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Humanistic Mediation: Peacemaking Grounded in Core Social Work Values

Umbreit, Mark S
June 4, 2015

Source: (2002) St. Paul, MN: Center for Restorative Justice and Peacemaking, School of Social Work, University of Minnesota. Downloaded 16 April 2004.

Conflict between individuals and groups can be highly toxic and destructive, write Mark Umbreit and Heather Burns. Yet if addressed effectively, conflict can spur interpersonal and organizational growth and renewal. In that conflict between individuals and groups can often be addressed effectively with the aid of an impartial third party, social workers skilled in mediation are increasingly being called upon to provide this service in a variety of settings. In this paper Umbreit and Burns seek an approach to mediation grounded in social work theory and practice rather than in legal principles and processes. They term this humanistic mediation. They connect the client-centered, dialogue-driven practice of humanistic mediation with the transformative or healing aspects of social work practice.


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