As Carolyn and I consider our next steps with Tough Conversations we’d like to share some of the lessons learned mediating adult family issues. Among the most salient is that mediation is ‘issue focused.’
How many times have we been asked to mediate toxic relationships among family members who over the years have become increasingly embittered? That, we reply, is for therapists or family counselors who can help families traverse the divides that have overtaken their relationships. Often toxicity deepens when families confront an older adult member who may need care or medical help.
In these cases it’s our charge to tease out of our discussions with family members the issues or disputes that impelled them to reach out to us. In some cases no dispute exists, only decades-old enmity that needs professional counseling. [Read more…]