Narrative mediation: a new approach to conflict resolution

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Jossey-Bass, Jan 14, 2000 - Law - 261 pages
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Most professionals trained to resolve conflicts ground their efforts in the theory that people are motivated by a desire to fulfill their personal interests. Mediators work to assist disputing parties by discovering a shared interest, which will motivate each party to resolve their conflicts. However, despite the widespread use of this traditional problem-solving, interest-based model of conflict resolution, incidents of violence, international hostilities, and legal disputes continue to escalate worldwide.

In this book, John Winslade and Gerald Monk introduce narrative mediation-a new paradigm in the field of conflict resolution and a radical departure from the traditional interest-based, problem-solving approach to resolving disputes. Winslade and Monk reveal how this innovative approach, which seeks out the conflicting parties' individual stories, can be applied to create lasting resolution for a wide variety of conflicts. At the heart of narrative mediation lies the goal of developing a context for creating a relationship that is incompatible with conflict. This transformed relationship is built on stories of understanding, respect, and collaboration.

Using actual scenarios from their mediation practice, Winslade and Monk show how the mediation context is filled with strong cultural narratives influenced by ethnicity, gender, class, education, and financial status. The narrative mediation technique guides professionals and their clients to make sense of the complex social contexts that shape conflicts, and ultimately helps to create new possibilities for change. In accessible, everyday language, the authors reveal how to build a trusting relationship with the disputing parties, map the effects of the history of the conflict, construct new solution-bound narratives, and finally move toward consensus and resolution.
Written for therapists, counselors, professional mediators, lawyers, students, and trainees in the field of dispute resolution, Narrative Mediation offers an innovative approach that opens a wealth of new possibilities for the resolution of personal, professional, and legal conflicts.


A revolutionary mediation technique for resolving personal, professional, and legal conflicts

In this groundbreaking book, John Winslade and Gerald Monk --leaders in the narrative therapy movement-introduce an innovative conflict resolution paradigm that is a revolutionary departure from the traditional problem-solving, interest-based model of resolving disputes. The narrative mediation approach encourages the conflicting parties to tell their personal "story" of the conflict and reach resolution through a profound understanding of the context of their individual stories. The authors map out the theoretical foundations of this new approach to conflict resolution and show how to apply specific techniques for the practical application of narrative mediation to a wide variety of conflict situations.

"A groundbreaking book bringing together ideas of social constructionist theory, narrative therapy, and mediation. The authors develop a very clear framework toward understanding this approach with case examples provided. I found this book useful to me both as a practitioner and as a researcher."
--Jerry Gale, director, MFT Doctoral Program, Department of Child and Family Development, The University of Georgia, Co-PI Mediator Skills Project

"An important "must-read" for anyone who is contemplating mediation, either as a receiver or as a provider. John Winslade and Gerald Monk are consummately qualified to bring us this book that is rich in a social constructionist understanding and revolutionary in approach. Focusing on stories of respect, mutuality, consideration, and support, their suggestions can only lead to new possibilities of peaceful coexistence-on both personal and global levels."
--Victoria C. Dickerson, cofounder, and coauthor, If Problems Talked: Narrative Therapy in Action

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Theoretical and Philosophical Issues in Narrative
A Narrative Model of Mediation

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About the author (2000)

JOHN WINSLADE is director of the counselor education program at the University of Waikato in Hamilton, New Zealand. GERALD MONK Gerald Monk and John Winslade are leading figures in the narrative therapy movement and counselors of narrative mediation at the Waikato Mediation Services in Hamilton, New Zealand. They are the coauthors of Narrative Therapy in Practice (Jossey-Bass, 1997) and Narrative Counseling in Schools (1999).