Comments: Marital Mediation is Not Therapy

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Christian Muntean, Anchorage AK   02/25/14
We've started building very helpful relationships with mental health providers exactly for the purpose above. We are able to help create stability in the conversation - while the therapist addresses the underlying issues. There is a lot of value in these partnerships - there are similar dynamics with financial professionals and ministers.

Lisa Scholz, Valencia CA  lsrmediation@yahoo.com     02/19/14
Mediaiton is not therapy!
I thought long and hard about becoming a therapist and decided that was not what I wanted to do. Mediation is what I love, mostly because it involves problem solving, positive communication, and working collaboratively. Mediation is not therapy, but is a value-add that helps parties prevent future conflicts and make progress in other venues such as a therapeutic relationship. Thank you for that important distinction!

Max , Philadelphia PA   02/19/14
So what is the role of therapy?
This article demonstrates that in the process of mediating financial issues, the couple's deeper needs (equality, respect, teamwork) were discussed and resolved. It also taught them the value of communication and doubtless (tho it's not mentioned specifically) how to communicate respectfully. So what is left for the therapist to do? If their presenting issue was arguing, and mediation taught them how to deal with their differences respectfully, even about as hot-button an issue as money, what's left? It's my opinion that "couples therapy" is an outgrowth of individual therapy which in most if not all cases, would be better served by marital mediation.

John A. , Waltham MA   02/18/14
Dr. Lynn explains as well as anyone how marital mediation complements therapy: how the two processes differ and how they can benefit couples, especially when used in harmony for their distinct contributions. Specific agreements about how to behave in the future is the stuff of mediation, a process with its own therapeutic benefits without being therapy. Thanks for your often pioneering work, John