Monday, May 25, 2015

Holistic Approach to Difficult Situations

I previously posted on being interviewed about Integrative Mediation (see post here). In this post here, I provide more information and resources about this particular model of mediation.

Although most of our mediations are "solo" mediations with just one attorney-mediator guiding a couple or family from start to finish through the divorce or premarital agreement process, there are some situations in which an integrative (i.e., multi-disciplinary) approach can help ensure a successful outcome. In cases where more psychological support is needed, a therapist-mediator can help manage the difficult emotions and help facilitate more rational and therefore productive discussions (which is different from providing joint or individual counseling) and certain therapists have expertise in child development issues which can be extremely valuable to a mediation. Working with both an attorney-mediator and therapist-mediator often provides the right combination of skills and knowledge to help a divorcing couple reach complete agreements together.

Cases which might benefit from this more holistic version of mediation include those with difficult or traumatic events leading to the separation, a highly emotional separation (as experienced by one or both parties), as well as situations in which a separating couple anticipates difficulty in reaching agreements surrounding parenting issues (custody/timeshare schedule, communication, etc.).

There are different ways of structuring a co-mediation which might include any of the following: co-mediating from start to finish of the case; having an initial co-mediation session and dividing out roles and meeting separately; starting as a solo mediation with either professional (depending on the core problem areas) and bringing the other professional in to consult as needed; starting separately with both professionals and working in parallel with the two professionals talking as needed to help move both sides of the process along. These variations can be useful when financial constraints are looming with a pending divorce. However, the cost of ensuring a successful outcome through Integrative Mediation is far less expensive (and generally much more expedient) than going through contested court hearings and trials with litigating attorneys, and putting children through the Family Court Services process and custody evaluations.

To find out more about Integrative Mediation, please visit Integrative Mediation Bay Area (www.IMBayArea.com).


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