As part of the development of the community of practice of the Réseau d’échange et de soutien aux actions locales (RÉSAL), of which the ICPC is a member and coordinator, a second training of the 2nd thematic cycle of the activities was held last May 18. This training aimed at introducing the concept of mediation and provided an opportunity for participants to become familiar with various theoretical and practical tools in order to facilitate the process.
The activity was carried out by Maxime Bonneau, clinical coordinator and trainer for PACT de rue, Déborah Griot, project coordinator, and Myriam, street worker with PACT de rue, a community organization member of RÉSAL that acts directly with youth and people in difficulty.
In addition, a clinical supervision activity following this second cycle thematic training took place on June 1st and June 22. These clinical spaces allowed participants to recall the main components of the mediation process, the prerequisites for its implementation as well as the main communication techniques that were discussed during the training and to apply them in real-life situations.
Some of the highlights from the training included:
- The importance of differentiating between the concepts of mediation, conciliation, and arbitration, as well as choosing the most appropriate option for each context. The process, the purpose and the roles of each party will differ depending on the option considered and the issue to be addressed.
- Mediation is a communicative process, in which the parties have an active and central role. The purpose of the mediation process is not necessarily linked to reaching an agreement or a decision, but rather will be discussed in the course of the exchange between the parties.
- The person taking on the role of mediator must be impartial, a good listener and act as a facilitator to encourage the parties’ introspection.
- Several communication techniques such as active listening, mirroring or positive reinforcement can be used.
- The mediation process, which itself is divided into several more or less flexible stages, benefits from preparatory meetings with each of the parties, allowing them to be informed about the process, to validate their informed consent and to be prepared for the various eventualities.
So far, the activities of this second thematic cycle “Mediation with youth” have reached 25 workers from Montreal community organizations working in the prevention of youth violence.