For family and divorce mediation to be done as effectively as possible, I believe an integrated team approach must be utilized. I use the term “Integrated Team Mediation” to describe this approach. So what do I mean by this?
First let me explain some basics: At the core of the team is the couple who has come to me to facilitate their discussions, and of course myself, their mediator/attorney. Sometimes a couple’s circumstances are quite straightforward, and they already have all the information they need to make their decisions. For instance, I’ve had couples who don’t have children, have a short-term marriage and have few resources to divvy up. In those instances, typically there is no need to bring in outside professionals.
In my last blog article, I questioned whether a mediator could be either neutral or impartial. As I discussed, for me personally, the term “impartial” is more relevant – and something I continually strive for when I am mediating with my clients.
How does this actually play-out in a mediation? Sometimes with difficulty and a great deal of challenge. Let’s face it – even with the best of intentions, we’re all just human. I will frequently check-in with myself to question whether I am maintaining an unbiased position toward each of my clients. Then, if I sense there’s an issue, I’ll try my best to adjust my approach.
I recently participated in a discussion with a number of colleagues who are therapists working with couples and their families. We had all just witnessed a divorce mediation session where a couple was discussing the parenting arrangements for their two children, both under the age of ten.
I recently added a beautiful Siberian cat to my household. This is not the first time I’ve decided to share my life with a feline. I’ve owned two other cats before this, spanning a total of 20 years. It’s been over a year since my last cat died. A few months ago I decided to take the leap once more and introduce a new fellow, this time dubbed Percy, into my life.
An article that recently appeared in HuffPost Parents entitled “The Most Important 10 Minutes of a Child’s Day” triggered my own thoughts about supporting our children’s emotional well-being. The suggestions of the author, Kenneth Barish, Ph.D., a clinical associate professor of psychology at Weill Medical College, Cornell University, were simple, yet very meaningful.
Please take a look at the video below, The Power of Empathy, which was produced by RSA Shorts. In just three short minutes, it explains the power of empathy in an extremely creative and humorous way. Enjoy viewing it – and then continue on with my article, as I share with you some of my own thoughts on this subject.
I’m going to share with you a simple tip that can significantly change the focus of your conversations and make them more productive. It has to do with the word “and.” By consciously choosing when and how you include “and” in your conversations, you can go from frustrating exchanges that don’t get anywhere to discussions that explore options and come up with viable solutions.
No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it. We have to think with a new mind. ~ Albert Einstein
In the broadest sense of the word, “conflict” is…any situation in which one person’s concerns or desires differ from those of another person and appear to be incompatible. Conflict is inevitable, but how we handle it is a choice. That’s true whether we’re dealing with conflict in our private lives (with our partner, children, other family members, friends) or in our work lives (with our colleagues or other professionals).
While most people have heard of divorce mediation, far fewer are aware that mediation can also be extremely helpful in discussing difficult issues that arise with respect to elder parents and their adult children.
There are many concerns that need to be addressed as a parent ages.
By their very nature, family businesses can be especially challenging to manage successfully. First, there are the normal (and not so normal) demands and pressures of running a business. But then, superimpose on that the complex relational issues that arise within a family structure . . . and you have the makings of what could potentially be a very difficult work environment.