Changing job or losing a job, moving abroad or moving house, suffering an accident or an illness and even the happy event of becoming a mother or a father are hard to carry on your own. During such times, couples and families test their connection by asking "security questions": Are you there for me? Can I count on you? Can I trust you? If the answer is delayed or perceived as negative, we sometimes try indirect strategies to reconnect and are pulled down into the spiral of conflictual dialogues.
Conflictual dialogues, such as the usual "Who's to blame?" create distance and undermine trust. My first concern in any mediation, wherever with couples or extended families, is to help participants recognize their conflictual dialogue, identify their moves in the spiral and work together against it. In mediation, strong emotions often cover fears, needs, desires, wants and goals. I support each participant to express these needs and fears directly in order to get out of the conflict mode and to engage together in the decision making process.