Is Venting Counter-Productive In Divorce Mediation?

By Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Top Orange County divorce mediators; California divorce mediatorsWhat is it that you do when you are upset or things are going against you? You simply vent, most people vent out their emotions and anger when they feel let down or hurt. Orange County divorce on the other hand is where people get emotionally hurt and traumatized at the prospect of ending their relationship.

There are two ways of settling a divorce.  One is through court proceedings while the other is through Orange County divorce mediation. Mediation is the more mellowed down way of solving a dispute. It is a process that involves both the spouses conversing with one another for solution of their divorce case.

Venting and Concerns in Mediation

People considering Orange County divorce mediation are often worried about the level of venting that may be permitted in mediation sessions. They are of the opinion that venting is upsetting and may prove unproductive to the whole process.

Venting simply put can be defined as giving an audible speech to a strong negative emotion. This emotion is usually understandable but can be offensive to the party it is aimed at, with the most common form of emotion vented out in mediation is anger.

Catharsis Theory

There is a theory about venting that has been doing the rounds which describes venting as a positive act. The Catharsis theory is of the opinion that expression of negative emotions in a safe way helps decrease emotional and mental stress. Unfortunately though, the research that has backed this theory up has highlighted the venting out anger doesn’t decrease the subsequent anger, if anything increases it even more.

In terms of mediation, it is the job of the Orange County divorce mediator to keep tabs on the levels of emotions on display during the process. The process is all about letting the two spouses settle their differences and disputes between the two of them mutually and reaching an acceptable settlement.

If you add an element of anger in these discussions, such that one of the spouses is allowed to vent their anger out on the other spouse, the spirit of the mediation will be affected. How are spouses supposed to have cordial, consultative relations when constant display of anger can damage the good will that the mediator is trying to build?

To Allow or Not to Allow Venting

Some Orange County divorce mediators are straightforward with their clients and outright tell them to keep a lid on their emotions at all time during the process. While this might seem like the best way to stop venting, it can prove disastrous to the whole process.

Mediation warrants both clients to be expressive. Forcing them to keep a lid on their emotions can ultimately lead to impairing their communications ability. A good Orange County mediator will let them express their emotions as long as it doesn’t occur too regularly or turn into a rant.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, “What is Divorce Mediation.”