What exactly is Therapeutic Mediation?
Therapeutic mediation is a structured meeting where the steps of mediation are implemented, however the goal is not necessarily to create an agreement based on tasks, finance or custody. The goal could be to reach understanding, future compromise or even an apology. The subject matter can range from a family event years ago to upcoming business negotiations where there is a disagreement about who will attend. The circumstances can cast a wide net and many situations would fit into this format.
Just as is the case with all forms of mediation, the purpose of mediation is defined as a process by which a third party assists two antagonistic parties to discuss and resolve issues.
When can this be helpful?
A third party can be helpful in a wide range of circumstances. Therapeutic mediation can be helpful when all other options have been exhausted and the presence of an impasse becomes the "elephant in the room". The impasse is a blockage to the functionality of the relationship. Sometimes the relationship itself is is jeopardy.
What is the difference between therapeutic mediation and therapy?
The biggest difference is that the focus of mediation stays in the present day, is geared to achieving an equal understanding of each person's perceptions, and helping the clients develop their own agreement. This process is client driven with promoting and direction from the mediator. There are therapeutic approaches that overlap with mediation and the components vital to therapy---validation, full understanding, and honesty apply. Where therapy can delve into the origin of the present conflicts, mediation will keep the focus on the actual conflict and the circumstances where it lies.