Emotional Static

Sandy Balick, Consensus Point MediationThis blog targets the power of the mediation process to deal with the emotions of divorce. While the mediation is certainly not a substitute for therapy, the process must be resilient enough to deal with the emotions that inevitably surface during some sessions. I’m going to take some liberty here (the writer does not have a science degree) to analogize the build-up of these emotions to static electricity. We know how garments can develop pesky static cling. In industry, static charges may cause fires or seriously hamper production.

Less dramatically, emotional static may exert a counterproductive force on efforts to discuss and resolve issues that commonly arise in separation and divorce. Fortunately, two features of the mediation process may be especially helpful in dealing with the accumulation of “emotional static.” While there are really few ground rules applying to the mediation process, an important one is that both sides get to air their respective views, feelings, etc., as the other listens. There is something about being in a neutral space governed by rules of confidentiality and in the presence of a neutral party that facilitates the expression of emotions, thoughts and concerns that may not otherwise be shared in a structured environment. Sure, there are occasional tense exchanges – sometimes words are literally colliding in the air. But it’s the mediator’s job to control this process, allowing appropriate venting, without jeopardizing the progress of the mediation.

A second and related feature of the process takes place outside the mediation room but is no less important to the effectiveness of the process. This is the pacing factor – the practice of spacing the sessions, usually a week apart. (This is not written in stone and there are occasional reasons to depart from this practice.) The spacing provides a “cooling off” period for the emotions, allowing for “off-line” discussions between the parties, and for further discussion and time to reflect on the various options to be considered.

The structure of the mediation process is a remarkably effective way to discuss and resolve marital disputes. Its power springs from the ability of the process to help neutralize pent-up emotions while facilitating forward motion of the discussion.

We would be pleased to schedule a consultation with you and your spouse to explore the divorce mediation process and to answer your questions about it. There is no fee or commitment for this consultation. We invite you to call us at (646) 340-3434 to schedule an appointment.

Feel free to ask any questions, to comment, or to request more information in the Comments Box below. Also, please feel free to forward this blog to anyone you know who might be interested in its topic.

Sanford (Sandy) Balick, Attorney & Mediator, NY Sandy Balick signature
Sanford E. Balick, Esq.
Founder & Principal Mediator
Consensus Point Mediation, LLC.

Phone: (646) 340-3434
Email: ConsensusPointLLC@gmail.com


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