Academic journal article Journal of Marriage and Family

Family Mediation: Contemporary Issues

Academic journal article Journal of Marriage and Family

Family Mediation: Contemporary Issues

Article excerpt

H. Irving & Michael Benjamin. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. 1995. 472 pp. Hardcover ISBN 0-8039-7126-5. Softcover ISBN 08039-7127-3. $58.00 cloth, $27.95 paper.

Family Mediation provides a current review of the research on divorce, a description of the authors' model of family mediation, and a discussion of practical issues facing family mediators. It is designed to be a book for legal and mental health professionals who help families through the divorce process.

The book is divided into five major sections. In section one, Irving and Benjamin identify five phases in the divorce process and review the literature relating to each of these phases.

In section two, they introduce the reader to their model of family mediation, Therapeutic Family Mediation (TFM). Particularly helpful are the three vignettes they use to illustrate the process of TFM. Irving and Benjamin conclude part two with a discussion of feminist critiques of mediation and how these critiques can help improve the mediation process.

The third section of the book is a review of research and a discussion of issues relevant to shared parenting. Irving and Benjamin compare (a) parents who are satisfied and dissatisfied with shared parenting and (b) parents with shared custody versus those with sole custody.

Ethnicity, child protection, and research on family mediation are the focus of the fourth section. The chapter on ethnicity provides a comparison of several different ethnic groups and discusses the implications of ethnic differences for the practice of family mediation. The chapter on child protection considers whether and how family mediation should be conducted when issues of child protection arise. …

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