Mediator for estranged parents and adult children in London?
August 5, 2013 10:03 AM   Subscribe

Can anybody recommend a counsellor/ mediator in London, specialising in reconciling estranged parents and adult children?

For various reasons I won't go into, I broke off contact with a parent 10 years ago, I'm very happy this person is out of my life. They have not been so happy about this. However, although I have very little hope that there is any point trying to mend this relationship, I am willing to meet with a mediator who might be able to help with communication issues. I am in my early 40s, so many of the people who specialise in family dynamics with teenagers probably won't help!
posted by BobsterLobster to Human Relations (7 answers total)
I wonder if you write to any of the agony aunts they would be able to give you such information? I don't mean write in with a problem for publication, but write in for info on how to find an appropriate mediator. Annalisa Barbieri in Saturday's Guardian seems a very conscientious, thoughtful columnist. I guess if there's an office, or at least a research assistant, you might get an answer.
posted by glasseyes at 1:58 PM on August 5, 2013

Ex-family lawyer here. I'd recommend Jacqueline Fitzgerald or Judith Goodman. They are both sensible and compassionate.
posted by essexjan at 2:21 PM on August 5, 2013

Are solicitors really the best option here? Wouldn't it be better to go for somebody trained in communication, empathy and emotional skills rather than legal skills? There's nothing remotely legal that I need in this process!
posted by BobsterLobster at 6:19 PM on August 5, 2013

I've been working with Relate for a while now and they provide both couples and family counselling. Depending on your areas they may be a good choice for you. Otherwise any family counsellor on the AFT list may be helpful. Happy to memail on this.
posted by Dorothia at 1:54 PM on August 6, 2013

I already looked at the Relate website, my impression was that they dealt with family issues involving teenagers. They don't say anything on their website about adult children, I think this is a completely different dynamic. But if they have specific staff who deal with older family members, I'm definitely interested.
I have no idea what AFT is, where do I find this list? I'm happy to keep this discussion here for now in case anyone in the future needs similar!
posted by BobsterLobster at 4:10 AM on August 7, 2013

Relate trains relationship therapists using a systemic/pshycodynamic approach. Certainly anyone who has completed their more recent training will be well-equipped to deal with the situation you have outlined. They are very accustomed to helping couples and families of all ages discuss their interpersonal issues, and communication issues are certainly a recurring theme. I would certainly recommend someone who is trained to offer counselling to couples and groups as this is a very specific skill (ie don't go with an individual therapist who has done a week long course in family work).

AFT is the Association for Family Therapy. They have advice for people considering therapy and a list of registered members who have reached their training requirements.

Hope this is helpful. Good luck with your parent.
posted by Dorothia at 7:47 AM on August 7, 2013

Thanks for the advice, the AFT looks very useful as well.
posted by BobsterLobster at 3:48 PM on August 8, 2013

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