The Organization’s History
Family mediation is a process aimed at re-organizing family relationships in the event of separation or divorce. Requested by the parties, family mediators, in complete confidentiality and independence from judicial proceedings, help mothers and fathers to plan their own decisions about all aspects (psychological, relational, financial, organisational) of their separation, so that they can exercise shared parenting in a way which is satisfactory for both them and their children.
GeA – a private non-profit organization for social development, was set up in 1987 to support parents and children involved in separation/divorce and to introduce awareness, knowledge and practice of family mediation in Italy, as a valid tool for preventing child abuse due to high-conflict separations.
The Organization’s founders have made all possible effort in order to reduce the negative impact of a bad separation on children, in the belief that:
- separation and divorce should not be considered a “social pathology” and their high psychological and financial price is very often due to a context – institutional or otherwise – which can actually worsen the negative consequences of conflict, rather than lessening or, at least, controlling them;
- with adequate help, separating fathers and mothers can reach arrangements which are satisfactory for them and their children and take their basic needs into account;
- after separation, fathers and mothers can keep and make the most of their joint parental responsibility, to prevent children from suffering because dialogue between adults has stopped.
It was not easy, in the Eighties, to introduce a tool for peaceful conflict resolution in the field (all too often a “battlefield”) of parental separation. Substantial help came from many parents and a few lawyers, judges and psychologists; the early-stage Italian work and research on family mediation were supported by the considerable amount of practical knowledge and experience abroad.
From the start, Gea has been committed to promoting awareness of family mediation as well as a new culture of separation, which embraces not only the family, but also judges, lawyers, social services professionals and all the people who are in any way involved in the separation.
The aim should not be the victory of one party over another, but mutually agreed arrangements, in the interest of both parents and children, so that the end of the “husband and wife” roles does not mean the end of the “father and mother” roles too.