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The literature on online mental health support groups usually stresses the harmonious side of users’ interactions. However, differences regarding the experience of the illness might escalate into social conflict. The aim of this study is to explore acts of conflict resolution in an online Spanish mental health forum for recovery from an eating disorder (ED). Focusing on a specific long dispute between one regular contributor and several other members, I perform a micro-analysis of the discursive moves deployed in this polylogue by those who act as informal mediators to mitigate negative emotions, to rephrase participants’ perspectives and to promote relational empathy within the group. The goal of mediation in the forum is to reinstate the social order of acceptable recovery practices and discourses.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keywords: eating disorders ; informal mediation ; online forums ; emotional support ; empathy ; recovery ; conflict
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