The media appears to have gone into a frenzy in the last 24 hours with the news that Angellina Jolie may have filed for divorce from Brad Pitt. The rumours as to what has caused this event are already plentiful. There seems to be an unspoken notion that somehow a celebrity couple divorcing is somehow a greater surprise than a… Read More »
Over the last 3 weeks there has been a documentary on BBC2 following various different family mediators in their work trying to help couples who’ve separated find resolutions to a range of issues. If you missed it then you can watch all three episodes on iplayer. As it’s a programme on mainstream TV it has not shown all of the… Read More »
How mediation and psychology can work together to help you deliver the best outcomes for your children after a separation
How mediation and psychology can work together to help you deliver the best outcomes for your children after a separation Una Archer MBPsS is a child psychologist helping divorcing parents to soften the impact of their separation on their children. She works to help parents understand what they need to do so that their children feel just as loved, secure… Read More »
A hot topic for non-mediation professionals, who are familiar with mediation, is often when is mediation not suitable. Our answer to this is that it is not suitable in very few cases. Some people are critical of mediators, saying that mediators argue that mediation is the answer to all disputes. This is of course not the case and there are… Read More »
Don’t underestimate the role language can play in any dispute – and especially in disputes between separating couples. There are obvious examples of how language can inflame a situation such as the use of “my” children, in place of “our” children but there are other more subtle ways in which language can make or break an amicable separation. The… Read More »
When you separate from a partner then it’s a given that two things you will need are to heal and to find a resolution. These two are intertwined and sometimes you need to make considerable progress with one before you can make progress with the other. You may also have a number of other needs beyond that and here at… Read More »
We have recently put together a downloadable pdf of our top 10 tips to help separating couples to work together as constructively as possible. It follows our approach of helping couples who separate to find a resolution that is tailor made for them, and their children, through constructive discussion. You don’t need to be a client to download this. It… Read More »
The media do love a sensationalist divorce headline: whether it’s about quickie divorces, ongoing maintenance for wives or divorce day. They just want to sell papers or get clicks online. The fact that the divorce process takes the same time for everyone (about 4 to 6 months), regardless of whether you have ever been in Hello magazine, is neither here… Read More »
If you have only recently separated from your husband or wife, then you may be quite surprised to find out how the divorce laws work in this country. Currently unless you have been separated from your husband or wife for 2 years (this can include living separate lives within the same house) then the only fact on which you can… Read More »
If you have any experience of having solicitors resolve a separation with any degree of acrimony then you might be familiar with the following scenario: Things are ticking along and you are both trying your hardest to keep your head above water in every day life, to manage the process of resolving matters and to look after your children… Read More »
If you have any experience of having solicitors resolve a separation with any degree of acrimony then you might be familiar with the following scenario:
Things are ticking along and you are both trying your hardest to keep your head above water in every day life, to manage the process of resolving matters and to look after your children who you know are not doing great following the separation. It’s not easy but things are moving along, albeit not quite as well as you’d hoped. Something happens. It might be that you get wind that your husband or wife has a new partner and you’re worried that they are being introduced to your children. Or it might be that it transpires there is less money in an account than you thought. All the careful keeping of balls in the air seems to come crashing down and you wonder how you will ever be able to resolve this. You let your ex-partner know exactly what you think and all the hurt and the anger that you have been trying to keep a lid on comes flowing out. This makes them extremely angry and all the hurt and anger that they have been trying to keep a lid on also comes flowing out. It isn’t nice. You both say a lot of things and you didn’t even really mean some of them. Maybe you pushed each other too. Maybe your children saw this and have been very upset every since. What do you do now?
Often the next step following such an incident is to make contact with your solicitor to get them to write a letter about it. This means someone else will help you work it out. They can explain what you are too angry to talk about. As far as you’re concerned communication has broken down completely. You just can’t talk to each other any more. Your solicitor may at this point talk about taking the emotion out of it. They will write a letter to deal with the issues in question but they won’t put all the extra bits in that you added in, in proofing the letter. They might explain that their role is to focus on the legal or financial or practical arrangements – not to deal with the emotion.
You get that. But you feel so angry and frustrated and hurt and where is all this emotional energy going to go? Every time you speak to your ex now you just want to get it out so it stops burning inside of you but then you get it back from them and you can’t get rid of it.
In mediation we don’t ask you to leave your emotions outside of the room. For starters that would be pretty impossible. If you could dump all the emotion somewhere then you would have done that already. Mediation is designed to be future focussed so that you can talk about what happens next and what that looks like. The purpose is not to go over things that have already happened because, let’s face it, you can do that for free without paying someone to help you with that. But mediation is a safe place to talk things over and to express how you feel. Sometimes just having someone hear that what happened made you feel very angry and betrayed can be really useful. They can acknowledge your anger and you can look at how you will move forward together. It is OK to shout and express anger in mediation. If you find that you can’t move past feeling angry then we will explore what might help you to move forward. This might involve using a counsellor, family consultant or coach.
But often just acknowledging and talking about the emotions that you both feel, is helpful in helping you define the future and how you will make it work as two households instead of one. We don’t expect you to detach your emotions but to express them and acknowledge each other’s emotions and to try to focus on the future.
For more information about how family mediation could help following a separation. Please get in touch.' displayText='ShareThis'>