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Systemic work looks at a problem/conflict in connection with the living or working environment of the people involved, also known as "systems". A system refers to everything that forms an important part of a person's world: family, relatives, school, circle of friends, work, etcetera. For most people, the family of origin (parents, brothers, sisters) is the first important social system. How/why can a systemic view, help in conflict resolution, in the context of mediation?

An important goal of systemic viewing of a problem/conflict, is to gain insight into the interactions between people/parties and their living environment and the connection with the conflict that parties have brought into mediation. When a mediator looks at a conflict with a systemic view, the way parties communicate is looked at (among other things), how parties influence each other and each other's reactions in that context, and what ways and habits have developed with each other. The aim is for the parties to become more and more aware of the mutual reactions to each other and also to increasingly see and understand the influence they have on each other.

In a later phase of the mediation, the focus can then shift to changing how they interact with each other or how they view the problem/conflict, with the aim of learning to deal with the problem/conflict that is being experienced. In this way, insight into and understanding/respect for mutual differences and different ways of looking at the problem/conflict and its origins are created, always from the broader/systemic perspective.

In this way, space is created for a solution.

The systemic perspective can be used for all types of problems/conflicts that are brought into a mediation, both in business conflicts (e.g. labour disputes or disputes between shareholders or partners) and in private problems/disputes (e.g. divorce).

Would you like to know more about this? Then feel free to contact our MfN-registered mediator Monique Spee ( or 043-365 20 88).

SPEE advocaten & mediation Maastricht


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