My son and I were referred to Neil Sowerby of FDAMH. My son had had several years of some mental health issues — now improving significantly with appropriate intervention —and we had been having problems with communication. For the most part we have a very good relationship but any discussion of contentious issues could escalate quickly into chaotic communication and result in upset on both sides. Both of us were aware of this but, after the event, neither of us could work out at what point it deteriorated into upset/ negative communication or what the trigger was. It was suggested that mediation may help and subsequently we met with Neil.
We both felt able to speak frankly to Neil and were able to say how we felt during these incidents. This gave both of us opportunity to see the other’s perspective; my son felt I was TELLING him what to do and being overbearing; I felt I was trying to give advice and help him.
With Neil’s help, we agreed to bear each of our feelings in mind when speaking to each other and respect them. I agreed that I would not give advice unless asked; my son agreed that he would not take this as disinterest and would ask if he needed my help for anything.
Since then, our communication has been more effective and the volatility has stopped. We are both grateful for Neil’s help and feel it has had a very positive impact on our relationship.
Provided July 2015