Pathways to Understanding

Mar 4, 2022

Learning is both rewarding and challenging, especially when one is acquiring new skills. This year, I am exploring new techniques to incorporate into my mediation style—techniques that are focused on enhancing the ability of clients to learn from and understand each other.

The emotions surrounding divorce, whether manifested as anger, fear, sadness, or concerns around the underlying uncertainty of one’s future, often translate into behavior that can block meaningful dialogue. When clients cycle into a conflict pattern of persuasion, justification, repetition, withdrawal or other defensive behaviors, the road to eventual resolution is blocked.

To counter patterns of conflict, I seek to promote a mediation process that leads to understanding through constructive dialogue. Granted, understanding does not equal agreement, but it can form a foundation for considering ways to approach the difficult decisions that divorcing couples face.

To counter these patterns of conflict, I seek to promote a mediation process that leads to understanding through constructive dialogue. Granted, understanding does not equal agreement, but it can form a foundation for considering ways to approach the difficult decisions that divorcing couples face.

Each of us has values and beliefs that matter greatly to us, whether it is stability for our children, personal independence, effective and cooperative co-parenting, financial sustainability, or maintaining healthy relationships. If we perceive that any of these values are being challenged by the actions or words of others, there will be a tendency to push back. Usually our resistance will face equal resistance from the other person in the conversation.

And so if you find yourself in that difficult conversation, going nowhere, I want to be there to help you both see what matters to the other, to ensure that you are interpreting accurately what your spouse is saying, and to help you share your vision of what can come out of a meaningful and constructive dialogue. My aim is to give you the freedom to create your own pathway to understanding each other better.

As I endeavor to build on my mediation skills, I hope to expand the educational aspect of mediation to include your chance not only to learn from what I do, but also, more importantly, to learn from each other.