Family Mediation -The Better Response to Family Strife

All human beings, at the most basic level, are ruled by deep primitive instincts - like the fight-or-flight response - that contrast and clash our gift of sentience and self-awareness. When faced with any potentially dangerous or difficult situation, most people choose either to stand their ground or to run away. When confronted by wild animals in jungles or forests, this is a handy and important instinct to react to. However, when facing a personal crisis with your spouse or other family member, it's not always the ideal way to handle it. In those situations it's important to remember that you have more than two choices: You can fight - literally, or through a divorce; you can flee (by ignoring the problems or refusing to deal with them); or, you can mediate.

Not Instinctual

Mediation is not an instinctual response and as such, is often a difficult decision to make between people in dispute. We often think in terms of punishing our partners or running away from our problems, but the more civilized approach of working through the problems with a trained mediation professional and seeking a cooperative solution to your problems requires getting past the instincts and entering a higher plane of thought. Because our instinctual reactions are our most honest and normal ones, this can be quite a challenge. However, those instincts are often more destructive than helpful because we now live in civilization rather than in the wilderness.

Leaving Fight-or-Flight Behind

However, simply agreeing to pursue mediation still isn't enough. Some people use mediation simply as a new battleground for the fight and this often occurs while they are still in the throes of their fight-or-flight response. Mediation resolves disputes using a simpler and less sophisticated approach. It therefore requires that parties leave their behind, concentrate solely on a cooperative solution and refrain from airing grievances and attacking each other.

In the midst of the process, people can often be swept up in a rush of emotions and turn their fight-or-flight instincts on the mediator. They transfer their anger and frustration to the neutral third party and in turn, can cause the process to fail. A key part of a successful mediation is understanding our instincts and how they often control our lives. Initial instinctual reactions are something we can't avoid. When this happens, we should let them run their course, take a deep breath, and then pursue a more civilized course of action.

David A. Johnson provides quality legal services in East Idaho. As both a private attorney and a former Bonneville County Prosecuting Attorney, Mr. Johnson has substantial courtroom experience and superior mediation skills guaranteed to help bring resolution to your case. Contact him today at 208-535-1000 or visit for more information.

This article was published on 19 Jul 2014 and has been viewed 492 times
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