Mediator, PPC and Trainer:
This article addresses the power of 'naming' in mediation in terms of releasing the problem-solving capacity of people in dispute. Strong feelings and difficult issues can drive a dispute; but they cannot be addressed unless they are first named. Mediators work patiently to disentangle threads and lay them out for inspection in an objective way, by naming them in a neutral way. The naming of issues and emotions is fundamental to the process of mediation in enabling people to problem solve consciously and reflectively, rather than reactively. When issues are named people can choose to manage decision making in a different way and can extend the range of options that are considered. The naming process thus has the potential to open up new perspectives, give rise to new understandings and generate new solutions.
The full version of this article appears in the May 2013 issue of Family Law.