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Mediation Blog

Topic: Emotions | 20 post(s).

January 15, 2021 - {2 minutes to read} Like everyone else in the world, I looked forward to 2021 and the opportunity to put 2020 behind me. While we all hoped that the new year would bring something better — in health, in politics, and in regaining in-person connections to friends and family — of course, nothing changed at the stroke of midnight. And then I thought about expectations. The meditation teacher, Joseph Goldstein, speaks about “the next pleasant thing.&rdquo [...]

December 3, 2020 - {4 minutes to read} The other day a friend told me about a conflict she was having with another person and how that person behaved towards her. While the other person’s actions were pretty awful, there was something in the back story she described that made me think there was a misunderstanding and possibly an incorrect assumption of the other person’s motives. To my friend, the other person was acting spitefully and just being mean spirited. I gingerly brou [...]

June 3, 2020 - {3 minutes to read} I recently read an article in the New York Times by Dhruv Khullar, MD, in which he wrote about the possible detrimental health effects of feeling regret. Dr. Khullar believes that doctors often ignore the toll that regret can have on someone: “We often don’t explore the role regret might be playing in the distress many patients and families experience, or acknowledge it when it’s clear that it is contributing to their pain.” [...]

March 13, 2020 - {4 minutes to read} Are all family disputes the same? Of course not. Divorce mediation is different from mediation involving the contest or interpretation of the provisions of a Will or Trust Agreement. But clearly, they have similarities: Ongoing Relationships While some familial relationships may have always been troubled, it’s likely that at some time, the parties probably got along well. And they may need to continue to get along for the sake of attending ext [...]

January 8, 2020 - {4 minutes to read} When I’m being mindful of what I’m saying, I can stop myself from using the word “but” after I’ve just apologized to someone. I recognize how off-putting that can be to the person to whom I’ve just apologized, and that it effectively negates everything that I said before the but. When I really don’t believe I’m at fault, though, I may very well end up with an apology followed by “but I didn’ [...]

October 29, 2019 -   To find out what you’re entitled to, you need to go to court. But going to court does not guarantee you will get what you want. When someone focuses on entitlement, there are usually some underlying emotions that need to be addressed. If those underlying emotions haven't been dealt with in a productive way, you're not going to be able to move forward in the positive way that you're looking for. [...]

August 17, 2018 - {3:42 minutes to read}  One of the major benefits of mediation is that parties make the decisions about their lives and the lives of their children. Self-determination is an awesome responsibility in that regard, and couples should be prepared to accept that responsibility when choosing to mediate. To me, this would mean that parties should make sure that they have all of the resources they may need in order to make the best decisions they can. Choosing the Mediat [...]

May 23, 2018 - {2:42 minutes to read}  As a divorce mediator, I certainly expect to have clients express strong emotions, including anger. But I’ve encountered a few clients recently who made me recall my earlier post on the difference between anger and bitterness. The definitions of anger and bitterness are similar: Anger: a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure, or hostility. Bitterness: anger and disappointment at being treated unfairly; resentment. The definit [...]

April 12, 2018 - {4:30 minutes to read}  Over the years I’ve been mediating, I’ve been asked by potential clients if the following concerns would mean that they could not mediate their separation. Here are some of their questions and my responses:We disagree on everything.  Disagreement in mediation is to be expected. Since mediation is a process which aims to resolve conflict, a mediator is trained to help the two of you do just that. I am very angry at my spouse [...]

February 27, 2018 - {3:48 minutes to read} In New York, we refer to “joint legal custody” as joint decision making in which neither parent has a superior right to make decisions for the children. It sounds reasonable, and most parents agree to joint decision making without much thought. But then I ask “What do you think will happen if you can’t agree upon a major decision?” A large percentage of my clients believe that they will not have any substantial confl [...]

December 5, 2017 - {3:42 minutes to read} I was talking to a colleague recently about a mediation. She was surprised that it took as many meetings as it did to reach a resolution and that the couple almost terminated the process. It was a relatively short-term marriage of a few years, and they had no children, so she had not expected that it would be difficult. I agree that expectations of difficulty are often misleading. At an initial consultation, I can only judge a mediation’s di [...]

November 1, 2017 - {4:12 minutes to read} As I described in Part I of this post, it’s not unusual to feel completely overwhelmed upon hearing that your spouse wants a divorce. You think the last thing you are capable of doing is making good decisions about your children and your finances. But then you keep getting pushed by your spouse to start the divorce ASAP. You can tell your spouse that you need some time to process everything and get the support that you may need to move forwa [...]

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