Community group presentation: Oasis Toronto
This past Sunday, I had the privilege of presenting at Oasis Toronto, a secular community group that meets weekly at the University of Toronto. The title of my presentation was "Mediating Religious Difference: Two Approaches to Managing Family Conflict." I discussed Interest-Based Negotiation and Narrative Mediation as two useful methods of addressing conflict fraught with religious concerns. This topic would be of particular relevance to interfaith couples, parents and adult children with differing belief systems, and co-parents who are raising children in two households.
My presentation was followed by a lively discussion period, in which attendees asked thoughtful and insightful questions. A few of those questions are listed below:
"Do both parties have to be religious in order for these methods to be effective? Or can conflict still be resolved if one party has become an atheist, and the other remains religious?"
"Are there cases that are not appropriate for mediation? For example, if there is a serious financial power imbalance?"
"Is it difficult to remain impartial as a mediator?"
I have made my PowerPoint presentation available for consideration (please do not copy or distribute), and for further reading on this topic, I would recommend the following resources:
Narrative Means to Therapeutic Ends (White & Epston)
Narrative Mediation (Winslade & Monk)
Getting to Yes (Fisher & Ury)
Visit the Dulwich Centre website (narrative therapy)
Questions? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.