A Critique of private sessions in family mediation

Don Bowen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study represents a critical examination of private sessions (caucuses), seen as a sub-process within the core family mediation process and defined as involving separate and confidential conversations between mediator(s) and each disputant during the main session. In the study, the views of family mediators were explored revealing that considerable support for the use of the tool was juxtaposed with a range of fundamental ethical concerns. Emerging from the study is strong evidence of coercive practice as an inherent component of caucusing thus posing a challenge to the positive benefits.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalSAGE Open
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Caucus
  • Family mediation
  • Mediation ethics
  • Private sessions


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