Family Sevices

Improve communication, mediation, divorce

Do you have any situations where you would like to see improved communication with family members? Some options that might work for you:

  • Learn Compassionate Communication, especially with other family members
  • Use mediation between family members
  • Get communication coaching

Learning Compassionate Communication is the option with the broadest range of benefits. It helps with all ages, two to one hundred. You and whoever else learns it will get the awareness of self talk and talk with others that is life enhancing and reduces conflict. If you want some help dealing with particular issues and don't want to wait until you have learned new skills, mediation is an effective choice. Mediation can be between spouses, partners, parent child, adults and elderly parents, siblings and many more. A mediator can be used to address issues that many people have used therapy or counseling to address. For more on therapy or mediation see the following paragraph. Communication coaching would be if you want help with a difficult conversation. For example; say your teenage daughter is pregnant and you would like to talk to her in a loving and compassionate manner. Communication coaching would help you create a setting where you are compassionate and willing to be there for her with everyone's best interests at heart.

Therapy or mediation? Being a mediator and not a therapist I will admit to bias on this. I have been to therapists and I have had mediation training and I would 100% of the time pick mediation by someone who is skilled with Nonviolent or Compassionate Communication. My reasoning is that therapists typically are trained to find out what is wrong with you so they can fix you. No one wants to be evaluated as having something wrong with them. Compassionate Communication mediation works on the basis of getting the parties to see each other's humanity and creating solutions from this place of acceptance. I have had many people with advanced psychology degrees in my classes who were surprised at the difference between expressing a thought and a feeling. I have even heard the comment, Why wasn't I taught this?

Divorce? If divorce is what you have decided is the solution to your current situation, mediation is the most cost effective way to go. Financially and emotionally you will be much better off using mediation than any other outside party assistance. With mediation you can still use lawyers to ensure your legal rights are protected but you will not be paying attorneys fees for other than strictly legal advice. Lawyer's fees are typically the most expensive part of a divorce that goes through litigation (trial in court.) If you have lawyers do the mediation you will be paying for both lawyers by the hour. A better way is to have a mediation focused mediator and have the lawyers review the agreements. You are still protected and you pay the lawyer for their expertise in law, which is where their training is focused.

An analogy is, if you are building a house and you have the contractor who has some experience with all tasks of building a house and charges $50/hour. He has plumbers, carpenters and electricians that charge $25/hour and focus on their skills and are very effective at them. If you hire the contractor to do all the work himself you will pay more per hour and it will take longer. In my opinion most lawyers are not well trained for mediation, they are trained for litigation. Some lawyers may be excellent mediators, if they are they will also charge top dollar. Some people want a lawyer who can give legal advice and mediate. For me, being a legal expert interferes with the mediation process of the parties coming up with their own solutions.

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