Workshop name: Relational conflict resolution: the gestalt model of mediation
Presenter Name and Surname : Mike Talbot
Workshop duration : 1.5hr
Biography of presenter:
Mike spent the early years of his career working in the UK with people with disabilities and life-threatening conditions. He then went on to be a counsellor and organisational consultant, where he first developed an interest in conflict and its impact on people’s well-being. Mike is now a gestalt psychotherapist with twenty years’ experience in therapy, training, and supervision. He began working as a dispute resolver in 1999, and founded the company, UK Mediation Ltd, as a base from which to pursue his ideas about conflict resolution, mediation, and the overlap with gestalt psychotherapy.
Mike works around the world as a dispute resolver, group facilitator and mediation trainer. He specialises in working with teams, groups & organisations who are ‘stuck’ in conflict situations, and he runs innovative learning programmes to support people to manage their (and their organisations’) own conflict better.
Workshop Abstract :
The author has taken the principles, practice and underlying theory of gestalt psychotherapy and carried them over into the field of relational dispute resolution. He has formulated a model and a process by which conflict can be very effectively resolved, using his background as a practitioner, supervisor and trainer in gestalt psychotherapy, and with sixteen years’ experience in mediating disputes in neighbourhoods, workplaces, families and businesses.
The gestalt model of mediation is presented with reference to the nature of interpersonal conflict, the reasons why we get stuck in that conflict, and what we would need in order to resolve it. Many concepts from gestalt psychotherapy are used within the model, including inclusion, presence, dialogue, dealing with resistance, experimentation, and working in the here-and-now.
A number of examples of the author’s relational dispute resolution work are discussed and are used to illustrate how the model has developed over a number of years, based on a continual process of relating practice to theory, and theory back to practice. He lodges the examples very much in the context of the settings in which the disputes took place, especially by acknowledging the impact of the wider field on the dispute in hand.
The author describes how relational mediation has, to date, been short of a coherent theoretical base, and how the gestalt model of mediation plugs this gap. The implications of the model are discussed, both for the mediation field and the psychotherapy field.