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Why Use a Mental Health Professional If Child Custody is Not An Issue in Mediation?


Q. What are the advantages to using a co-mediation team?


A mental health professional can be the guiding factor as to whether mediation will be successful or whether it might decompensate due to what feels like insurmountable emotional conflict. This in turn, leaves no choice but to undertake a lengthy, costly, and emotionally draining litigation. Mental health professionals are often associated primarily with child custody mediation. However, if child custody is not an issue in your divorce, a mental health professional can absolutely be an asset to successful negotiation as emotional reactivity is often present, no matter what the factors are in divorce mediation.

The loss of a relationship can be incredibly painful and turn a persons world upside down. The splitting of assets at a time such as this can be difficult at best. Having a mental health professional to assist in working through conflicting emotions, which can arise during mediation, is a crucial part of the process. A therapist can assist in de-polarizing hurt and angry positions and help both parties to feel heard as they move through the mediation process.

Many mediations fall out because this polarizing anger interrupts the ability to think rationally. If our nervous system is over stimulated with emotionality, it interrupts the ability to think logically and instead can signal a fight or flight response. A mental health professional is trained specifically to help de-escalate emotional conflict so that a healthy negotiation can take place in a mindful and timely manner.

We at Los Angeles Mediation Services highly recommend the addition of a mental health professional to your mediation team as a means of assisting you through this process. Frankly, it is far more economical to succeed than to fail, and co-mediators promise additional support to the mediated processes!



Posted By Karen Horwitz, MFT on November 17, 2011 04:55 pm | Permalink 

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