Map the Maze
By Sala Sihombing
If you are facing mediation for your separation and divorce then it can feel as if you are being confronted by a maze. This podcast will help you to map the maze and give you tools to come out on the other side.
Recharge Your Batteries
If you're listening to this episode consider checking out the Youtube video on Map the Maze for visuals. Today I wanted to talk about flow and the importance of achieving flow state to recharge your batteries. The end of the year can be challenging for everyone and if you are also experiencing separation and divorce then you may be feeling overwhelmed. We all know what helps us to clear our minds. The key though is to schedule and do it. Ensuring you find time for flow can increase your capacity to manage mediation, negotiating with your former spouse and navigating the transition through separation.
November 24, 2022
Interview with Sebastian Droesler (Pt 2)
Welcome back for the concluding part of this interview with Sebastian. Join us again for the continuation of the conversation. For more information about Sebastian and his work check out his website: https://counsellinghongkong.com
October 08, 2022
Interview with Sebastian Droesler (Pt 1)
After a long summer hiatus Map the Maze is back with a bang. A two part interview with Sebastian Droesler counsellor and mindfulness coach. We discuss life, the universe and everything. So make a cup of tea and settle in to be part of our conversation. If you would like to find out more about Sebastian's work then check out his website: https://counsellinghongkong.com
October 01, 2022
MTM Goes to the Movies - Life of the Party
For once a (mostly) positive movie about separation and divorce? Melissa McCarthy's character goes on a massive journey as she learns of the divorce, goes back to college and learns how to thrive. I enjoy this for the 80s music and the empowerment. There are questionable choices and as a family mediator, involving her daughter in the post-separation conflict and the extreme revenge fantasy are not constructive. However as a depiction of someone who thinks that life is over and then decides to reclaim her own power - great choice. The mediation scene is brief and problematic. This is the worst movie mediation scene I could find. The mediator isn't even in the room for most of it! Listen in to find out why this is not the way to do mediation. Check out the mediation scene here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lPvDN...
December 13, 2021
MTM Goes to the Movies - the Wedding Crashers
For the festive season I decided to look at some of the depictions of mediation on screen. Starting with the Wedding Crashers in which Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughan are family mediators. How realistic is the 4 minutes at the beginning of the movie? Listen to find out... If you haven't seen this clip, then check out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_IIy...
December 07, 2021
MTM Getting Help - Building a Team
Building a team and putting one together can help you get through separation and divorce in the best and most constructive way possible. First step is to identify who you already have in the team. Then identify any gaps. Use the existing team / word of mouth to help you find the missing elements. If you are going to work with a professional then make sure it is someone you feel comfortable with. Have a preliminary call and see if this is someone you would like to work with. The work itself is very difficult, it is even harder if you are working with a professional you don't like. Lastly make sure you maximise the benefit of working with a professional. For example, if you are working with a counsellor to help with the grieving process, then let them know you will be mediating. They will be able to give you tools to help you stay focused and regulate emotion in the mediation session. Make the most of the help you have.
November 21, 2021
Getting Help - Yourself
What are the ways you can help yourself? take care of yourself - sleep / eating / exercise flowstate journalling support groups and make sure to schedule it.
November 14, 2021
Getting Help - Friends and Family
Almost everyone relies on friends and family to help them transition through separation and divorce. What do you need to know? Who is the hawk? moderate? dove? in your tribe?
November 07, 2021
Getting Help - Professionals
This month is all about getting help when going through separation and divorce. Most people will seek professional help during their separation and divorce. The most common that I see for my clients are: counsellors / lawyers / financial advisors. Listen in to find out what issues you may want to consider when working with a professional.
November 02, 2021
Atomic Divorce Habits Ep 4
This week - what are some of the helpful ideas from James Clear's Atomic Habits that can be adapted for separating or separated co-parents?
October 25, 2021
Atomic Divorce Habits Ep 3
This week, I'll be talking about habit stacking and the Goldilocks principle both from James Clear's book Atomic Habits.
October 20, 2021
Atomic Divorce Habits Ep 2
James Clear, author of "Atomic Habits" explains that goals are good for setting a direction but systems are best for making progress. How can people in family mediation build systems to help build good habits for their future co-parenting? Listen in to find out...
October 11, 2021
Atomic Divorce Habits
In Atomic Habits, James Clear illuminated how we build habits / why we stick to or abandon habits / how to build systems to support habits. A great book for anyone, but especially helpful ideas for people who are transitioning their family through divorce / separation. This month is Atomic Divorce Habit month. Join me to find out how atomic divorce habits can help with co-parenting in a separated family. Atomic Habits - James Clear
October 04, 2021
Summer Book Club: Guide for Separated Parents (Karen and Nick Woodall)
When parents separate, it can be difficult to delineate the reaction to the ending of the adult relationship and the necessary continuation of the co-parenting relationship. This book is relatively short and compact. It provides insights from the Woodalls' practice for separated parents about how to put the focus back on their children and on co-parenting.
August 09, 2021
Summer Book Club: Dating Radar
Today's book is about how to notice warning signs on the way into a relationship. Not the obvious choice for a list put together by a family mediator. However, Bill Eddy whose work I have previously discussed provides a guide for people who are not yet in relationship. If you are single or recently single then consider adding this to your summer reading.
July 26, 2021
Summer Book Club: Should I stay or should I go?
In marriage mediation I work with couples whose relationships have hit a crisis point. They have decided to try and reconcile and want to ensure there is space to allow this to happen. In this book, Lee Raffel guides readers through thoughts and processes to enable parties to decide if they should stay and work on reconciliation or not. If they do decide to stay, Raffel has ideas about what that controlled separation should look like practically. This may seem like an unusual choice for a family mediator. However, I have worked with people who are trying to create the space and time to enable their reconciliation to work. We look at the practical arrangements: physical separation financial arrangements - how will the bills get paid? children's arrangements - how will the children spend time with each parent? what do we tell children? how long do we give ourselves? what commitment will we each make to counselling? and more If this seems like the situation you are in then I would recommend reading this book to get some ideas about how to move forward.
July 19, 2021
Summer Book Club: BIFF for Coparent Communication
Launch of the Summer Book Club! Today, "BIFF for Coparent Communication" by Bill Eddy et. al. Almost every week, I use BIFF at work or in my personal life to respond to a message / email / text that I find triggering. BIFF was created by Bill Eddy. It is a tool to ease communication and de-escalate conflict. Check out the High Conflict Institute set up by Bill Eddy. Bill has focused on helping people to find resolution when in conflict, especially if the other person has high conflict behaviour traits. Nothing in this episode is intended to be legal, financial or mental health advice. You should always consult a professional in relation to your situation.
June 21, 2021
Debunking Top 5 Divorce Mediation Myths
I love mythology, but mediation myths can harm parties. Listen to find out the top 5 divorce mediation myths. Nothing in this podcast is intended to be legal, financial or mental health advice. Always consult a professional for advice in relation to your situation.
June 14, 2021
Difficult Conversations - the Post Mortem
In this last episode in the difficult conversations topic, I talk about the post mortem. After the difficult conversation, not many people reflect and view what happened. Asking yourself some questions to guide that reflection can help to make sure you learn from the conversation - however it went! Make sure to make the most from this opportunity to learn more about yourself and how to have a better difficult conversation next time. Nothing in this podcast is intended to be legal, financial or mental health advice. Always consult a professional about your situation.
May 30, 2021
Difficult Conversations: How Not to Lose Control
And the one most important tip - Move your body - n to find out why...r emotions. Don't let your emotions or reactions to the other person, distract you from achieving your goals. Listen to find out how... - increase your emotional library - monitor body reactions - find your flow AND schedule it - be curious - label your emotions - engage your prefrontal cortex - System 2 And the one most important tip - Move your body - Listen to find out why... Nothing in this podcast is intended to be legal, financial or mental health advice. Always consult a professional regarding your personal circumstances.
May 23, 2021
How can we prepare for difficult conversations in family mediation?
Using ideas from a workshop on difficult conversations in the workplace, I wanted to share some ideas about difficult conversations in family mediation. First step is preparation and in this podcast, I will share some ideas about how to prepare. Podcast is also available on Youtube on the Map the Maze channel if you feel like video! Books referred to: Getting More - Stuart Diamond Difficult Conversations - Stone, Patton and Heen Nothing in this podcast is intended to be legal , financial or mental health advice. You should always consult with a professional regarding your personal situation.
May 17, 2021
What opportunities for better conflict management exist within mediation?
This is the last in the opportunity series. What opportunities for better conflict management exist within family mediation? How can participating in family mediation lead to better conversations and discussions outside mediation? Listen in or watch the Map the Maze podcast channel. Nothing in this podcast, is intended to be legal, financial or mental health advice. You should always consult a professional regarding your personal circumstances.
May 13, 2021
How can mediation empower me around finances?
Next in the Opportunity series, a look at how mediation can empower people in respect of finances. Often people express fears about their finances: they have insufficient knowledge they do not have the same values around finances as their former partner they are worried about financial stability going forward Mediation helps address these concerns. In mediation, people are encouraged to feel empowered around finances. This can mean, asking questions, understanding assets / liabilities of the family, maybe for the first time. Going froward, people often feel a sense of relief around regaining financial independence. People may not have the resources they hoped for, but lots of parties feel empowered as they can make their own decisions going forward. Nothing in this podcast is intended to be financial, legal or mental health advice. You should always consult a professional for advice in relation to your circumstances.
April 19, 2021
How can mediation help me to co-parent with my ex?
Continuing the series about the opportunities in mediation, today I wanted to share ideas about how mediation can help parents with co-parenting. As the adult relationship is coming to an end, the co-parenting relationship continues. Mediation gives parents a space and structure to: communicate and understand any differences and similarities design a new paradigm for co-parenting focus on co-parenting as opposed to their adult relationship find ways to design their communication, boundaries, behaviour and even how to deal with new partners set a plan for co-operative / parallel co-parenting. Isolina Ricci - Mom's House, Dad's House Robert Emery - Two Homes, One Childhood Nothing in this podcast is intended to be financial, legal or mental health advice. You should always consult a professional for advice in relation to your circumstances.
April 05, 2021
What opportunities does separation / divorce bring?
We often focus solely on the negative aspects of separation and divorce. The impact of all the losses experienced by people in separation and divorce cannot be minimised, but it is not the whole story. Over the next few weeks, I want to share some ideas with you about the opportunities, the new beginnings that people can experience. Nothing in this podcast is intended to be financial, legal or mental health advice. You should always consult a professional for advice in relation to your circumstances.
March 29, 2021
How do we train family mediators?(3)
Final part in this series - focuses on communication. Listen in to learn about what we teach mediators about listening, acknowledging, reframing and summarising.
March 22, 2021
How do we train family mediators? (2)
In the second part, I wanted to share some of the ideas that we use to train family mediators in respect of negotiation. We have all been at the market and done the salami slice school of negotiation, where one person starts high and the other starts low, and then through incremental offers, try and close the gap. Modern mediation is based on a different theory of negotiation, interest-based or principled negotiation. How is this different from what we do in the market? listen in to find out...
March 15, 2021
How do we train family mediators? (1)
In the next three episodes I wanted to share with you how we train family mediators. This week looks at the underlying philosophy and how family mediators try to work in children's best interests. Next week, I start looking at some of the skills.
March 09, 2021
How do mediators see the stages of divorce?
Having looked at a few other ways to think about the stages of divorce and separation, today I wanted to share how I see the different stages. This can be a helpful way of seeing when people may work with a mediator and some of the challenges about working with a mediator at the different stages. Understanding what stage you are at can help to prepare for the mediation and also to understand where the other person may be in the transition.
March 01, 2021
What are the stages of divorce?
Today I'm sharing Kessler's 7 stages of divorce. Why is it helpful to think about the stage of divorce you may be experiencing? There are a few reasons why I think it's helpful: often people transitioning through divorce and separation can feel very isolated. In reality, many people experiencing divorce and separation have felt similar emotions. whatever you are experiencing or feeling will not last forever, it may be your present, but it is not your future other people have managed to work through their divorce and separation and find answers to the questions and challenges they were facing On one level understanding more about the stage you are facing, can help put your experience in perspective. It can also give you insight into your former partner and the stage they are in. People rarely experience all of these stages at the same time / duration.
February 22, 2021
View from the Top: Interview with Andrea Clark, trichologist
Today we are joined by Andrea Clark, trichologist. Andrea shares with us her expertise and insights into the impact separation and divorce may have on our hair and scalp health. She also shares ideas about when to seek help and how to improve our own hair and scalp health. For more information on trichology: email@example.com or follow her on Instagram: Andrea_stylist_trichologist Nothing in this podcast is intended to be financial, legal or mental health advice. You should always consult a professional for advice in relation to your circumstances.
February 15, 2021
What stage of divorce am I in?
Way back in 1970 Paul Bohannon identified what he described as the six station model of divorce. Although 50 years has passed these stations remain true for parties experiencing divorce and separation in 2021. Each station has a focus and impact on how parties respond in mediation. The six stations are: emotional divorce legal divorce economic divorce co-parental divorce community divorce psychic divorce Nothing in this podcast is intended to be financial, legal or mental health advice. You should always consult a professional for advice in relation to your circumstances.
February 08, 2021
How do I make changes to my mediated agreement?
It may be that life changes require a mediated agreement or a court order to be varied to take into account changes in life. This can be foreseen if the changes relate to the developmental changes / needs of children, or it may be because someone has lost a job and can no longer afford the maintenance ordered. People may return to mediation to discuss with the other party the changes that they wish to make. Of all changes to arrangements, the hardest one to discuss is relocation of one parent with the children to another country. Nothing in this podcast is intended to be financial, legal or mental health advice. You should always consult a professional for advice in relation to your circumstances.
February 01, 2021
How do I sign the final agreement?
As the hard work of mediation draws to a close people start to focus on the mediated agreement. The status of this document is different in different jurisdictions and if you have questions you should check with a lawyer in your jurisdiction. Once the agreements by the parties have been drafted by the mediator what are some of the things that can happen? How do people move towards signing the mediated agreement? Remembering and re-focusing on the priority goals / gains and risk analysis can be extremely helpful to remind people why they have made these arrangements. Working with lawyers to review wording and to seek legal advice can also be helpful. Lastly being aware of the chances of 'post-settlement blues' can be helpful! Nothing in this podcast is intended to be financial, legal or mental health advice. You should always consult a professional for advice in relation to your circumstances.
January 25, 2021
How can I close the last gap in negotiations?
In some negotiations, the parties may reach a point of where it seems that there is no energy or creativity left to settle the last issue. This can be caused by: •the cumulative effect of their concessions can overwhelm the parties •a party may feel ambivalence about ending the and that feeling may prevent them from coming up with a solution John Wade wrote a fascinating article, "The Last Gap in Negotiations: Why is it important? How can it be crossed?" and suggested multiple ways to close the last gap including: flipping a coin splitting the difference transferring the gap to a third party expanding the pie selling the item and splitting proceeds and more Nothing in this podcast is intended to be legal, financial or mental health advice. You should always consult a professional for advice in relation to your specific circumstances.
January 18, 2021
How to make a counter proposal?
When you receive a proposal in mediation, it is fine to refuse it. You can then wait for the other person to come back with another offer, or as part of a constructive negotiation dance, you can make a counterproposal. Use the proposal as information, what does it tell you about what the other person thinks you want? what do they know ? what are the gaps in their knowledge about what is important for you? Analyse the elements of the proposal - what works? what needs to be adjusted? what is of no interest to you? Build on the proposal - can you use the same structure? this can be an efficient way of negotiating. If there is a new element which you need to introduce, understand it may slow things down as people need to understand it the big question - do you want to settle this? sometimes working through the negotiation process may make it clear to you that you don't want to settle Nothing in this podcast is intended to be financial, legal or mental health advice. You should always consult a professional for advice in relation to your specific circumstances.
January 13, 2021
How to consider proposals?
When we receive a proposal from someone, we often respond with an instinctive "No" . In mediation, there are a few key factors to considering a proposal which can help to close gaps, including: listening - sounds basic but often we don't hear things clearly clarifying questions - ask questions to understand a proposal - it is easy to make assumptions take a moment to reflect - does this meet my needs? be conscious of cognitive biases e.g. reactive devaluation do risk analysis - lots of factors ok to say 'no', but consider making a counter proposal Nothing in this podcast is intended to be financial, legal or mental health advice. You should always consult a professional for advice in relation to your circumstances.
January 04, 2021
How do I get my proposal accepted?
There are lots of factors to consider when making proposals in mediation. Today I talk about: Where are we in the negotiation dance? Insult? Closing the gap? Does this offer meet their needs? Does this offer meet my needs? Does this offer build on their previous offers? Or is this a different way to do things? What elements of the offer could I consider which are important to them and not important to me? What is easy for me to give / do and valuable for them? Have I considered the risks if I do not settle this negotiation? have I weighed that into my offer? Have I acknowledged the needs that they have explained to me? Can I demonstrate that I get what they need? Is there a gesture I could make which would make a difference to the other person? DISCLAIMER Nothing in this episode is intended to be legal, financial or mental health advice. You should always consult with an independent professional to obtain advice in relation to your specific circumstances.
December 14, 2020
What do I need to know about joint sessions?
After the individual intakes, the family mediator will meet with both parties in the joint session. What happens? what do you need to prepare? what should you expect? and importantly, how can you get the best out of the session? Disclaimer Nothing in this episode is intended to be legal, financial or mental health advice. You should always consult with an independent professional to obtain advice in relation to your specific circumstances.
December 07, 2020
What do I need to know about intake?
Most family mediators will meet with each party individually prior to mediation, this is often called an intake. This episode covers what happens at intake, what questions you may be asked and what questions you can ask of the mediator. How can you get the most out of your intake for the mediation. Disclaimer Nothing in this episode is intended to be legal, financial or mental health advice. You should always consult with an independent professional to obtain advice in relation to your specific circumstances.
November 30, 2020
How to stay calm and not lose control in mediation?
In this episode, Dr Monica Borschel and I discuss how you can help to stay calm and focused in mediation. We focus on how to prepare yourself before mediation, techniques for during mediation and steps for after your mediation. If you are about to start mediation, or in the middle, or post-mediation there is information to help anyone. If you are interested in more Map the Maze, please use the link to download my guide to preparation for family mediation. Please note that nothing in this episode is intended to be legal, financial or mental health advice. You should always consult an independent professional for assistance in your case.
November 23, 2020
How do people try and survive their mediation?
When we perceive threats, we can react subconsciously with fight / flight / freeze / fawn responses. What do these look like when we are trying to make arrangements in mediation for divorce and separation? Join Dr Monica Borschel and me to discuss these responses and what they may look like in mediation. If you are interested in more Map the Maze, please use the link to download my guide to preparation for family mediation. Please note that nothing in this episode is intended to be legal, financial or mental health advice. You should always consult an independent professional for assistance in your case.
November 16, 2020
Divorce - why does my life feel like its over?
For some people, separation and divorce can feel like their life is over. Join Dr Monica Borschel and me to discuss how attachment style may impact people experiencing divorce and separation. There is no one way to respond to divorce and separation. Dr Monica referred to: Your Personality website If you are interested in more Map the Maze, please use the link to download my guide to preparation for family mediation. Please note that nothing in this episode is intended to be legal, financial or mental health advice. You should always consult an independent professional for assistance in your case.
November 09, 2020
Forgiveness: Let's land the planes!
In this week's episode I share his ideas on the 'how-to' of forgiveness. Some key ideas for Forgiveness Know exactly how you feel about what happened – be able to articulate it – tell a couple of trusted people your experience Make a commitment to yourself to do what you have to do to feel better. No one even needs to know your decision Understand your goal. Forgiveness does not mean reconciling with the person who hurt you – you are after peace and well-being for yourself. Give up expecting things from other people or life that they do not choose to give you. Recognise the unenforceable rules. Remind yourself you can Hope for love, health, friendship and success, however you will suffer if you demand them and do not have the power to make them happen Put your energy into looking for another way to get your positive goals met. Remember that a life well-lived is your best revenge. Don’t give power to the person who hurt you. Amend your grievance story and be the hero. Make the choice to forgive. Please note that nothing in this podcast is intended to be legal, financial or mental health advice. You should always consult a professional to assist with your own specific circumstances.
November 02, 2020
Forgiveness: how do the planes get up there?
Last week, I shared with you Luskin's ideas about forgiveness, including the idea that we need to learn how to forgive for our health. Luskin describes the challenge we each face when we have not forgiven someone of the planes that never land. The grievances we have which prevent us from living fully in the present and having control over how we live and feel. This week, I will be sharing Luskin's ideas about how the planes get up there in the first place. Next week, the all important - how do we land the planes? This podcast is not intended to be legal, financial or mental health advice. You should always consult a professional to assist with your specific circumstances.
October 28, 2020
Why should I forgive them?
As children we are often told to forgive others who hurt us. When separating, people are often deeply hurt by the actions of the other person. Holding onto that pain and sense of powerlessness can have a significant negative health impact. Dr Fred Luskin suggests a different way, he argues we need to take back control and assert our own power to forgive for our own good. Forgiveness is not about accepting what's happened, minimising our pain or forgetting. Instead it is about freeing ourselves from the grievance and finding a way to heal and move forward. Next week more from Dr Luskin on "how" to forgive. Forgive for Good Dr Fred Luskin If you are interested in more Map the Maze, please use the link to download my guide to preparation for family mediation.
October 19, 2020
Why should I apologise?
In family mediation, people have often made choices, or behaved in ways which they regret. These can have caused pain / anger for the offended person. Can an apology help? it depends. If there will be an ongoing relationship e.g. co-parenting, then an apology may help create some space to begin that path together. Apologies if offered need to be made thoughtfully and appropriately - when and where? what can you say? what are you willing to take responsibility for? In his book, "On Apology" by Aaron Lazare, he focuses on the evolution of apologies and the elements of apologies. Next week, the companion episode, Why should I forgive? Also if you are interested in more Map the Maze, please use the link to download my guide to preparation for family mediation.
October 12, 2020
Time-travellers and divorce
It is easy to imagine how people experiencing separation and divorce may wish to time travel and make different choices. In his book Two Homes One Childhood, Robert Emery challenges parents to consider time travel to the future. An imagined future where the conflict is behind you and your children have grown up. What will be important from this time perspective? Visualising an imagined future can help people to shift out of present-day conflict and chaos. "Two Homes One Childhood" Robert Emery If you are interested in more Map the Maze, please use the link to download my guide to preparation for family mediation.
October 05, 2020
How do we tell the kids?
One challenge parents often confront is how to tell their children about the separation and divorce. There is help at hand in Jean McBride's book, from counsellors or even in family mediation. It is not unusual that in family mediation, parents work together to create a message that both can agree on, that is supportive of children and is consistent. Family mediators work with parents to consider the specific context, and also to use psycho-social education to consider the age and developmental stage of children. Listen to hear about factors for different age groups. "Talking to Children About Divorce" Jean McBride If you are interested in more Map the Maze, please use the link to download my guide to preparation for family mediation.
September 28, 2020
How do psychologists work in Child Inclusive Mediation?
Last week I talked about the Child Inclusive Mediation process. Today, I welcome back Dr Monica Borschel who works as a child consultant to talk about child inclusive mediation in more detail. Listen to the podcast to hear her talk about how she works with children, how does feedback work and how can parents make the most of the information shared in child inclusive mediation. For more information about Dr Borschel, visit her website: www.drmonicaborschel.com Book referred to in the episode: Talking to Children about Divorce, Jean McBride
September 21, 2020
How can Children participate in Family Mediation?
Some parents want to involve their children in the family mediation process. The safe way to hear a child's voice in the absence of a child would be to use the Child Inclusive Mediation process (CIM). In CIM, a child will meet with a specially trained mental health professional acting as a child consultant. The child consultant will then bring feedback into the mediation to inform the parents' discussions and decision-making. Listen to hear more about the process and how it works. Additionally in this episode, I share why not every mediation uses CIM. Next week, Dr Monica Borschel returns to share her thoughts about working as a child consultant.
September 14, 2020
How to work with a psychologist?
For some people experiencing separation and divorce, this may be the first time they have worked with a psychologist. Today, I am delighted to welcome Dr Monica Borschel, attachment, loss and trauma specialist to speak about her work with clients and families experiencing the transition through separation and divorce. Listen to the podcast, for Dr Borschel's thoughts on how to work with a psychologist, how to look after yourself and how to manage your own personal transition. For more information on Dr Borschel, please go to www.drmonicaborschel.com Books referred to in the episode: Stopping the Noise in Your Head: the New Way to Overcome Anxiety and Worry Dr Reid Wilson How Emotions Are Made Dr Lisa Feldman Barrett
September 07, 2020
The Secrets to A Good Divorce?
in 1994 Constance Ahrons published her book, A Good Divorce. The ideas she shared have relevance for families today. Ahrons based her work on her Binuclear Family Study and it is amazing to see how much of her work remains foundational to family mediation in 2020. In the podcast, I share Ahrons thoughts on: what is the difference between co-operative colleagues and angry associates? how understanding roles, rules and rituals can make a good divorce, and one surprising finding from her study that I believe remains true today Books referred to in this episode A Good Divorce by Constance Ahrons Two Homes One Childhood by Robert Emery
August 31, 2020
How to communicate what you need!
Communication is as easy as going to the moon - go up, come down. In reality communication in conflict is one of the hardest things we do as humans. In this I look at why communication is so difficult and 5 ways you can communicate what you need. For those who would like help with preparing for mediation for divorce and separation, please download my free workbook "Preparing for Mediation" which sets out some helpful information and asks key questions you need to answer. Follow link to download: https://www.mapthemaze.com/pl/200003 So how do we communicate what we need more clearly? Follow the five tips below: · Be clear about our needs – what is we really need? We all have wants, we would all like the conceptual pony, but what do we really need? · Be confident that whatever insecurities we have, the other person will have some too. In family mediation, everyone is usually a newbie. If you do have concerns about how you will manage speak to your mediator – they can either suggest process changes or support people. · Be careful and stick to the message! Would it feel better to tell the other person what a disaster they are? And their family? And all the terrible things they did? Maybe. I am not sure it always feels better. Regardless, it will make it highly unlikely they will care to listen to the substantive content if they have to wade through our editorial comments · Be focused on using language they will understand. Communication is about getting our message through, in order to do so we may need to adapt how we deliver the message to make sure it can be received. There is no point sending a fax if all they get is email. · Be aware of your communication style and the other person’s. Not everything is about you – they may have preferences / tones / words which you would never use – but come naturally to them. Try and filter the extraneous parts and hear the substantive content.
August 24, 2020
Could online mediation be better than in-person?
We are all in the middle of a global experiment to move our work and practices to an online world and mediation is no exception. This episode considers some of the concerns I hear from people about remote mediation and also some of the unexpected benefits. There are reasons for and against and in the podcast I highlight some of the questions I think you need to consider if you are asking the question: could online mediation be better than in-person for me?
August 17, 2020
Top Tips for Zoom mediation
Zoom mediation is now an established option for family mediation. What are some ways you can make it more effective, productive and efficient? scheduling - ensure that zooms are within working hours for everyone be prepared - have your documents printed; your legal advice ready; your proposals and options outlined; your questions and concerns written down; etc. anything you can do to make sure you have everything you need for the conversation be patient - technology is not always our friend - patience is very helpful be rested - it can take a lot of focus to listen and understand on a zoom call - make sure you are in the best place to have the call be constructive - stick to any ground rules the mediator has asked you both to adhere to be aware - that if you are online and the other party is in the room with the mediator, the mediator will still be working impartially even if they have to sit next to the other party so that both can appear on screen be private - just because you may be at home mediation is still a confidential process. Ensure that you have privacy, free from distractions, for your mediation. There may be circumstances in which zoom mediation is necessary or even beneficial to the process.
August 10, 2020
How to work with a lawyer
Based on my work with clients these are the top tips I have for working with a lawyer in family mediation, to ensure you get the most out of this relationship: get recommendations from friends as to good experiences meet with lawyers to make sure you are comfortable with them and the team ensure that you are working with an experienced family lawyer and not just someone who also does family work understand that no lawyer will give you a guarantee be prepared to ask lawyers for a range of outcomes - good day for you in court / bad day for you in court be the client! don't forget the lawyer works for you. be conscious - make sure that you are making conscious decisions about how / when to rely on the lawyers be transparent with your lawyers so they can give you the most relevant advice be flexible - consider bringing in the solicitors to a mediation if helpful and most importantly be clear about your priorities with your lawyer - what do you most need (not want) to achieve so they can target their advice
August 03, 2020
Top 5 Divorce Mediation Myths
There are many myths about divorce mediation - they all apply to separation as well! Mediation is the myth buster. In family mediation, we focus on what is practicable and possible. Here are 5 myths which I regularly encounter from clients: 1. We can only use mediation if we agree on everything 2. The mediator will tell us the answer 3. No lawyers! 4. I need the toughest lawyer 5. I need to convince the mediator that I am right Bonus extra 6. No cases settle in mediation.
July 27, 2020
What lies on the other side of the Maze?
Often people ask what is on the other side of the Maze? the answer is 'it depends'. It may be that if you have no children, there is no need for further contact. However, if you have children then there will be years ahead of co-parenting, even if they are adult children. Even with out children, separating partners may have other shared obligations going forward. For those with no children and no shared obligations going forward, it may be that on the other side of the maze is a life wholly separate from the former partner. It may be that mediation through the maze provides respectful closure to enable both parties to move forward with their lives.
July 20, 2020
How long does this take?
One question I am always asked is how long does it take to get through the maze? How long will it take to get this done? The unsatisfactory answer is that I don't know. From my perspective, there are three factors which will impact length of time: Complexity Negotiability Commitment In this podcast I'll look at some of the issues which can impact each factor.
July 13, 2020
Top 5 Steps to Get Through the Maze
This is just my list based on working with many people going through the Maze: Find ways to manage emotions: feeling strong emotions is a natural part of separating, it is important to understand and be aware of how you feel. At the same time, you will need a clear head and heart to be able to make all of the decisions and consider arrangements moving forward. Finding ways to manage and regulate your emotions will aid in mediating your arrangements. Get support - legal / counsellor / therapist / financial advisor / etc.: People often have legal support which is very important as family mediators cannot give legal advice and yet these are the most important and personal decisions you may ever make. In addition, it can be good to have the professional support of a counsellor or therapist. While friends and family will love and support you they may not be able to put what you are experiencing into context or help you with skills / tools. In addition, some people also work with a financial advisor to help understand assets or to structure the financial arrangements. Reflect on your priorities: People may feel as if everything is a priority, but as mediation is a negotiation, no one ever gets 100% of what they want. You will need to consider what are your priorities? what are the most important goals that you have? and can these be achieved realistically given the circumstances and family situation? Practice "you have to give to get": mediation is a negotiation and therefore it is good to see if you can find something that is important to the other person and not important to you. This can be a way to build a package for proposals. During the mediation a simple acknowledgment or expression of gratitude can help to keep the negotiation on track. It can be very difficult to do, however, if you can focus on your priorities acknowledging the other person's attempt to meet your needs can be constructive. In his book, Forgive for Good, Dr Fred Luskin explains unenforceable rules and how we can use forgiveness as a way to heal ourselves. Remember this is not forever: it can feel when you are deep in the Maze that this process, pain, turmoil is never going to end. Robert Emery in Two Homes, One Childhood, uses the rearview mirror to explain that at some stage you will be looking at these events from a distance. This thought that there will be an end can be a little window of light. Through the podcast and also the digital course I will be launching in September, I will be sharing more detail about each of these ideas.
July 06, 2020
What is the Maze?
What do I mean by the Maze? From my perspective of having worked with many families experiencing separation and divorce, the Maze consists of the systems and processes which you will both need to pass through in order to separate or divorce. I never forget that when people decided to partner they never planned to sit at a table with me, a stranger, and make decisions about their personal lives. There are different processes that people can use: mediation / lawyer negotiation / court. Each comes with challenges and consequences. As a family mediator, I do believe that most people can come up with their own solutions to the problems they are facing. However, it is also true that in some circumstances you may need to go to court. In the Maze people often experience high levels of emotional and psychological turmoil. Even if you were the one who decided to leave, the consequences of that decision can feel disorienting. For the person who feels ambushed by the other person's decision to leave it can lead to hurt, pain and anger. In the midst of this each party will experience a baffling storm of documents, information, jargon, and legal advice. It is no surprise that people can find this time to be stressful and confusing. In addition, to the formal elements of the Maze, each person stands within their own tribe. This tribe will consist of people who support their member through the process. They will have their own thoughts and emotions about what is happening. If there are children then these concerns and challenges will be increased as now the parents must find ways to co-parent at a time when they want to be far away from the other parent. Sometimes the pain of a childhood divorce experience can be paralysing for a parent. It is not surprising that people can struggle to find their way through this Maze. In upcoming podcasts, I will be sharing some ways in which the anxiety and confusion about what is happening can be reduced. Next week, I will be sharing 5 key factors to get through the Maze.
June 29, 2020
Why am I doing this podcast?
Welcome! In this podcast launch episode I will be: introducing myself and my conflict journey explaining why as a family mediator I am creating this podcast forecasting some of the topics I will be covering in upcoming episodes. For many people experiencing separation and divorce, it can feel as if they are standing on the edge of a maze they do not understand, or wish to experience. In family mediation, we try to work with both parties to help them communicate and negotiate in a constructive way. This is based on the foundational belief of modern mediation that people have resources to solve their own problems. In upcoming episodes I will be looking at some of the tools and ideas which have helped me change my beliefs and behaviour around conflict, and which can help anyone to be more effective and less distressed in conflict situations. Each week, I look forward to sharing ideas which have influenced me and share some of the thoughts from other professionals who work with separating families.
June 22, 2020
Map the Maze: Trailer
Hi, my name is Sala Sihombing and I work as a family mediator. I work with people who are separating and divorcing and using mediation. For some people it can feel like a maze with no end and no clues. Through the podcast, I aim to share information and ideas about how to prepare, manage yourself and achieve good results for you and your family. Please join me 22 June 2020 for the launch of Map the Maze.
May 21, 2020