How is Marital Mediation
Different from Marital Counseling?
Copyright 2011 - 2015 by Laurie Israel. www.maritalmediation.c...
What’s in a Name
Marital Mediation
Marriage Mediation
Mediation to Stay Married
Couples Mediation
Marital Counseling
Marit...
Marital Mediation is about Action
• Action-oriented
• Looks to future
• Positive
• Builds on strengths
Copyright 2011 - 20...
Are the Issues different?
• Financial
• Careers/working
• Parenting
• Division of work
• Recreation
• Time together
• Spen...
Can Mediators work with couples
in ongoing marriages?
• Mediators work with people in ongoing relationships.
• Mediators w...
Spouses often have conflict when driving.
Copyright 2011 - 2015 by Laurie Israel. www.maritalmediation.com wwwlivkdlaw.com...
What other kinds of conflict do spouses have?
Copyright 2011 - 2015 by Laurie Israel. www.maritalmediation.com wwwlivkdlaw...
Mediators work with
a couple to improve listening and speaking skills
• Help people take turns talking and listening to ea...
Active Listening and Mirroring.
• Active Listening and Mirroring
• Interpreting the message
• A spouse says something, the...
Understanding overt and covert messages.
• Identifying assumptions
• Analyzing them and testing
• Some of them may be inco...
Reframing
• A spouse says something. The mediator rephrases it without
losing the meaning, but in a more acceptable or pos...
Modeling communication behavior.
• Mediators ask questions.
• Mediators probe.
• Mediators seek to help couple gain unders...
What are the differences between
marital mediation and marital counseling.
• Mediation tends to be action oriented.
• Medi...
What are the differences between
marital mediation and marital counseling
• Mediation explores the present and the future....
What marital therapists do.
• Identify personality problems.
• Identify neuroses, psychoses.
• Look for symptoms of mental...
What marital therapists do.
• Take case histories.
• Focus on what happened in the past to understand the present.
• Figur...
What marital therapists do.
• Expand psychological exploration.
• Look at pressing internal or intra psychic issues.
• Loo...
Comparison of what marital therapists
and marital mediators do.
• Therapists expands inquiry.
• Mediators contain inquiry....
What marital therapists do
• Explore family history.
• His father was depressed, and he is depressed.
• Her mother was ove...
What therapists do.
• Therapists look at mental and emotional components of
the spouses and the relationship, and how it a...
What marital therapy does.
• Therapists can delve into psychological problems and
diagnoses.
• Therapists look at mental a...
What mediators do.
• Focus on issues present by clients.
• Deal with discreet problems and issues.
• Provide feelings of c...
Mediators are . . .
• Task oriented.
• Time limited.
• Focus on specific concrete problems.
• Sometimes just resolve a few...
What marital mediation does.
• Mediators more concerned with behavior than feelings.
• Feelings not helpful aid to mediati...
Mediators help identify miscommunications
• Mediators help people figure out what they’re arguing about.
• Maybe their big...
Mediators . . .
• Help clients brainstorm solutions.
• Help clients reality test.
Copyright 2011 - 2015 by Laurie Israel. ...
Is there anything a Mediator can do Better?
• What might they be?
• What backgrounds do mediators have?
• How might that b...
Is there anything a Therapist or Counselor can do Better?
• What might they be?
• What backgrounds do therapists and couns...
Results of Mediation
• Agreement (sometimes).
• Is a written agreement necessary?
• Is it good to “push” the clients to ag...
Mediators work on financial issues.
• Divorce mediators are very experienced in this.
• Very concrete analysis of finances...
Financial Issues often key in marital strife.
• Mediators help clients look at money issues.
• Mediators help clients look...
What both marital mediation and
marital therapy/counseling do.
• Encourage exploration of meanings, reactions.
• What else...
Transformative mediation.
• Mediation can elicit transformation.
• You don’t need to have an “agreement”.
• Builds awarene...
“Traditional” mediation.
• Must have a specific and concrete goal.
• Must be a goal that has the potential to be “agreed t...
Therapy does not (generally) result in written agreements.
• Marital mediation can result in an agreement.
• Sometimes thi...
Other issues relating to Marital Mediation
• What to say if a marriage counselor feels threatened or
concerned?
• What are...
Marital mediators work with other professionals
• Marital mediators refer to, and work with, marital counselors, marital t...
Marital mediation and Marital therapy
can be concurrent --
They are not mutually exclusive.
• Couples often work with mari...
Practice the “elevator” talk.
• You explain that you are a marital mediator.
• They say “what’s that?”
• You explain.
• Th...
About the presenter
Laurie Israel is a lawyer / mediator practicing in Brookline, Massachusetts. Her many years of
divorce...
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How is marital mediation different from marital counseling

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How is marital mediation different from marital counseling

  1. 1. How is Marital Mediation Different from Marital Counseling? Copyright 2011 - 2015 by Laurie Israel. www.maritalmediation.com wwwlivkdlaw.com Laurie Israel, Attorney/Mediator
  2. 2. What’s in a Name Marital Mediation Marriage Mediation Mediation to Stay Married Couples Mediation Marital Counseling Marital Therapy Couples Counseling Couples Therapy Copyright 2011 - 2015 by Laurie Israel. www.maritalmediation.com wwwlivkdlaw.com
  3. 3. Marital Mediation is about Action • Action-oriented • Looks to future • Positive • Builds on strengths Copyright 2011 - 2015 by Laurie Israel. www.maritalmediation.com wwwlivkdlaw.com
  4. 4. Are the Issues different? • Financial • Careers/working • Parenting • Division of work • Recreation • Time together • Spending • In-laws, relatives, friends Copyright 2011 - 2015 by Laurie Israel. www.maritalmediation.com wwwlivkdlaw.com
  5. 5. Can Mediators work with couples in ongoing marriages? • Mediators work with people in ongoing relationships. • Mediators work in civil disputes. • Mediators work in disputes in the workplace. • Mediators work with couples. • Mediators can work with married couples. (Is there any reason why not? Copyright 2011 - 2015 by Laurie Israel. www.maritalmediation.com wwwlivkdlaw.com
  6. 6. Spouses often have conflict when driving. Copyright 2011 - 2015 by Laurie Israel. www.maritalmediation.com wwwlivkdlaw.com • What does it mean? • Could it be resolved in mediation? • Can you resolve it by not going into the past?
  7. 7. What other kinds of conflict do spouses have? Copyright 2011 - 2015 by Laurie Israel. www.maritalmediation.com wwwlivkdlaw.com • Name some. • Would mediation be useful?
  8. 8. Mediators work with a couple to improve listening and speaking skills • Help people take turns talking and listening to each other. • This is actually very difficult! • Each spouse talks without coming to a solution. • People want to talk without wanting to hear or really listen to the other person. • Talk about each person’s reaction to what the other person said. • Work with limiting “hot speech” and “hot” reactions by learning to identify them and analyzing (deconstructing) them. Copyright 2011 - 2015 by Laurie Israel. www.maritalmediation.com wwwlivkdlaw.com
  9. 9. Active Listening and Mirroring. • Active Listening and Mirroring • Interpreting the message • A spouse says something, the other spouse repeats back and checks in to make sure he or she got it right. “You mean . . . ” “What I think what you are telling me is . . . “ “It sounds like you are saying . . . “ Copyright 2011 - 2015 by Laurie Israel. www.maritalmediation.com wwwlivkdlaw.com
  10. 10. Understanding overt and covert messages. • Identifying assumptions • Analyzing them and testing • Some of them may be incorrect Copyright 2011 - 2015 by Laurie Israel. www.maritalmediation.com wwwlivkdlaw.com
  11. 11. Reframing • A spouse says something. The mediator rephrases it without losing the meaning, but in a more acceptable or positive way. • The mediator rephrases it to demonstrate the underlying concerns and the way in which it was intended. • Then spouses learn how to do it. • Mediators do this. • Do therapists do this? Copyright 2011 - 2015 by Laurie Israel. www.maritalmediation.com wwwlivkdlaw.com
  12. 12. Modeling communication behavior. • Mediators ask questions. • Mediators probe. • Mediators seek to help couple gain understanding about their communication. • Couples start modeling this new behavior. Copyright 2011 - 2015 by Laurie Israel. www.maritalmediation.com wwwlivkdlaw.com
  13. 13. What are the differences between marital mediation and marital counseling. • Mediation tends to be action oriented. • Mediation asks what are you going to do? • Therapy is about feelings. • Therapy asks how does that make you feel, and why? Copyright 2011 - 2015 by Laurie Israel. www.maritalmediation.com wwwlivkdlaw.com
  14. 14. What are the differences between marital mediation and marital counseling • Mediation explores the present and the future. • Therapy uses the past to change the present and the future. Copyright 2011 - 2015 by Laurie Israel. www.maritalmediation.com wwwlivkdlaw.com
  15. 15. What marital therapists do. • Identify personality problems. • Identify neuroses, psychoses. • Look for symptoms of mental illness. • Look at family history. • Undertake to change longstanding personality or relationship problems. • Make diagnoses. • Look to improve mental health so that couples can enjoy better marriage. • Work to cure “sick” marriage. Copyright 2011 - 2015 by Laurie Israel. www.maritalmediation.com wwwlivkdlaw.com
  16. 16. What marital therapists do. • Take case histories. • Focus on what happened in the past to understand the present. • Figure out the cause of the problem. • Use analytic skills to provide context of the parties. • Use analytic skills to help parties understand their behaviors. • Process of self-understanding to lead to character or behavior modification. Copyright 2011 - 2015 by Laurie Israel. www.maritalmediation.com wwwlivkdlaw.com
  17. 17. What marital therapists do. • Expand psychological exploration. • Look at pressing internal or intra psychic issues. • Look at emotional needs. • Explore relationship between an individual’s emotional needs and the quality of the marital relationship. Copyright 2011 - 2015 by Laurie Israel. www.maritalmediation.com wwwlivkdlaw.com
  18. 18. Comparison of what marital therapists and marital mediators do. • Therapists expands inquiry. • Mediators contain inquiry. • Therapists explore deeply felt emotional issues and reactions. • Mediators look for communication issues and find grounds for agreement. Copyright 2011 - 2015 by Laurie Israel. www.maritalmediation.com wwwlivkdlaw.com
  19. 19. What marital therapists do • Explore family history. • His father was depressed, and he is depressed. • Her mother was over-protective. • Her father left the family for another woman. • Explore history of the marriage. • Explore personal histories. Copyright 2011 - 2015 by Laurie Israel. www.maritalmediation.com wwwlivkdlaw.com
  20. 20. What therapists do. • Therapists look at mental and emotional components of the spouses and the relationship, and how it affects marriage. • Primary focus is to address feelings, and cure illness, including the unhealthy marriage. • Focus on disfunctions, not functions. • Explores disfunctional relationship. • Explores psychological background to individuals actions and how it plays out in the marrriage. Copyright 2011 - 2015 by Laurie Israel. www.maritalmediation.com wwwlivkdlaw.com
  21. 21. What marital therapy does. • Therapists can delve into psychological problems and diagnoses. • Therapists look at mental and emotional components of the spouses and the relationship, and how it affects marriage. • Therapists address feelings, moods, cure illness, including the illness that leads to an unhappy marriage. Copyright 2011 - 2015 by Laurie Israel. www.maritalmediation.com wwwlivkdlaw.com
  22. 22. What mediators do. • Focus on issues present by clients. • Deal with discreet problems and issues. • Provide feelings of closure. • Manage conflict v. resolving conflict. • Help solve mutual tasks. • Typically short term 2-4 sessions. Copyright 2011 - 2015 by Laurie Israel. www.maritalmediation.com wwwlivkdlaw.com
  23. 23. Mediators are . . . • Task oriented. • Time limited. • Focus on specific concrete problems. • Sometimes just resolve a few issues. Copyright 2011 - 2015 by Laurie Israel. www.maritalmediation.com wwwlivkdlaw.com
  24. 24. What marital mediation does. • Mediators more concerned with behavior than feelings. • Feelings not helpful aid to mediation. • Thoughts and analysis are predominant. • Present-time process. • What’s happening now? Copyright 2011 - 2015 by Laurie Israel. www.maritalmediation.com wwwlivkdlaw.com
  25. 25. Mediators help identify miscommunications • Mediators help people figure out what they’re arguing about. • Maybe their biggest issue is not the one they think it is. • Miscommunications are surprisingly common. Copyright 2011 - 2015 by Laurie Israel. www.maritalmediation.com wwwlivkdlaw.com
  26. 26. Mediators . . . • Help clients brainstorm solutions. • Help clients reality test. Copyright 2011 - 2015 by Laurie Israel. www.maritalmediation.com wwwlivkdlaw.com
  27. 27. Is there anything a Mediator can do Better? • What might they be? • What backgrounds do mediators have? • How might that be helpful to people? Copyright 2011 - 2015 by Laurie Israel. www.maritalmediation.com wwwlivkdlaw.com
  28. 28. Is there anything a Therapist or Counselor can do Better? • What might they be? • What backgrounds do therapists and counselors have? • How might that be helpful to people? • When to refer to a therapist or counselor? • Can mediation and therapy or counseling happen at the same time? Copyright 2011 - 2015 by Laurie Israel. www.maritalmediation.com wwwlivkdlaw.com
  29. 29. Results of Mediation • Agreement (sometimes). • Is a written agreement necessary? • Is it good to “push” the clients to agreement? • Reduce anxiety, conflict. • The result can be “therapeutic”, but that is not the primary goal. Copyright 2011 - 2015 by Laurie Israel. www.maritalmediation.com wwwlivkdlaw.com
  30. 30. Mediators work on financial issues. • Divorce mediators are very experienced in this. • Very concrete analysis of finances, etc. • These are areas the clients might need. • Most marital mediations have underlying financial, money and security issues that are primary. • Therapists are not generally as experienced in this. Copyright 2011 - 2015 by Laurie Israel. www.maritalmediation.com wwwlivkdlaw.com
  31. 31. Financial Issues often key in marital strife. • Mediators help clients look at money issues. • Mediators help clients look at financial documents and information. • Mediators help clients get feedback on their relationship with money. Copyright 2011 - 2015 by Laurie Israel. www.maritalmediation.com wwwlivkdlaw.com
  32. 32. What both marital mediation and marital therapy/counseling do. • Encourage exploration of meanings, reactions. • What else? Copyright 2011 - 2015 by Laurie Israel. www.maritalmediation.com wwwlivkdlaw.com
  33. 33. Transformative mediation. • Mediation can elicit transformation. • You don’t need to have an “agreement”. • Builds awareness and understanding of each other’s views. • Builds mutual compassion. • Good for marriage and committed relationships. • Transformative mediation less appropriate in the workplace or in civil disputes. • Transformative mediation is why couples getting divorced via mediation or collaborative law often say, “If we could have worked with you while we were married….” Copyright 2011 - 2015 by Laurie Israel. www.maritalmediation.com wwwlivkdlaw.com
  34. 34. “Traditional” mediation. • Must have a specific and concrete goal. • Must be a goal that has the potential to be “agreed to”. • Must have an agreement, almost always written. • Good for certain types of mediation – divorce, employment, etc. • Appropriate for people in marriages? Copyright 2011 - 2015 by Laurie Israel. www.maritalmediation.com wwwlivkdlaw.com
  35. 35. Therapy does not (generally) result in written agreements. • Marital mediation can result in an agreement. • Sometimes this can be a written, legally binding, postnuptial agreement. • Sometimes people need agreement more than transformation or work on themselves and their underlying issues. Copyright 2011 - 2015 by Laurie Israel. www.maritalmediation.com wwwlivkdlaw.com
  36. 36. Other issues relating to Marital Mediation • What to say if a marriage counselor feels threatened or concerned? • What are the challenges facing therapists or counselors who practice marital mediation. • Any other issues? Copyright 2011 - 2015 by Laurie Israel. www.maritalmediation.com wwwlivkdlaw.com
  37. 37. Marital mediators work with other professionals • Marital mediators refer to, and work with, marital counselors, marital therapists, and individual psychotherapists. • Marital mediators can closely work with other professionals, such as lawyers, financial planners and accountants. • Who else can marital mediators work with? Copyright 2011 - 2015 by Laurie Israel. www.maritalmediation.com wwwlivkdlaw.com
  38. 38. Marital mediation and Marital therapy can be concurrent -- They are not mutually exclusive. • Couples often work with marital mediators at the same time they are working with a marriage counselor or marital therapist. • Often marital mediation clients are concurrently in individual therapy or counseling. • Marital mediators refer couples to marital counselors and psychologists. Copyright 2011 - 2015 by Laurie Israel. www.maritalmediation.com wwwlivkdlaw.com
  39. 39. Practice the “elevator” talk. • You explain that you are a marital mediator. • They say “what’s that?” • You explain. • Then they ask: “What’s the difference between marital mediation and marital counseling?” Copyright 2011 - 2015 by Laurie Israel. www.maritalmediation.com wwwlivkdlaw.com
  40. 40. About the presenter Laurie Israel is a lawyer / mediator practicing in Brookline, Massachusetts. Her many years of divorce law and divorce mediation led her to work with clients who wished to preserve their marriages. She is a frequent presenter on the topic of marital mediation at professional conferences in Massachusetts and elsewhere in the United States. Laurie is a member of the Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation (MCFM) and the Massachusetts Collaborative Law Council (MassCLC) and is a former board member of both organizations. Her writings appear on www.ivkdlaw.com, www.mediate.com and other internet sites. She is currently a writer (blogger) with The Huffington Post, writing about marriage, divorce, relationships, mediation, and collaborative practice. www.thehuffingtonpost.com Copyright 2011 - 2015 by Laurie Israel. www.maritalmediation.com wwwlivkdlaw.com

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