This is the second in my 2 part series to help you with co-parenting; from war to peace. In the 1st article I offered you 3 Secrets to help you understand why Mediation is the solution; because Mediators like me are in the cooperation business while attorneys are in the business of war. And did yu know that the hourly rate of attorneys is usually much higher than the Mediator’s fee; so everyone wins! If you already used your children's college funds to pay your attorneys or if you took out a 2nd mortgage on your home to pay the price then this can be the beginning of a real solution.
Therapists have a different perspective from attorneys yet they are in the diagnosis and treatment business which is its own problem. Are you sure that you want your spouse to be asked “what’s wrong with the way your Ex is handling the children?” because you will be forced ot listen to the answer. And are you sure that your spouse can listen to your answer to the same question without going ballistic? Here are a few Secrets that will really help you:
Secret #1: Do not be fooled; if you are in the presence of a therapist with your spouse DO NOT ANSWER A QUESTION using any negative words. DO NOT BE FOOLED. In therapy the only safe answers are to praise what does work such as “it really helps when he……..” and “I know that the children really appreciate it when she…..” No matter how “safe” you feel because of the calm tone of voice that the therapist uses remember that the therapist won’t be dealing with your former spouse every hour of every day but your children will. Therefore, no matter what speak only positive words, expressing appreciation.
Secret #2: The skill of a therapist is to calm you down. Feeling calm will give you a false sense of security and that is how disaster strikes. There have been violent outcomes from therapy sessions because wives felt safe to say what they felt about their husbands so be VERY CAREFUL with your WORDS. The therapist won’t be there when you walk to the parking lot and won’t be there when you go about your life and make the transfers with the children. If there has been verbal abuse or any form of physical abuse aren’t you better off with Telephone Mediation?
The 7 Stages of Divorce© are:
PANIC DENIAL AGONY RAGE EPIPHANY NEGOTIATION PEACE
From "The Marry-Go-Round: or How to Save your Money, your Sanity & your life!"
Secret #3: Your words can be used against you if you return to court because therapy is a medical diagnostic model; therapists are trained to see “illness” and they don’t realize the damage that can and often does occur as a result of therapy sessions. The raw emotions that may be churned up in a therapy session can put you at a huge DISADVANTAGE for custody which also affects CHILD SUPPORT PAYMENTS. Instead, if you must go to a therapist to satisfy a demand from your spouse or former spouse or from the court be absolutely sure that you go to your own therapist and go alone. If a joint therapy session ends in someone fighting or someone walking out demand for a court-appointed Psychological Evaluation is likely and that triggers the need for seemingly endless sessions for your children with a child psychiatrist, too.
Don’t fight; don’t complain and definitely don’t walk out so better yet- prevent this entirely by motivating your Ex to Mediate with my "Motivate to Mediate" training!
BONUS Secret: When looking for the best Mediator ask if you can have an explanation of how they resolved a similar situation to yours. You must avoid any Mediator who has not successfully resolved similar or identical challenges to the ones you are now facing. Figure out all your questions in advance and write them down and ask every one of them.
As one the pioneers of telephone mediation remember that you needn’t speak to each other or see one another. And I teach skills to at least one co-parent so that peace is possible with or without physical presence; and I work with clients worldwide so that everyone can learn how to create peace in the family because one day there will be a graduation and then a wedding and you will want to learn how to manage these long before they occur.
Please allow me to offer you a 1 hour private telephone sessions to learn the Heartspace System© for co-parenting so that you can learn and use The 6 Part Conversation© and create true cooperation, mutual respect and peace!