In the mediation field, we are often helping families through some of the most difficult periods of their life. I hear comments that this must be incredibly taxing on the mediator; it definitely can be. Helping families overcome their stress-filled circumstances is an emotional line of work. It is also incredibly rewarding and important work!

There is something that I like to call “The Big Shift” that happens within clients during the mediation process. It’s the moment when a person recognizes that the transition they are experiencing as their family separates is not an end, but a beginning. The shift has nothing to do with the reality that the individual is faced with, but rather, their perspective on this reality. 

We all wish things were different sometimes. We all dwell on what could have been or what we’ve done wrong. In doing so, we lose a lot of the power that we hold over our current situation and continue to make it harder for ourselves to move forward.

The current situation that we find ourselves in may not be ideal. It may be downright heart-breaking.

It must be faced regardless.

There is a saying that has become popular over the last number of years: “Don’t look backwards, you aren’t going that way.” While it is true that we can’t go back in time to change our current situation, we must take stock and recognize what has happened and our role in it. These “Big Shifts” in perspective don’t happen overnight and without a lot of reflection. There is a lot of fear, guilt, and resentment that must be let go of before we can begin to climb out of the hole we find ourselves in and truly start looking forward.

At the end of the day, if you can shift your perspective from past mistakes to future solutions, the road forward looks a lot brighter.

Every situation is different. This blog post is not intended to provide legal advice. Contact us for further help on your unique parental dispute.

Artwork by Megan Hewson. View her work at