Sunday, June 1, 2008

Marriage Mediation

Sam Hasler, of Sam Hasler's Indiana Divorce & Family Law Blog, always has interesting articles on a variety of subjects. I have just read a recent post of his that has an excellent innovation. He apparently got the information from The Florida Divorce Blog, another good read. Sam's post is reproduced below:

"Here is an interesting idea from The Florida Divorce Blog - A Modern Spin on Marriage Counseling:

'Enter a modern spin on marriage counseling: Marital Mediation. Anyone familiar with the divorce process is likely acquainted with mediation in divorce cases. Well, a Connecticut mediator and social psychologist is applying mediation techniques to marriage counseling. The Marital Mediation process flushes out areas of conflict and fosters communication and negotiation, and facilitates agreements on mutually desirable corrective actions.'

"I know of no one offering this sort of service in Indiana but it seems like something that needs only someone to make the first move."

This seems like a great idea to me. In speaking with prospective new clients, I often have a feeling that there could be a way to save the marriage. Right now, I generally suggest counseling, and there are a number of good counselors in the area. Sometimes, though, an approach with a different orientation might be better, especially for some personalities. Some people, for example, see themselves as problem solvers and they can be uncomfortable in traditional counseling -- they may see it as wishy-washy or too undirected. A good mediator, with a counseling background, on the other hand, might really be able to help the parties in such a relationship.

Such counseling/mediation would be a little similar to a stripped-down version of Collaborative Law. They could start out determining what goals they have in common, then figure out what their issues are about and finally work to create new ways to solve the problems they identify and achieve their goals. It sounds like a great idea and I hope some counselors in this area will become interested in starting up such a practice.

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