Mediation to Stay Married is usually conducted by a series of private mediation sessions in my office in Brookline, Massachusetts. There is a two hour time slot arranged for each session, but the mediation clients only are charged for only the time actually spent in the three-way meeting. Time is charged in five minute increments.
When financial issues are important in the Mediation to Stay Married (which they often are), the couple will provide financial documentation to me, either during the meetings, or at other times for review and analysis. Documentation includes financial statements, business financial statements, tax returns, and other documents that can assist in defining the problems and helping the couple resolve them.
A retainer for ten hours of mediation sessions is required at the onset, and a Mediation and Retainer Agreement will be provided. Any unused retainer will be returned to the clients.
Although it is preferable to conduct Mediation to Stay Married via face-to-face, three- way meetings, couples can meet with me via three-way telephone sessions. This can also supplement the face-to-face meetings. These are generally done using a conference call service. It is preferable to have the three participants (spouse and mediator) each calling from separate phones in separate rooms/locations.
It is quite easy to download Skype on your computer. This is a free download that allows you to talk through a computer and internet all over the world. You can also add a video camera (“cam”) to be able to see the person you are speaking with. The cost of the microphone, earphone and cam is less than $100. We can talk with you about setting this up on your computer. Once it is set up, we can conduct in-person video conference Mediation to Stay Married sessions.
Control issues and acknowledgment and respect are very important for marriages. Often there is a miscommunication about the interest underneath a position, or a lack of understanding of the knowledge, concern or strength of the other party which leads to lack of respect. This type of marital issue frequently plays out when driving in a car together. For a power point presentation on this topic entitled “Driving Your Spouse Crazy — Literally! » Click Here
The following are books that I believe are extremely helpful to married couples:
Taking the War Out of Our Words: The Art of Powerful Non-Defensive Communication, by Sharon Strand Ellison. Wyatt-MacKenzie Publishing, Inc. (Third ed. 2007), $16.95. Available through Sharon Ellison’s website,www.pndc.com, and through www.amazon.com
This is a great book if you want to learn how not to jump to conclusions (which are often wrong) during your daily life, whether at work or home. A careful reading of Taking the War Out of Our Words followed by intent work in putting it into practice can greatly assist us in all our personal relationships. The key is to formulate that powerful, neutral, non-accusatory, and musing Non-Defensive Question that will open the floodgates to new information that incorrect assumptions had filtered out. Sharon Ellison also has tapes of her books available on her web site. This book is indeed powerful and life-changing.
The Relationship Handbook: A Simple Guide to Satisfying Relationships, by George S. Pransky, PhD. (Pransky and Associates) 2001, $15. Available through www.pranskyandassociates.com, and www.amazon.com
This book, formerly published under the title “Divorce is Not the Answer”, is a simple, well thought-out and organized little book containing chapters on topics such as “A Fresh Start” and “Compatibility is Only a Thought Away”. Pransky is a practitioner of “Positive Psychology” which essentially posits that “it’s all in our heads”. With that in mind, one can change the trajectory of a marriage by changing a simple thought pattern.
The chapters start out with stating a “Myth” about the topic at hand, then stating “The Grain of Truth”, and then describing the “change of heart” (really the change of mind) that it takes to overcome the difficulty, whether it is perceived lack of compatibility or feelings of dissatisfaction. As a result, effortless, permanent change can actually occur in cases where the couple thought they were stuck at an impasse. Try it. It makes great bedtime reading with your spouse.
I am being contacted by potential clients and also by mediators and lawyer/mediators who are beginning to provide Mediation to Stay Married services. See the Links section of this website, or contact me for a referral. I can also provide services by telephone, Skype, or traveling to client location. You can find other marital mediators by visiting www.MaritalMediation.com.