The intimacy of family life often results in conflict between generations, despite loving one another deeply. Reflective Mediation can help.
Reflective Mediation's Philosophy
People typically seek health and happiness. Negative feelings and behaviours arise when healthy needs get thwarted. Family members naturally prefer to get along, to feel appreciated, understood and trusted. But life can get in the way. Young adults often feel powerless and angry when parental concern is perceived as distrust or an attempt to exert control. Parents often feel disrespected and anxious when children ignore their advice and take privileges for granted.
Mediation can provide a neutral space in which to re-establish connection. Mutual understanding offers the best path to supportive behaviour.
- Defuse hostility
- Help youth become accountable for their actions
- Assist adults in understanding and being understood by their children
- Identify and adjust problematic patterns of behaviour
- Find a middle ground between conflict avoidance and aggression
- Build life-long communication skills
First Phase: One-on-One Coaching
- Private meetings to clarify the needs, issues, and goals of each individual.
- Exploration to assist each person to identify the patterns of behaviour that contribute to the problem. The emphasis at this stage is to reflect on one’s own contribution.
- Private discussion of techniques and strategies for meeting personal goals within the family dynamic.
Second Phase: Family Circle
- Step One: Active listening – an opportunity for each family member to speak and be heard without criticism or rebuttal from others.
- Step Two: Creative brainstorming to generate new ideas and strategies for moving forward
- Step Three: Agreement on a “Family Contract” that spells out decisions on how to increase understanding and defuse tension by meeting each one's needs.