One of the hardest and most important tasks in working with a couple is to get them to turn around. They almost always come in, facing each other, arguing. They see the other person in front of them, and often they are furious. All they can see is what that person has done to them, all they can feel is the loss and rage inside that that person has caused.
And then there are the logistics to work out.
And part of my job, like a ship captain, is to turn them around to face another direction. Suddenly, the three of us (in mediation), or the four of us (in a collaborative process), are looking at something together. We’ve got a problem to solve. How are we going to solve this problem? Instead of facing each other, with blame and despair, we are working together as a team.
Because now the focus is on something logistical. Something solvable. And the couple is no longer each other’s enemy. Often this is the aha! moment – the moment when the insolvable seems suddenly manageable.