Is There a Place for Faith-Based Mediation?

10 Apr

As I was reading my AAMFT magazine the other day (it’s one of my favorite magazines), I read an article on Faith-Based Therapy, something that’s really started to catch-on in the therapy world.In essence, Faith-Based therapy is when a therapist and client use spirituality as the underlying premise for therapy. For example, a Christian therapist and client may look at healing through spiritual means or call upon the principles held by Jesus as a way to navigate the therapy process.images

It happens in all different religions, and it makes sense: If religion or spirituality is a large-part of someone’s experience, why would a therapist leave it out?

It got me thinking about Faith-Based mediation, especially in the family mediation arena. If a family comes to me, and religion is a large part of their family experience, should I pretend it doesn’t exist, or (if I’m comfortable with it) should I use that spirituality to guide the process?

When someone comes to therapy and wants to discuss their religious beliefs, I usually ask them all sorts of questions about it, especially if I’m not familiar with that particular religion. No one has been offended so far, and I think clients like the fact that I want to learn about their culture.

So, too, with mediation–if two parties come to mediation and want spirituality to be part of the discussion, I think I would ask lots of questions about how to proceed…and hope it helps, not hinders, the discussion.


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