Multicultural Issues in Mediation

APFM logo Today is the last day for Early Bird signups for the APFM Advanced Training on Multicultural Issues in Family Mediation. If you are thinking of signing up, please do it today. Otherwise, APFM may have to cancel this great training!

I am on the Board of the Academy of Professional Family Mediators. As more and more people attend mediation (either on their own initiative or required by courts), there is more and more diversity that we need to understand and work with. The Academy is sponsoring a unique advanced training on Multicultural Issues in Family Mediation on April 4-5 in Washington DC, which our Training Committee is organizing.

Multicultural families and conflicts are increasing as our society becomes more diverse. Inter-racial families, inter-faith couples and other “cultural” conflicts come to us as family mediators. Should you raise these issues? How do you manage these discussions? Should you co-mediate these issues? How do you know what your cultural biases are? Will cultural competence become a required set of skills for family mediators to succeed in the future? Don’t be left behind in this rapidly changing field.

These are all issues that our four highly-experienced trainers for this Training will address.

Ranna Parekh, MD, MPH, is Director of the Center for Diversity in the Department of Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital and a clinical instructor at Harvard Medical School. She also is a mediator for the Harvard Mediation Program and an affiliate of the Boston Law Collaborative.

Don Greenstein, Esq., has done over 2000 family mediations and has extensive training experience in mediation and diversity issues. He is also an attorney and has worked with community and Tribal issues, workplace conflict and government agencies. He has a conflict coaching, mediation and ombud practice.

Rob Doyle, MD, is a clinical instructor in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and on the medical  staff at Massachusetts General Hospital. He is certified in both adult and child/adolescent psychiatry. He is also  experienced in explaining the neuroscience of fear in relationships for non-medical professionals.

Larry Gaughan, Esq., has been a family mediator for decades and in 1980 he founded Family Mediation of Greater Washington where he continues as its Professional Director. He has handled approximately 3000 cases as a mediator, mostly dealing with divorce. He has worked with people in 80 countries.

Those who attend this timely and intensive training will:

  • Become more aware of their own biases
  • Practice sample multicultural cases
  • Avoid assumptions about minority/majority cultures
  • Understand “microaggressions”
  • Learn the neuroscience and physiology of fear
  • Observe demonstrations of culturally-sensitive mediation
  • Share and learn collectively and collaboratively
  • Meet new people, share stories and have fun!

There will be lecture, demonstration and experiential learning. Come learn about yourself and others, and leave with competence and confidence to address these issues in your family mediation practice.

Visit the APFM website for more information about this training.


Bill Eddy has been a family mediator since 1979. He is the Senior Family Mediator at the National Conflict Resolution Center in San Diego, California. He is also an attorney, therapist and the President of the High Conflict Institute and the developer of the New Ways for Mediation method for potentially high-conflict disputes. A 4-hour training video in this method is available online or by DVD, as well as several books and videos by Bill Eddy. Go to: