In December 2010, the Academic Council at the Institute of Philosophy at St Petersburg University approved the ’Regulations on the Service for Conflictological Counselling and Mediation in Conflict Resolution (Mediation)’. The service was an educational and practical structural unit of the academic programme in Conflictology at St Petersburg University. It became the basis for practical training and internships for bachelor’s students and research practice for master’s students in Conflictology. Since 2018, the status of the service has changed. Today, it is the Mediation Centre. The practical work of the Centre began in mid-February 2011.
The scope of the Mediation Centre
Working with clients: receiving calls and processing customer orders, conducting consultations and mediations. In 2020-2021, the Centre moved online.
The disputes can be different. Among them are:
- Family conflicts: difficulties in relations between spouses, parents and children (teenagers, adult children), with relatives, division of inheritance
- Division of property, custody of children, procedures for visiting children after divorce
- Conflicts in relationships with friends, neighbours
- Conflicts at school and other educational institutions
- Problems in the interaction of business units, in relations with employees, subordinates, colleagues, when introducing innovations, business division
- Relations with business partners, with clients
- Conflicts in construction, medicine, and other spheres
- Sale of real estate, debt recovery, and other
Educational and research aspects
- Practice of bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral students, various forms of advanced training for the Centre staff
- Conducting training, analysis of supervision materials, using the experience of the Centre for research, writing graduation and term projects
Students conduct workshops on: attracting clients; preparing to receive calls; working with clients, including difficult clients; and identifying and using client interests to name but a few. In addition to the analysis and discussion of the methodological aspects of the work, the consultation is followed by an additional discussion with experienced mediators and consultants. The Centre staff conduct workshops in communication and negotiation at the request of other clinics and external customers.
Students and staff of the Mediation Centre are winners of international competitions in mediation and negotiations.
- appointment of mediators, co-mediators, observers
- organisation of communication between employees of the Centre
- organisation and maintenance of a data bank on the work of the Centre
- technical, computer support by students
Advertising and promoting knowledge among the public
- attracting clients
- promoting knowledge among the public
- taking part in the film-making and developing study/advertising materials
Mediation is important as it is a new method, and attracting customers is a core priority. The Mediation Centre ensures cooperation with various organisations of St Petersburg. Its employees participate in educational events, talk about their work, and speak at conferences, including international ones.
The work and improvement of professional skills includes an advanced training according to the following algorithm: observer — trainee/co-mediator, co-consultant — independent mediator-consultant, conflict specialist. The clinic provides qualified free assistance in solving up-to-date problems.
The experience that students gain during promoting from a trainee to a leading role dealing with real-world cases ensures that they are highly qualified specialists who are ready to start a career.