The changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace in London is a tourist spectacle, rich in
complexity and symbolism. The ACR Family Section’s changing of the guard has been less
colorful, but certainly as thoughtful and complex. As co-chairs of the Family Section we
are proud to serve as issue editors for this edition of ACResolution Magazine, marking the
completion of a transition process that has included some exciting new things as well.
We see the Family Section as not just for divorce mediators, but for all ACR members who
work with conflict in families: divorce and family mediators, marital mediators, family
business mediators, family circle facilitators, custody collaborative family practitioners, family school mediators, family
conferencing practitioners and others. Under this big tent you will find the broad spectrum and richness of practice that is
the foundation of ACR.
The Section is a diverse group and our activities reflect that. Our conferences, teleseminars, and other events feature range
from technical and specific topics (e.g., how to become an AFM Advanced Practitioner) to topics with broad application to
family mediators as well as to practitioners in other fields (e.g., the communication styles of Bulldogs (who seek to control
others) and Terriers (who use drama to gain validation)). We also are collaborating with the Elder Decision-making and
Conflict Resolution Section on an event this fall, and welcome the opportunity to collaborate with other ACR Sections.
The two of us were members of the Academy of Family Mediators when it joined the merger that created ACR in 2001.
Last year saw the founding of a new organization for professional family mediators outside of ACR; some Section
members left ACR to join it (and we wish them well), but most have stayed (and we thank them). The Section is
still 834 members strong, down about 150 from 2010 but still the largest ACR Section. Over the past year, we have
resumed using the Academy of Family Mediators name along with the ACR name, to reflect our history as well as our
commitment to the larger organization. For readers who are not Section members, we hope the articles in this issue
of ACResolution Magazine demonstrate the varied, interesting, challenging, and important work being done by those
who work in this field.
Louise Phipps Senft
ACR Family Section Co-Chairs and Issue Editors
ACRESOLUTION Spring 2013