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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 98785 Find in a Library
Title: Emotional Needs and Dysfunctional Communication as Blocks to Mediation
Journal: Mediation Quarterly  Issue:2  Dated:(December 1983)  Pages:55-66
Author(s): M Barsky
Date Published: 1983
Page Count: 12
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Dysfunctional communication between spouses involved in divorce mediation stems from unmet emotional needs; the effective mediator must identify such dysfunctional communication and interpret it so as to guide the couple into constructive, problemsolving negotiation.
Abstract: The divorce adjustment process involves dealing with rejection, anger, loneliness, self-pity, etc. These feelings and failure to control them in the interest of rational decisionmaking and constructive communication between divorcing spouses blocks the mediation process. The mediator must prevent a flood of feeling from dominating the mediation sessions to inhibit rational problemsolving. The mediator can identify the feeling or need and express acceptance of it without attaching blame. It is often helpful for the mediator to clarify the dynamics of the interaction between the initiator and noninitiator of the divorce. Two case studies demonstrate the dynamics of dysfunctional communication between divorcing parties in mediation sessions as well as effective mediator interventions. Two tables depict behaviors that accompany particular communication blocks and behavioral indicators associated with specific emotional needs. Nine references are listed.
Index Term(s): Communication techniques; Divorce mediation; Domestic relations; Mediation
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