When people come to mediation, especially in the cases of divorce, I always keep in mind that both of them are telling “the truth.”
So why the quotation marks?
Well, my co-mediator and I approach working with our clients with the baseline belief that we are hearing “the truth,” insofar as attaining “the truth” is possible in the arena of personal and intimate relationships. So while we believe what we hear, we know that the “truths” of our clients come through the filters of their individual perceptions and biases. This is important in many ways.
First, everyone wants to be heard.
Second, everyone wants to be believed.
And third, everyone deserves respect.
Now this doesn’t mandate that the other person agree with those “truths,” nor does it require that we as mediators facilitate a conversation based on a particular “set of facts.” In fact, we regularly find ourselves validating both “truths” and reminding our clients that perceptions, being so individualized, will differ.
In this famous drawing, two images are visible.
Which do you see?
A young woman wearing a choker and looking over her right shoulder or an older woman, with a large nose, in profile with her hair covered with a scarf?
We have shown this drawing to our clients as a reminder that our perceptions are our own, and it’s possible to see the same thing in two totally different ways.
That sort of broad permission to be oneself is just one of the aspects that Holistic Mediation brings to the mediation setting. We always endeavor to approach each client as a whole person. If you are considering mediation as a vehicle to resolve a controversy or to reframe your status in life, call us to schedule a free half hour consultation.