Can Child Psychologists Be Involved in Mediation?
Divorce is never easy, and it’s even harder when children are involved. However, this difficult process is made easier when you understand what’s permitted and what isn’t in a mediation. If you’re considering involving a child therapist or psychologist in a mediation, it’s helpful to know exactly what the process will look like and how these types of professionals can work to your advantage.
If you’re feeling unsure about how to approach finding the right mediator, it might help to focus on what the purpose of mediation is. The mediator’s main job is to assist both parties in making critical choices about their custodial situation with their children moving forward.
Mental health professionals are particularly well-suited to identify the needs of both parents and children. They will help bridge any communication breakdowns and get everyone to work together towards a common goal.
Benefits of Involving a Mental Health Professional
There are numerous benefits to going the mediation route as opposed to other divorce options, and when a mental health professional is involved, you’re ensuring that you get the most out of it. It’s a great way of ensuring your children are taken care of. In cases of domestic violence and child abuse, it’s best to have someone who is professionally trained in those types of issues.
Mediation is a great choice when parents don’t want to lay blame on one another and those who aren’t seeking revenge. If you simply want to move on with life and do what’s best for everyone involved, mediation is probably right for you.
Someone Who Is Unbiased
Working with a psychologist provides you with a neutral party. Everyone is put in a safe environment so they’ll be more open for discussion. It’s practically a given that some level of disagreement will occur, but it’s how these disagreements are approached and handled that makes the biggest difference. A mental health professional with firsthand experience and knowledge of the people involved truly helps to smooth things over.
Therapists are great at focusing and directing the conversation between you and your divorce lawyer, helping everyone to get through strong feelings. Both parents are almost definitely going to be in highly vulnerable states, to say nothing of the children, so having a professional who is experienced in handling these types of situations is a huge asset.
Sometimes, depending on the situation, when a psychologist or therapist deems it to be in your best interest, they will obtain your consent to discuss you and your children with other professionals. But it’s important to remember that a psychologist can only take this action with your written consent, so you don’t have to worry about your private information being shared against your wishes.
Divide and Conquer
With heightened emotions, it might be in the best interests of both parties to meet with the mediator separately. A psychologist will know when this is the best course of action to take, and they’ll carry it out in such a way that ensures no one feels singled out.
Simply removing one party from the discussion may help children be more comfortable, allowing certain critical information to come out. Once the mediator is working with a complete picture of the situation, the issue can be brought to resolution as efficiently and painlessly as possible.
Not a Substitute for Therapy
Parents should remember that going through mediation is not the same thing as receiving psychotherapy. This is still the case when your mediator is licensed in psychotherapy. There are significant benefits to having a child psychotherapist involved in the mediation process when there are complex issues related to the custody of your children, but it’s important to distinguish it from an actual therapy session.
Call 215-886-1266 for a divorce lawyer you can count on. When you need help with your family law matter, the Law Office of Joanne Kleiner is here to help. Visit us online and chat with a real person at no obligation to receive immediate advice and find out if involving a child psychologist in your mediation is the right move for you.