People say they don’t envy me my job.
People often say to me that they don’t envy me my job and while it can be heavy in content I really find people fascinating and inspirational. The time a family is involved with the mediation processes is somewhat limited in comparison to some of the more therapeutic programs. However I am amazed at the way the process unfolds and how each individual’s unique personalities and situations impact the substance of the mediation. In essence I provide the bare framework and progression of the mediation process and they build and influence the rest of the structure towards that final outcome.
Granted sometimes the outcomes are not fantastic and no agreement is reached. Even then though they have usually demonstrated their uniqueness. The reality is that disagreement happens it is as human as eating. Anger, frustration, confusion and sadness are also very human and these are commonly felt during the mediation process. How could they not be when people are only here due to the finalization of their relationship and what needs to be in place for their children.
There are some really amazing moments. When you have two individuals who for a variety of reasons have not only been unable to find a solution to their issues, their relationship is strained to the point that their interactions are actually emotionally damaging for their children. Then after some preparation, they sit down together and with a little structure from me, are able to formulate a solution. Not just a solution but a comprehensive, workable, liveable agreement that they are comfortable with.
It’s all these moments: when a family that is struggling with all the heartache and heaviness of separation yet are genuinely looking for a way to organise the practicality of being a separated family; when they are able to communicate, negotiate, debate and discuss; when they are able to gain a greater understanding of the other person’s perspective; when they are able to develop a plan which gives the whole family a structure and understanding of what is happening and when; when parents are able to focus with love and compassion on the needs and wellbeing of their children ….too many moments which make me smile at the brilliance of people.
So when people say they don’t envy me my job, I sit back and think about all that I’m entrusted with. I am a brief part of the painful journey that most of these families are on and I except and embrace all their humanness. This work has enough rewards.
-- Carolyn, Relationships Counsellor @ Relationships Australia Qld
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