Mentalising in Mediation: Towards an Understanding of the 'Mediation Shift'

Australasian Dispute Resolution Journal, Vol. 23, No. 52, (2012)

UWA Faculty of Law Research Paper No. 2013-21

10 Pages Posted: 2 Aug 2013

See all articles by Jill Howieson

Jill Howieson

The University of Western Australia Law School

Lynn Priddis

Curtin University

Date Written: February 2012

Abstract

Mentalising refers to the capacity to attend to and seek to understand behaviour based on the mental states in the self and the other, and is a capacity that can influence our ability to communicate clearly, be flexible and remain calm in interpersonal situations. This article presents several hypotheses about the ways in which the mentalising construct might apply in the mediation context. Broadly, it proposes that the mediation process provides the opportunity for the parties to engage their mentalising capacities and that this in turn helps the parties to shift from their entrenched positions towards negotiating constructive solutions to their disputes. The article also considers how opening up this research area could assist in obtaining a greater understanding of mediation both in terms of scholarship and practice.

Keywords: dispute resolution, "mentalising", mediation, behavioural science

Suggested Citation

Howieson, Jill and Priddis, Lynn, Mentalising in Mediation: Towards an Understanding of the 'Mediation Shift' (February 2012). Australasian Dispute Resolution Journal, Vol. 23, No. 52, (2012), UWA Faculty of Law Research Paper No. 2013-21, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2304540

Jill Howieson (Contact Author)

The University of Western Australia Law School ( email )

M253
35 Stirling Highway
Crawley, Western Australia 6009
Australia

Lynn Priddis

Curtin University ( email )

Kent Street
Bentley
WA WA 6102

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