Tag: conflict resolution

What is a Mediator? Mediation Questions Answered on the Inside Divorce Podcast

What is a Mediator? Mediation Questions Answered on the Inside Divorce Podcast

I had a blast recently being interviewed by divorce attorney Cynthia Auckly-Barbuto of the Law Firm of Grossman & Associates in Newton, MA. Cynthia hosted an edition of their Inside Divorce Podcast. We spent a half hour answering questions like “What is a mediator?” and “How can mediation help parents in high conflict situations divorce?” Click to hear Ben Continue Reading »

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How to Divorce in Massachusetts Using Mediation: An Interview on WCRN

How to Divorce in Massachusetts Using Mediation: An Interview on WCRN

I had the great fortune to be interviewed by Attorney Allen Margulis of the Total Counselor Show on WCRN on July 31st about how to divorce in Massachusetts. During the hour-long interview we discussed the different ways to get divorced in Massachusetts, with a particularly emphasis on divorce mediation. I shared one of my favorite Continue Reading »

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Mediators Can Help HIGH Conflict: Fact or Fiction?

Mediators Can Help HIGH Conflict: Fact or Fiction?

People tell me “I want to refer someone to you but they are really high conflict so there’s no way mediation could work for them.” Then, I take a deep breathe, resist the urge to say something like “that doesn’t make sense!” and ask them to tell me about the situation. FICTION: Mediators only works for Continue Reading »

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The Assumption Trap | Lessons from Family Mediation Services

The Assumption Trap | Lessons from Family Mediation Services

I often find inspiration for posts from my family mediation services. But the reality is that communication lessons are present everyday if we pay attention. A friend of mine was venting to me recently about his mother-in-law. He is a videographer. Exceptionally talented, award-winning, and creative. He has made a great career creating marketing materials Continue Reading »

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Dealing With Divorce Can Be Easier When You Think Like a Kindergartener

Dealing With Divorce Can Be Easier When You Think Like a Kindergartener

I am always trying to find a unique twist for my posts. Something that sets my ideas apart. Thinking about this post, common expressions I hear from parents in mediation kept running through my mind. Statements like: He’s so demanding. She’s so controlling. He’s rude. She’s bossy. Hmmm…I wonder what mind-blowing advice I could provide Continue Reading »

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Is All Fair in Love and War? Lessons for Marriages, Divorce, and Separation Agreements

Is All Fair in Love and War? Lessons for Marriages, Divorce, and Separation Agreements

Common separation agreement ideas: “We’ll just split things down the middle. That’s just the fair thing to do.” “We just want to be fair so we’ll add it all up and split it 50/50.” These are reasonable ideas. But does that mean they are “fair?” What Do You Mean? Of Course it Does! Does fairness Continue Reading »

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6 Ways to Deal with Rigid Black and White Thinkers Inspired by Mediation for Divorce Clients

6 Ways to Deal with Rigid Black and White Thinkers Inspired by Mediation for Divorce Clients

  Do you ever feel like banging your head against the wall when dealing with rigid and inflexible people? Folks who get stuck in only one way of thinking? Who have trouble seeing the forest through the trees? Ever find yourself in a conversation that seems to be going nowhere because the other person doesn’t Continue Reading »

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3 Divorce Mediation Tips: How to Deal with Family Problems

3 Divorce Mediation Tips: How to Deal with Family Problems

Echos of a divorce mediation: She doesn’t get it! She’s SO emotional. All she’s going to do is talk about her FEELINGS. He doesn’t get it! He’s SO patronizing. All he’s going to do is talk about what is LOGICAL. Stereotypes for sure. Gender-aside, you can certainly relate to arguing with someone whose brain operates Continue Reading »

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Ping-Pong Arguments: Two Tips for Dealing with Family Conflict Inspired by the Divorce Mediation Process

Ping-Pong Arguments: Two Tips for Dealing with Family Conflict Inspired by the Divorce Mediation Process

There are some great concepts that mediators use in the mediation process that can be applied right at home. Let’s break down mediator jargon to make it useful for dealing with family conflict. My way or the highway doesn’t work well in the divorce mediation process, and it won’t in your home either… Positions: Many Continue Reading »

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10 Tips to Avoid Sounding Like Charlie Brown’s Teacher | Improve Communication in Relationships

10 Tips to Avoid Sounding Like Charlie Brown’s Teacher | Improve Communication in Relationships

Ever been told you should listen more? To wait before you respond? To just shut up and just pay attention for a second? To stop sounding like Charlie Brown’s teacher going wah-wa-wah-wa-wah…? Solid advice, right? Rubbish! Or that’s what someone named Elissa wrote to me after reading one of my posts about communication in relationships. Continue Reading »

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5 Steps to a Great Apology | Family Conflict Management Strategies From a Divorce Mediator

5 Steps to a Great Apology | Family Conflict Management Strategies From a Divorce Mediator

Ever receive an apology that didn’t feel apologetic? Left you feeling worse? Angrier? Infuriated? In mediation — and in life — I see apologies of all shapes, sizes and colors. Some feel authentic and cathartic. Some feel compulsory and meaningless. Some feel passive-aggressive and irritating. And some downright hurtful. “I’m sorry you feel that way” Continue Reading »

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Child Custody Mediation Tip: One Itsy-Bitsy Word Can Make a Huge Difference

Child Custody Mediation Tip: One Itsy-Bitsy Word Can Make a Huge Difference

Two never-married parents in a child custody mediation despise one another. They chose child custody mediation to push themselves to improve their communication and co-parenting. They are practicing some classic communication strategies. Reflecting back what they are hearing to make sure they understand one another. Listening without interrupting. Even trying to validate feelings. Amazing strategies. Continue Reading »

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One Simple Way to Improve Marital Problems, Family Conflict, & Communication in Relationships

One Simple Way to Improve Marital Problems, Family Conflict, & Communication in Relationships

Ever get really impatient waiting for an answer to a question? I know a lot of people like this (you know, like me). Unfortunately, this impatience causes problems. Let’s take Jake, a student with whom I work. One of his teachers had a frustrating experience with him. The teacher asked him a question. Jake looked Continue Reading »

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Shut Up To Improve Communication Skills! Marriage and Parenting Advice From a Family Mediator

Shut Up To Improve Communication Skills! Marriage and Parenting Advice From a Family Mediator

I used to interview prospective staff for a residential treatment program before I became a family mediator. Whenever I asked them to describe qualities that would make them a good child care worker I was invariably told something like, “I love to help people and I’m a GREAT listener.” Yet, when I would walk in to Continue Reading »

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