Mediation for Couples
Still Together or Post Separation
For couples who are experiencing some dissatisfaction in their relationship, but who are not ready to separate, mediation can be an alternative process to counselling. A mediator does not give advice, and mediation does not dictate solutions. Mediation allows couples to talk about their differences in a neutral setting and decide what they could do to improve their relationship and rebuild trust.
A mediator can facilitate that difficult conversation, and help improve the way couples communicate.
I have often heard someone say that he or she had wanted to go to counselling with his/her partner, but that the partner had not wanted to go. A reluctant partner may consider a mediation session as an alternative to counselling.
Counselling can be a long process and you may not want to go over the past. Mediation can focus on the future, on outcomes and solutions, on expectations. You can come to agreements on all sorts of issues: how you will communicate, arrangements for the children, temporary living arrangements, financial arrangements, trial separations or not, the role of extended family members. There are so many issues that could be discussed and resolved, either temporarily or permanently.
You may also set time frames and return to mediation if you wish to make further arrangements.
If your partner is not keen to attend a joint mediation session, you could consider participating in a conflict management coaching session yourself. You will have an opportunity to talk through the conflicts within your relationship, learn what the triggers may be for you and your partner and examine ways of more effectively managing your situation.