Impact Therapy is a transformative approach that can be incorporated mediation, offering an action and insight orientation and a departure from the traditional facilitative model.
Developed by Ed Jacobs and Christine Schimmel, Impact Therapy is an active, multisensory, concrete, theory driven approach that recognises that change comes from not only verbal, but also visual and kinaesthetic exchanges. Impact Therapy offers the mediator the potential to effect much deeper changes in people and their interpersonal relationships, to improve counselling and mediator outcomes, using creative methods to help the parties learn, change and develop (Jacobs and Schimmel, 2013, pp 5).
In practice: The five T’s of Impact Therapy – Theory, Timing, Teaching, Training and Thinking are key concepts of Impact Therapy.
Impact Therapy is built on the premise that all sessions should be theory driven. Since Impact Therapy is an active form of therapy, the mediator has to be aware of the timing of his/her strategies and techniques. There are times during mediation when teaching and training are appropriate ways to have impact. Thinking plays a major part in Impact Therapy with regard to both the practitioner and the parties.
Whilst firmly in the realm of transformative work and closely related to therapeutic counselling, Impact Therapy aims to help the parties to get to the core of the problem by cutting off unnecessary details, irrelevant stories and unfocussed discussion (Jacobs and Schimmel, 2013, pp 5).
More on Impact Therapy next week.
References: Jacobs and Schimmel, 2013: Impact Therapy: The Courage to Counsel.
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