Simon Mediation - Dan Simon, M.A., J.D.


Dan Simon, M.A., J.D.

The Potential of Transformative Mediation

In the below video, here’s what I say about the potential of transformative mediation:

When we hear somebody saying. . . calling the other person a “filthy, dirty, rotten, bad person,” we’re right there supporting the conversation by saying, “Ah, so you’re saying that this other person is a filthy, rotten, bad person”. We believe in this model that just simply by reflecting what the party has said without any spin on it, without sugar coating it, that person is given another opportunity to do whatever they want to do with that statement. They may want to embellish it, amplify it, make it harsher. They may want to take it back and say “Okay, they’re not a completely rotten person. I’m just saying they treated me rottenly this one time.” They may clarify it.

What we’re doing is supporting their natural tendency to want to shift toward greater strength and compassion. We who do this work really get to see it happen in beautiful ways. We see people surprisingly quickly and easily get to a better place. We also see that the stuff they say in the worst moments of the conflict, that stuff is never the whole story. There’s always more to it. In fact, in the divorce world it’s well understood that the most difficult divorces come from a situation where, at least one party is feeling heartbroken and betrayed and hurt that they’re losing this person who they’re still in love with. That’s an obvious case where the harshest words are really attached to some deep connection and so the potential is there, if you support people in saying what they need to say, for them to get their own clarity and get to a better place with it.