APFM Library

Over the years APFM has published hosts of articles related to family mediation. Whether you are a family mediator, or a member of the public interested in mediation, we hope you enjoy!

Throwback Thursdays

March 2024 Throwback: “DIVORCE MEDIATION: A HOUSE DIVIDED”, By Lenard Marlow

“The early settlers who founded divorce mediation came from many backgrounds. Many came from the mental health field. That was understandable. It was mental health professionals, charged with the responsibility of picking up the pieces of families after lawyers got through with them, who had seen the damage caused by adversarial divorce proceedings, first hand. Then, too, there were lawyers, slowly in the early years, but increasingly so as time went by. That was understandable as well. After all, there was a significant legal piece in divorce mediation. The subject matter that would make up the bulk of the mediation (decisions relating to child support, maintenance, the division of property, etc.) were necessarily affected by the law. Then too, the parties’ ultimate agreement had to be reduced to a written legal document. Finally, the parties’ divorce necessarily involved the law and the courts.”

Article originally published in The Professional Family Mediator, Spring/Summer, 2013.

January 2024 Throwback: “Development of Kinship Titles for Step-Family Members” by Jocelyn Metsch

“In his epic play of Romeo and Juliette, Shakespeare’s character Romeo, once professed the famous words, “A rose by any other name, would smell as sweet.” Though poetic and thoughtful, given the context of the play, I have to say Shakespeare had it all wrong. The importance of language and its pragmatics have historically been given much weight, and the trend continues today. We see instances, especially in the political sphere, in which using the right word e.g., the known politically correct term, makes all the difference in conveying a non-pejorative appellation. The importance of language in politics parallels its importance in family life, especially when considering kinship titles. There is a similarity in the way that politicians and family members consciously understand the importance and use of language. Family relationships are commonly defined and understood through the title of each member. The implication of family kinship titles often conveys an understanding of a member’s general role, authority, and responsibility within the family unit itself.”

Article first published in 2013.

September 2023 Throwback: “In the Beginning” by Chip Rose

On a number of past occasions, I have written … about the beginning of the process and how it informs as to the end.  Those discourses have, for the most part, focused on the critical elements that need to be put in place at the beginning of the mediation process in order to achieve the client objectives at the end of the process.  There is a necessary precondition to that first session that deserves some attention, and that is the initial consultation.  The real beginning, if you will.

Article first published by APFM in August 2016.

June 2023 Throwback: “The First Standard of Practice: The Genius of Self-Determination, Or, It’s a Fine Line” by Steve Erickson

Professional Family Mediation is not about adjudication, evaluation of who has a stronger or weaker case, coercion, or predictions of outcomes if the case goes to court. It focuses on the self-determination of the parties. The answers and the solutions to the conflict are found, not by the mediator, but by the parties themselves who hire the mediator.

Article first published by APFM in September 2016.

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