I was recently interviewed by an agency that I provide mediation services for and wanted to share it here.
Jody provides divorce mediation services in Newton, Framingham, Holliston, and Boston and she also serves as divorce and family mediator with MWI at the Norfolk Probate and Family Court in Canton, MA, where she handles mediations involving divorce, contempt, and modifications of parenting plans and child support.
Prior to working as a mediator, Jody worked in the Boston Jewish community for 24 years in numerous positions that inform her practice. She has experience as a facilitator for a variety of groups including a Self-esteem & Relationship Group, a Spiritual Reflection Group, and a Family Reunification Group. Jody is a court approved facilitator for the Parent Education courses and currently teaches for The Divorce Center and MWI. She is the creator of Honor Thy Children, Jewish Parenting through a Divorce Lens, a 3 part workshop that she will begin teaching in late 2016 in Newton, MA.
What do you love about your work as a divorce mediator?
"As a child of divorce, I’m particularly sensitive to helping a couple create a Parenting Plan that is in the best interest of the children and feels right for their changing family. Creating a parenting plan that keeps both parents feeling connected even while physically apart is easier in today’s technologically advanced society. I remind parents that cell phones, Skype, and FaceTime are wonderful tools for staying in touch and can lessen the difficulty of the proposed separation."
As a facilitator of the mandatory Parent Education Programs, what do you hope parents get out of the classes?
"It’s important for parents to remember that even though their relationship is changing with their spouse, their children's relationship is not and they need to be respectful of that relationship. While the class is mandatory and people may come in thinking, “I know how to be a parent, why am I here?”, we have important conversations in the class on how to move from a romantic relationship to a business relationship with their spouse. After a divorce, a family is still a family, it just looks and behaves differently."
Why did you become a Divorce Mediator?
"I became a Divorce & Family Mediator primarily to help families have a more amicable divorce. I know too many people who have destroyed their relationships by litigating their divorce and their children are the ones that suffer the most as a result. My goal is to help families maintain a level of civility and respect despite the differences that ended their marriage. Families will always be connected through their children. When couples come to see me, I ask them to think ahead to their children’s wedding and imagine if they will be able to stand on either side of their child to walk them down the aisle. And more importantly, will their child be comfortable standing between them? It’s a powerful question."
What differentiates you from other mediators?
"As a Social Worker, I bring a different skill set to the table. I’m able to "hold the space" for conversation in a different way than other professionals. I help couples really hear what each other is saying to one another not only the words that are being spoken."