Toward a feminist-informed model of therapeutic family mediation


  • Michael Benjamin,

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    • Michael Benjamin is a family sociologist and research coordinator of the Student-Environment Study Group, University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada.

  • Howard H. Irving

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    • Howard H. Irving is professor of social work at the University of Toronto, Canada. He is coauthor (with Michael Benjamin) of Family Mediation: Theory and Practice of Dispute Resolution (1987).


The feminist critique of family mediation has, until very recently, been largely ignored by mediators. We argue that feminists have something important to teach us concerning how mediation is conceptualized and practiced. In this article we explore three aspects of the critique (values, empowerment, and violence) in an effort to show how our own model of practice, therapeutic family mediation, can be rendered feminist informed.