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A map through conflict

A map through conflict

A map through conflict

Tuesday, July 4, 2017
Abbey Kraus, a Cyrenians Mediator, writes about their innovative Amber Mediation and Support Project, a model of mediation and support for young people which helps in managing conflict within families.

Conflict is a normal part of family relationships.  It helps us grow. Through conflict we learn about each other and it can provide an opportunity for change to happen. 

But life is full of ups and downs, complicated conversations and sometimes it just feels really difficult. This is when conflict can quickly spiral out of control.

“They never listen to me. They don’t understand.”
“Why won’t they just do what they’re told?”
“I can’t cope with this anymore …”

Conflict can negatively impact our health, our wellbeing, and our life chances. It can affect whether we have a place to call home ….

Last year 4,500 young people became homeless because of arguments and disagreements with their families. This number is gradually reducing but relationship breakdown is still one of the biggest causes of youth homelessness in Scotland (Scottish Government Homelessness Tables).

The Cyrenians award-winning Amber Mediation and Support Project was established in 2006. It provides an innovative model of mediation and support for young people (aged 14 to 24 years) and their families.

Over the last 10 years this model has been replicated across our Conflict Resolution Services which have grown significantly, now providing a range of specialised services across Edinburgh and the Lothians as well as delivering conflict resolution workshops to schools.

Through our knowledge and experience we have also developed the Scottish Centre for Conflict Resolution which is a national resource promoting and supporting best practice in mediation, conflict resolution and early intervention. 

Rosie and Peter (dad) used to get on great. Then Rosie moved to high school and all those “silly wee things” they used to argue about began to get more difficult. Rosie found herself moving from sofa to sofa … whoever would take her. Peter had his own struggles and he found Rosie’s life choices very difficult to understand. Rosie was angry…. at her dad ….  at the world and angry with herself. Life had become something she was just trying to survive rather than live. Through a combination of mediation and support Rosie and Peter were helped to have a conversation about the difficult stuff but most importantly what they wanted to change and how they could get there.

Mediation creates a compassionate space for people. It supports individuals to consider their responses rather than react to each other. Mediation allows people to have the opportunity to have a different conversation, to be open, honest and to explore what is underneath the angry words.

Support provided by our highly skilled project workers enables families to work 1:1 with issues that may be preventing them from living a full and positive life. By working alongside families with respect and integrity, our aim is to enable those involved to navigate the challenges that we all experience in our relationships and avoid the devastation that experiencing homelessness can cause.  


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