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Family Tree Mediation

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Family Tree Mediation Blog - Mediating All Family Disputes - Divorce to Estate
Divorce and Couples Mediation

Divorce and Couples Mediation (4)

What happens in mediation can be hard to describe. A word of acknowledgment, an admission of pain, an uncovered fact can cause an internal shift within one or all of the participants that completely reorients the dynamics between individuals in a positive way. The internal aspects of our experience of dispute are indeed wondrous when an opening occurs that helps the parties to find agreement and even healing. But the opposite is also true: the internal aspects of our experience of dispute are also cause for frustration and dysfunction when we are unable to navigate our disputes effectively because we don’t have a good enough handle on what’s going on inside ourselves. Yes, our conflicts are not just about the material goods, the outward aspects of the dispute at issue. Our conflicts inevitably are also very much about (1) the inward perceptions of the participants, (2) the way the inward…
One of the influences that led me to become an attorney mediator focusing on helping families navigate conflicts, challenges, change and opportunity is the incredibly useful book, Difficult Conversations, written by the directors of the Harvard Negotiation Project.  This book is the product of thousands of hours of discussions with people from all walks of life who came into their clinic to talk about the difficulties they were having in navigating conversations about conflicts in their lives.  In constantly analyzing where such conversations broke down, turned nasty, or just lost focus, the authors were able to develop an understanding of the anatomy of the difficult conversation.  That is, the authors found in their thousands of case studies that there was a uniform arrangement of structures, obstacles, opportunities and pitfalls that must be carefully navigated in talking about any conflict.  More importantly, they created a map and a tool kit to…
Thursday, 12 April 2012 09:45

Being Heard; Listening Well

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A core belief here at Family Tree Mediation is that one of the keys that makes mediation successful is each party feeling that the other has really heard what he or she had to say. If you think back on your own experience, whenever you are in an argument or even just a conversation where you do not feel like you are being heard, you will probably recognize that internally all your mental energies become focused on the fact that you are not being heard and on your continuing need to make yourself heard. It makes sense that when your mental energies are held hostage in this way that you are not able to think further about how it feels to speak your own words or what thoughts reveal themselves as your own words sink in. All your energy is just focused on the fact that the other didn’t listen.…
Thursday, 12 April 2012 09:31

Why the Name: Family Tree Mediation?

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Today, I am celebrating the first post on this blog and I thought a good first topic to discuss is the name I have given my mediation practice. I call my practice Family Tree Mediation because, to me, the metaphor of the Family Tree expresses many values and beliefs that I think make mediation an extremely valuable tool for getting the most out of our lives: Striving for Organic Self-Development First, the Family Tree image reflects the positive growth of each of our lives through all of life’s changing seasons. As we grow older, the strength, peace and grace we embody are a reflection of our authenticity, integrity, and self-awareness. Mediation is a process that provides the opportunity for navigating deeply painful conflicts with all of these desirable qualities so that you feel yourself growing stronger, more peaceful and more graceful no matter what challenges you face. Managing Essential Relationships