Mediation and Couples Therapy–Mutually Exclusive?

3 Jul

Jeanette recently sent me an article about mediation and couples therapy  by Don Sinkov, a New York mediator, which focused on mediation and couples therapy. Basically, the writer expressed his thoughts on referring couples to therapy when the issues run too deep for the mediation table.

The writer focused on divorced parents who come to mediation to resolve issues regarding the parenting agreement, custody, or child support. And, he expressed concern that many parents still have deep-rooted issues that are best addressed in couples therapy.imagesCA7EFYOZ

It made me think (again) about how the line can be blurred between mediation and therapy, especially when it comes to couples and families. As a therapist in the field of mediation, I have concerns about walking that line. Specifically, I have concerns about doing therapy, when I should be doing mediation–or vice versa!

I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s an awful lot of gray area–if I help the couple resolve a deep-rooted issue that affects how each can mediate, then, score! If I help a couple in therapy compromise and come to agreement about an issue their facing, then, score again!

But, it’s still something I keep in check at all times. After all, even though the line can be blurry, it’s still an important one!


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