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Getting Things Off Your Chest

Getting Things Off Your Chest

Can it be problematic if parties don’t get things off their chest until a late stage?



Full Transcript

It can be problematic. I’m not suggesting at all that it doesn’t work. But what’s you sometimes get are people who are so well behaved, and well mannered, and anxious to behave properly that they don’t want to lose it in front of two complete strangers. I don’t want to have my marital rows in front of other people.


That’s a horrible prospect, and possibly even worse when it’s at the end of a relationship. You don’t have any kind of sense of connection anymore. But, ideally for us, because we’re talking about very difficult things, because we’re talking about things that inevitably, they disagree about or they wouldn’t have come to us, they wouldn’t have felt the need to come to us in the first place. Actually, we need to see the form that this disagreement takes, and it’s all very raw. And people, you know, we all behave badly when we’re under emotional stress.


We all have trigger points, and it’s actually quite helpful for us to see, and then to talk to them about their emotional trigger points. Because one of the classic problems with parenting is that when you’re separated, you come to sensible agreements, you’re both absolutely committed to your children’s future. But then when you see one another, one or other of you who does that thing that you hate. Or, in a moment of madness one of you sends a text that just uses that language that has always really pissed you off.


And we need them to think about that, we need them to understand, and to make allowances for each other and for themselves, and have some sort of process going into the future.

About the mediator

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Philippa took her Bar exams in 1988, and was called to the Bar in 1999 (having finally eaten the dinners that form such an important part of a real legal education). She has never practiced as a barrister, choosing instead to work for 25 years in legal publishing, first for Sweet & Maxwell, and then as a freelancer. In 2011 she gave up her role as lead headnoter and assistant editor of the Family Law Reports to become a family mediator. In 20... View Mediator