FamilyCraft: The Private Practice of Family & Divorce Mediation

Monday, November 15, 2004

Why This Blog?

I'm fortunate to work full-time as a divorce and family mediator in private practice.

Many mediators and aspiring mediators ask me: "What's the full-time practice of family mediation like?"

There's precious little written about this work. There's an amazing chapter by Patrick Phear (a former zoologist from Zimbabwe with a thriving Boston family mediation practice) in the anthology When Talk Works: Profiles of Mediators (Jossey-Bass, 1994). Titled "Control, Commitment and Minor Miracles in Family and Divorce Mediation," this gem inspired me when I left forever the practice of law to be a mediator.

Look, I can do two mediations a day, each of about two hours. And that requires that I spend half an hour beforehand reading my notes, two hours with them, and probably an hour after for doing my notes. That's close to seven hours a day right there with almost no other human contact, just very clinical, very buttoned-down, very, very, hard work. Really, it's hard work to mediate, to listen to the subtleties and nuances of what people are saying, to hear all the emotional pieces. It's difficult, tiring and painful.

And so, this blog.

I hope to occasionally share the joys of this work - I call it "familycraft" - and reveal its challenges. I hope to consider in these musings both the intrapersonal world (how it is personally, spiritually, and psychologically) and the professional/technical world of being a family mediator.

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