This article discusses the successful innovative approaches that SoCal Family Mediators have developed.
One key to our success has been having multiple mediators on a case. Co-mediators have a pre-mediation discussion for each case. We begin each mediation shuttle style, due to the prevalence of TROs, CPOs, and codependency. Co-mediators caucus at each exchange of parents. These are opportunities to discuss what worked, what didn’t, the information gathered, and to strategize for the next session. At the end, we debrief lessons learned. All that adds up to a lot of learning.
Another key to our success has been an emphasis on clarity of thought, goal orientation, and strategy. Coparents experiencing high conflict are typically entrenched in their conflict stories, and commonly unable to focus on the bigger picture. A lot of little agreements add up to one big agreement. Coparents are frequently shocked to discover it, when they have completed their Parenting Plan. Attorneys are asked to see parents whom have not spoken in months having lunch together.
Another key to our success has been multipartiality. Rose Kennedy once said, ” There’s nothing I like less than bad arguments for a view that I hold dear.” It is in this spirit that I offer the following controversial statement. Mediators who practice neutrality are simply under-tooled for the most challenging conflicts.
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