Updated: Oct 19, 2019
Why have a family mediation?
In my experience most families today have a misguided sense of what communication is. Most often we have learned how to communicate through our families from birth to adulthood, this does not mean that we learned how to communicate effectively. It simply means that we learned how our individual family communicates; which is using language to translate our thoughts, feelings, desires, experiences, etc. in a manner that was expressed to us and within our family.
Depending on the cultural, spiritual, educational, and emotional environment that we are raised in, communication will be perceived differently and individually within their own experience.
So, why do we automatically perceive that the individual with the more authoritative role, is the better communicator? It is safe to say that as a child, most of us would view our parents to ‘know what they are talking about’ and we typically will not question them, until the teen years. Even through all the emotions that arise, communication and how it is expressed is not generally thought about in an intentional way. We typically react to words depending on their meaning to us, individually. Then, depending on our reaction – we may receive a counter reaction that results in a conflict.
It is rare when a family discusses communication, listening, understanding, and how we perceive one another’s words are meant. When a family can learn the art of communication the family can grow together, shedding their prior ways of listening, reacting, and talking… to a more mindful approach to what we may be communicating to one another without even realizing it.
It is through the mediation process that we can help the family learn the art of communication and what the other member of the family is trying to communicate by using different words, stories, or examples to 'retell' what the family member is saying... in a way that the other members can hear it and understand it. The process of mediation and learning the art of communication is a beautiful experience when families learn how to express themselves in a new way that can effectively resolve the conflicts that arise.