Preface by Hugh McIsaac
Family mediation has quickly become a significant means of legal dispute resolution, recognized in most North American jurisdictions as a relief to already overburdened judicial systems. Using an innovative practical approach, the authors of Family Mediation incorporate the pivotal principles of family therapy into this new context--the judicial realm of family mediation. The practice model--therapeutic family mediation--thoroughly treats history, specific issues, and practice in an ecosystemic approach and responds to feminist critique of mediation. In addition, the authors offer important perspectives on mediating with multicultural populations and the role of the mediator in child custody disputes and child protection cases. Through examination of family mediation research as well as helpful case history vignettes, the authors of this volume take action to fill significant gaps between family therapy and mediation.
Family Mediation provides a new take on family mediation that will benefit not only professionals and researchers in family studies, social work, clinical psychology, and sociology but also professional and volunteer mediators, conciliation court personnel, and family law specialists.
"Family Mediation is an excellent blend of scholarship and practice, and it is the best of the books I have read on family mediation. First, it is clear and well written. Second, it provides an in-depth, current review of the divorce literature. The literature on divorce is large, uneven, and difficult to interpret. The authors have done a service to the profession by skillfully reviewing and integrating this literature."
--Stephen J. Bahr, Brigham Young University
"This book is one of the most comprehensive and well-researched texts on mediation to date. The authors have compiled an immense array of information regarding the history of family mediation, the practice and knowledge base, a review of literature regarding divorce, the principles of mediation, gender and cultural issues, elements in a child custody dispute, sharing parenting, cultural issues, and the use of mediation in dependency, and they include an excellent summary of research conducted. . . . Of particular value is the enormous scope of the review of literature and the work of others, not only in Canada but also the United States, Australia, and Great Britain, underscoring the international nature of this transformation. What Howard H. Irving and Michael Benjamin have done is chart a major shift in the handling of conflict and they have done it very well."
--Family and Conciliation Courts Review
"Howard H. Irving and Michael Benjamin have surveyed and summarized an immense amount of material within the covers of this volume, presenting it in a clear, readable style. It is one of the rare texts on mediation that does justice to the complexity of families generally and families in North America particularly--to their diversity of culture, to the scope of feminist thought and gender differences, and to the ranges of social class. Their attention to divergent forms of mediation and differences in practice across jurisdictions is broadly sighted. An excellent choice for a text in mediation."
--Mary A. Duryee, Family Court Services,
Alameda County, Oakland, CA
"Howard H. Irving and Michael Benjamin grapple with what is the most difficult event that confronts almost half of all modern families--divorce. Historically, the developmental issues and problems surrounding divorce have been solved in the courts. But modern-day courts are overwhelmed by an avalanche of divorce cases, more than a million a year, and are unable to meet the needs of separating parties. Family Mediation offers a fundamentally different approach from the conventional legal system. The empirical research and clinical experience Irving and Benjamin bring to bear on this subject have resulted in the seminal work in this area. This delightful and thoughtful book is a must for the modern mediation practitioner who works with families and children."
--Duncan Lindsey, Professor, UCLA, and Editor-in-Chief,
Children and Youth Services Review
"This book is unique in providing a complete overview of relevant subject areas for family mediation under one cover. Its writing is timely because it dispels some of the myths in the rapidly expanding field of family mediation. . . . Family Mediation is a comprehensive text that follows the development of family mediation through the present and concludes with the predictors of future directions. It is perhaps the most thorough critical review of the literature pertaining to family mediation and develops an inclusive practical model of practice for practitioners. The book is readable . . . responsible, and of interest to family mediators and the family law lawyers who work closely with them. It may become a must as a background for the novice family mediator about to embark on a course of training."
--Laurel Pearson, McWhinney, Metcalfe, and Associates,