The Challenges of a Neutral Facilitator and an Advocate

The Challenges of a Neutral Facilitator and an Advocate

This paper posits to explore in details potential legal, ethical as well as moral challenges associated with the roles of a mediator or an advocate wit respect to the integration of advocacy and mediation within the human services field. The paper also posits to identify personal philosophy and individual approach to advocating and mediating with specific interest to the advocates for the seriously mentally Ill.

Dual Relationship Challenges

The implication of a mediator is a neutral third party acting between two individuals to foster constructive communication leading to an agreement after a crisis has developed between the two parties. The decision on coming to terms is not at the power of the mediator. The function of the mediator is conflict resolution between the parties in a crisis leaving the two to come up with an amicable decision. The mediator has a legal as well as ethical obligation of upholding confidentiality of the communication unless with alternative specifications (The Association of Attorney-Mediators, 2001).

The mediator is also required to show neutrality to the two parties in disagreement which in some instances poses considerable challenges based on personal values as well as beliefs. It is however vital that the integrity of the process of mediation is upheld. Legal, ethical as well as moral challenges surround the mediation process and sometimes the parties may look for alternative mediation services if any bias is detected in the process.

Personal Perception

The role played by mediators together with advocates in the field of human services is of crucial importance. This is due to the uneducated nature of their clients with respect to the knowledge of rights as well as liberties provided by the government. Most clients have little knowledge as pertain the laws as well as the regulations which offer them protection. Consequently, the advocates and the mediators play a pivotal role in bridging the existing gap in information. They also facilitate for communication between the parties in conflict. A communication breakdown especially among the minority groups leaves them vulnerable to unfulfilled rights and liberties leading to a situation of despair. The situation is even more complicated for the mediators and advocates serving the seriously mentally ill in the society who are hindered by their condition in addition to lack of information about their rights and liberties.

A wide array of disputes is encountered health service system of the mentally Ill individuals in management as well as in clinical practice. To achieve success, it has been prudent to account policy as well as administrative practices which take in to account the combination of legal or judicial and medical models to address the conflicts that arise among health professionals, the consumers and any other interested party. Mediation in this context has been documented to play a pivotal role in dispute resolution with innumerable benefits being recorded (Blascovich, Mendes, Hunter, Lickel & Kowai-Bell, 2001).

It is important to appreciate the fact that, these victims are associated with stigmatization attitudes which contribute to undermining the opportunities that the mental illness persons should have. Mediators and advocates serving these groups of people are consequently exposed to challenges that are associated with this stigmatization. Mediators should have the capabilities of addressing the negative impacts of the stigma on individuals of serious mental illness.


Blascovich, J., Mendes, B., Hunter, B., Lickel, B. & Kowai-Bell, N. (2001). Perceiver threat in social interactions with stigmatized others. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 80:253-267.

The Association of Attorney-Mediators. (2001). Association of Attorney-Mediators Ethical Guidelines for Mediators available at HYPERLINK “” accessed on May 12, 2012.

Needs help with similar assignment?

We are available 24x7 to deliver the best services and assignment ready within 6-8 hours? Order a custom-written, plagiarism-free paper

Get Answer Over WhatsApp Order Paper Now