supervisors within FDR services (as well as for those undertaking the Vocational Certificate). It will certainly become a reference text within my teaching and supervision.

The comprehensive discussion of practical considerations is enormously usefully and combined with practical and reflective exercises. Completing these is time well spent and will  engage even the most experienced practitioner to challenge their own service delivery and mediation strategies. The value for less experienced practitioners is equal and will provide a more than useful guide and reflective tool that can and should be returned to as a supervision exercise over time.

One of the greatest strengths of this text is its ability to speak to practitioners at all levels of experience. The language, befitting of leading family mediators, is accessible and inclusive and thus able to engage and guide the novice whilst posing questions on a deeper level for the experienced practitioner who will be able to use the text as a self reflective learning tool.

In practical terms Chapters 9-12 and the excellently written appendixes, in particular, have the potential to become (and should become) a standard practice guide. Highlighting, as they do, the day to day mechanics of an FDR practitioner's work, they represent a body of work that can greatly inform the practice of family dispute resolution within Australia (and beyond).

This text should be in the library of each FRC, FDRP and RTO. It provides an excellent and comprehensive discussion of all relevant subject matter and offers the basis for a far more flexible and informed style of mediation specifically focused upon families and their issues and providing the basis for engaging, rewarding and successful practice.

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