We work with some beloved colleagues in a peer support group on a monthly basis. Several months ago, a fellow mediator shared with us that she uses a TALKING STICK in some mediations. We were all intrigued as she described the hold this simple ritual object had over a high conflict couple’s communication. They made real progress in a respectful atmosphere. Sometimes, she said, it merely sits in the middle of the table, having a presence of its own without needing to be passed around. Other times, it is passed from person to person in the room, with the one holding it having the floor and everyone’s undivided attention.
The talking stick is used in Native American meetings and has evolved to be used in peacemaking and mediations. Having employed all the skills we have developed over years of mediating, including those unique to high conflict dynamics, it is the talking stick that enabled a particular case of ours recently to move forward despite years of post-divorce court proceedings and painful conflict.
If you want to give it a try, we recommend picking a beautiful piece of wood from a park or garden and adorning it in some manner. They can also be found in abundance on Etsy, among other places. https://www.etsy.com/search?q=talking+stick&order=most_relevant&view_type=gallery&ship_to=US