Mediators and Mental Health Professionals: Working Together to Help Our Clients Through a Divorce

Susan Ingram

Susan Ingram

Did you know that divorce and marital separation are the 2nd and 3rd most significant stressors in an individual’s life?

Due to its very nature, I believe that the work of divorce mediators is particularly challenging, and also incredibly rewarding. Clearly, the couples who come to us are going through one of the most difficult experiences of their life. A good mediator must have a keen sense of empathy and also move the couple through the mediation process in a very pragmatic way.

Among the questions I ask each of the parties in my initial intake form is whether they’ve seen an individual therapist or a couples therapist before coming to me. Although knowledge of this information is not essential for me to proceed with my work, it can be helpful to know, since therapists can provide such meaningful support during this most stressful of times. Learn how mental health professionals can help by reading the rest of Susan’s article.

Teaming Up Against Destructive Conflict

Bobbie Dillon

Bobbie Dillon

Destructive conflict often sends people spiraling downward in a negative cycle of me versus you. This creation of “other” is the basis of conflict escalation which allows one person or group to dehumanize the other which makes it “okay” to perpetrate everything from indignities to violence.

Read the rest of Bobbie’s article to learn why this happens and strategies for dealing with such conflict, including mediation.

How to Lose Custody

Daniel Burns

Daniel Burns

The law with regard to custody is fairly simple to recite. A court will award custody to the parent it feels has the “best interest” of a child in mind. I recently read a case where the application of this test ended up costing a mother custody.

Read the rest of Dan’s article to learn more about this cautionary tale.

How Do You Blend A Family?

Renee LaPoint

Renee LaPoint

Add two adults, a gaggle of children, a couple of pets, a new house, financial changes, STRESS and a whole lot of work….and blend!

A blended family is a family consisting of a couple and their children from their current relationship and all previous relationships. To blend a family successfully, you must add cooperation and respect to the recipe above, along with lots of patience and time for transition. Studies say, it takes 3-5 YEARS for adults and children to transition into their “new” family. There are so many emotions and values, new relationships and dynamics as well as house rules that have to be re-negotiated. Read the rest of Renee’s article to learn helpful strategies for blended families, including how family mediation can be beneficial.

Freedom to Be Who We Are

David Louis

David Louis

At its best, marriage is a partnership that nourishes the individuality of each to blossom into fully self-expressed human beings. A marriage that allows for growth while retaining underlying connection and intimacy can be a very powerful attribute of a successful marriage.

And yet, in some marriages, people often work toward their personal evolution at different rates or not at all. Sadly, this presents challenges that may be insurmountable. Trying to meet the expectations of a spouse that don’t match who we are can prevent us from becoming who we want to be. Read the rest of David’s article to consider how, although painful and challenging, the end of a marriage also offers a great opportunity for personal growth.

Do You Respect Your Spouse’s Approach?

Clare Piro

Clare Piro

We all approach situations differently. Some, when confronted with a problem will attack it in a logical, methodical fashion, with the goal of getting it resolved in the quickest and most economical way. Others will see even a minor crisis as an impossible situation that can only be remedied by spending a lot of time complaining about it, and a lot of money needlessly. Often, these same people are married to one another.

With a couple who is not in a healthy relationship, and who is in conflict or going through a divorce, there is much less recognition of the other’s strengths and much more focus on their weaknesses. Behavior that previously was acceptable is now at best irritating and at worst intolerable. Read the rest of Clare’s article to learn how mediation can help couples in crisis.

 

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