Mediation 2.0: a mentalizing-informed framework for renewed purpose and practice

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In this paper, we outline a new way of thinking about the purpose and practice of mediation. We propose that mentalizing-inspired mediation can be an effective tool for understanding the interpersonal conflict behaviours that often perpetuate disputes, inhibit their resolution, and promote the likelihood of new disputes emerging in the future. By adapting the theory of mentalizing and the mentalization-based treatment (MBT) model, we introduce a scientifically grounded approach, which we call MBT-M, to inform and elevate mediation education and practice. MBT-M offers a neat and modern reframe on the purpose and practice of mediation as a process that can assist parties to identify, and recover from, impaired mentalizing in order to understand, or ‘mentalize’, the conflict behaviours that are preventing the meaningful resolution of their dispute. Future work will outline how the MBT-M model can offer a robust, evidence-based platform from which to guide mediation interventions, research and scholarship.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPsychiatry, Psychology and Law
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 7 Apr 2024


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