Thursday, October 10, 2013

A Friendly Divorce - The Network

We have taken A Friendly Divorce to the next level.  A Friendly Divorce is now a statewide network of Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Mediators who are providing one-stop divorce mediation and document preparation services to couples that want to make their divorces as easy and as painless as possible.  Take a look at

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Pre-marital Question

Dear Dr Elinor,

I am about to get married.  Do you think premarital counseling is worth the effort?  


Yes!!!  I am a believer.  Pre-marital counseling and pre-marital education can provide a benefit to every couple as well as to society as a whole.

As I see it, before the state issues a marriage license, the parties involved should have to prepare and sign a detailed contract.  If you cannot sit down with your beloved and hold a conversation (while you are in the window of hormone induced connection) about (a) where you are, (b) where you want to go, and (c) how you plan on getting there, you will probably not be able to hold one of marriage's difficult conversations once the hormone rush is gone and the dulldrum of daily life has set in.

Of course these conversations should not end once the wedding is over.  Every marriage could benefit from some kind of on-going counseling (or education), like the continuing education requirements for professionals. 

Estranged Families

The topic of family estrangement has been an area of special interest for me for many years. Here are my seven key points on the topic:

1. When the estrangement is between a parent and an adult child the parent must take responsibility and be willing to apologize for perceived or real hurts.

2. When a family member chooses estrangement they are giving a loud message that something is not right. This is their way of communicating that they feel dismissed, discounted, or disrespected.

3. A cooling-off period is often critical before any dialogue can begin.

4. Even if the person on the other side wont talk you can still keep the lines of communication open by sending periodic messages of support. Keep the message simple - "I will always love you and I will be there whenever you are ready."

5. Apologies have magical and cleansing properties. Think the apology through before you start or you may end in the wrong place.

6.  Sometimes its too late.  When the bonds are weakened sometimes there is nothing to do.    

7. Follow my 10-step plan for ending feuds and rebuilding connections.

I have written a lot on the subject of family estrangement. Please take a look at my website - and this article