PSYCHOTHERAPY VS. ELDER MEDIATION

Psychotherapy and mediation differ concerning the process and the goals. Psychotherapy focuses on the individual’s feelings, thoughts, and behaviors with the purpose of achieving an intellectual and emotional understanding of themselves; resulting in overall higher functioning in relationships, career, family, and self.


Mediation involves exploring options and developing the best plan for an elder and the family. All necessary parties are invited to participate including the elder who provides a voice in the decisions impacting his/her life. When mild to moderate dementia may be an issue, the elder’s capacity to mediate is considered and handled with sensitivity. The goal is to improve communication among the family, and problem solves while respecting the elder’s dignity, and avoiding unnecessary litigation. All communication and information gained will be confidential. Mediation takes place in a comfortable setting, from the elders’ home to an office, or a family members home. The number of mediation sessions varies considerably according to the needs of each family.


STAGES OF MEDIATION:


1. Explanation of the process.
At our first meeting, I will highlight our joint establishment of the mediation process, and the ground rules for all of us to follow. A communication process is developed. All questions will be answered, and general areas of conflict will be noted.


2. Expressing the specific conflicts and everyone's hopes for the mediation. 
This stage, each family member offers their perspective on the problem, as well as their view of a solution. Depending on the family dynamics, I may meet with each member individually and as a group.


3 and 4. Seeking insight into interests, with the goal of cooperation. 
In these stages, I am concerned with essential aspects of the mediation. I will assess the more profound apprehensions among each family member which have led to the overall conflicts. Identifying and deconstructing why each feels threatened with the current issue, as well as similar experiences that have occurred in the past, leading to an alleviation.


5. Making Decisions while respecting everyone’s perspective and feelings. 
After I have assisted in created new insights where everyone has a realization of what they are contributing to the conflict, as well as empathizing with how other’s in the family is feeling, solutions are discussed. The process involves working collaboratively and deriving solutions.


COST OF MEDIATION:
I offer two options for mediation. A three-hour session, and a six-hour session, both with additional hours at a set hourly rate. The six-hour session is usually reserved for families who have members who need to travel a distance for the process. The total amount of time for mediation, differs significantly, with each family; thus a retainer is requested. 
Additional hours of the process include face to face or phone contact with the family or other entities associated with the mediation process; paperwork; travel time and any and all information that is sought by the family for their purpose of achieving an equitable solution. 

DR. KRISTINE DANBACK
NEW YORK TRI STATE AREA 
NYS Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Email: randomthoughtspsy@gmail.com
(203) 313-0032

"Purple hydrangeas symbolize a desire to deeply understand someone."

MY ORIENTATION AS A MEDIATOR

I am a facilitative insight oriented mediator. I work as a neutral third party assisting two or more family members to reach a voluntary agreement. The goal is to facilitate each member to express their perspective along with communicating their individual needs, interests, and capabilities, thus deriving a plan, or resolving current disputes. Families report higher satisfaction with the outcome of mediation than with court decisions. It also teaches resolution techniques that may allow families to resolve future conflicts without assistance. I use my clinical skills providing families with a less stressful way to make decisions that take into account everyone’s needs.



I assist your family with the difficult, confusing decisions that evoke feelings of guilt, frustration, exhaustion, and sibling conflict. Families have unique needs, however, common issues discussed include:

Home care vs. nursing facility
Finances and bill paying
Inheritance, Estate and Trust matters
Decision making process
Medical decisions
End of life decision making
Family members’ roles and responsibilities
Caregiver burnout
Personal property distribution
Anticipating issues before crises develop
Family communication
Respecting each family member’s involvement
Processing feelings of guilt, confusion and frustration

Aging loved ones and their families are faced with new challenges to ensure their care. Health, financial and caregiving concerns are serious issues. As family members seek to equitably share the responsibilities and resources of the family, their individual perceptions of fairness is critical. Family psychotherapy as well as mediation facilitates family discussions relating to the safety, finances and capabilities of everyone while respecting the senior’s desire for control and independence.


​​​​KRISTINE DANBACK PH.D ​

Random Thoughts Psychotherapy P.C.

​​SPECIALIZATION IN​ GERIATRIC PSYCHOTHERAPY & ELDER MEDIATION