What is Marital Mediation?
Marital mediation is a voluntary process for couples that want to stay married and improve conflict resolution. Marital mediation usually occurs in three to five sessions of two hours each. The mediator is an impartial communication specialist who assists the couple resolve conflicts in practical and concrete ways that are mutually satisfying. Focus is on communication and behavior that perpetuate conflict. The couple can decide to create a voluntary agreement that results from the meetings. It may be put into writing in two forms:
1. A Memorandum of Understanding that describes what the couple has agreed to.
2. An agreement that is reviewed by an attorney for each spouse.
Why use Marital Mediation?
Marital mediation is especially useful for couples that want their marriage to continue, but who need practical, concrete, and mutually acceptable conflict reduction methods. The process is goal oriented, brief and may result in a written agreement. The focus is on problem solving about current conflicts, not on improving physical or mental health, per se. Marital mediation is completely confidential, since it is not a health care service.
Difference between Marital Mediation & Marriage Counseling?
Marriage counseling involves diagnosis of a mental disorder in addition to helping couples strengthen their marriage. Past history including childhood and other aspects of family, social, educational and personal history are usually considered. Health insurance is often used for partial payment of visit fees, requiring the counselor to report diagnosis of a mental health disorder, dates of service, and charges to the insurance company. In that sense, insurance reimbursed marriage counseling is not entirely confidential. Also, when insurance reimbursement is sought, visits are limited to 45-60 minutes – the maximum visit duration insurance companies will usually “allow,” when they contribute toward payment. Marriage counseling, per se, does not have a 3-5 session time frame.
Difference between Marital Mediation and Discernment Counseling?
Discernment counseling is a 3 to 5 session process in which a couple is trying to decide whether they want to dissolve their marriage. The goal is one of three options:
1. Stay together.
2. Wait 6 months to decide, while seeking marriage counseling.
3. Separation and divorce.
Difference between Marital Mediation & Divorce Counseling?
Divorce counseling can occur before, during or after divorce and involves both or just one party to the divorce. The goal is emotion management, healthy problem solving, and post divorce resilience. This may or may not be a health care service with health insurance company involvement.
As a psychologist and counselor with decades of experience working with couples deciding to marry as well as those who’ve decided to dissolve their marriage, I can assist couples move seamlessly through dispute resolution and couple conflict regardless of their stage of difficulty. relationship. These are the types of issues that can end marriages. They are common, and they can be addressed in marital mediation.