About Focused Thinking Divorce Mediation

One can find pleasure  in many places, but relationships are the only place we can find true happiness.  Whether you want to end a marriage amicably or rekindle an unhappy one, the Focused Thinking Mediation process followed by Stan Posthumus at Beyond Win-Win will help you build the relationships you want. 

This mediation process has been fine-tuned over 20+ years and has proved to be highly successful at achieving amicable settlements to the disputes surrounding marriage breakups, as well as in many cases, helping couples to rebuild the peaceful, happy and successful relationships they want.

The Focused Thinking Mediation process is built around 4 pillars:

  • Communication - with a special emphasis on listening to each other in a new way
  • Building Relationships - whether you divorce or not
  • Model for Change - divorce is all about change - learn new techniques to help you change for the better
  • Conflict Resolution - a Win-Win experience that takes the acrimony out of divorce by resolving issues in the most amicable way possible

Overview of Focused Thinking Divorce Mediation

When clients call about divorce mediation, I tell them about four things that other mediators / therapists / lawyers do not do. As part of my unique mediation process, I teach couples:

  • How to improve communication skills 
  • How to build good relationships 
  • How to adopt my simple Model for Change 
  • How to resolve conflicts together 
Teaching relationships skills through mediation may seem strange if all you are looking for is help with reaching a settlement agreement for a pending divorce. As I worked with hundreds of couples, I found that learning a set of skills and techniques helped them build better relationships, whether they divorced or not. I called this technique Focused Thinking Technology.
The Focused Thinking Mediation process uses simple ideas, tools and skills which can improve every kind of relationship.  These techniques have been built over many years in private practice as a mediator helping couples who are facing divorce, including those in high-conflict situations. 

The focus is on results: aiming to change couple’s unhappy relationships into healthy and happy divorces or healthy and happy marriages – for the sake of their children.

The mediation will progress through all aspects of the settlement as detailed on the Divorce Mediation Process page.

What makes Beyond-Win-Win Mediation different?

Unlike traditional mediation, where the couple is guided towards a divorce, at Beyond Win-Win, there is no foregone conclusion that the only possible outcome of the mediation is a divorce settlement.

The Beyond Win-Win motto is, "With enough information we can solve any problem".
Unlike attorneys and regular mediators, when you choose the Beyond Win-Win mediation techniques the reasons for the divorce will be explored to help you both gain a common understanding of the issues facing you.  This is important whether you divorce or not, and has been shown to facilitate faster resolution of a settlement.

Reconciliations reached after learning Focused Thinking Skills through mediation

Twenty-plus years ago Stan noticed that many divorcing couples reconciled spontaneously during mediation or soon after. He used video as a microscope and discovered the secret – careful use of language can spontaneously transform conflict between two people into understanding.  
As Stan helps couples explore the reasons for the conflict and reach a common understanding of the reality that is their relationship, and through learning the Focused Thinking skills and constructs he teaches as part of the mediation process, many couples spontaneously decide on reconciliation rather than divorce. And, most of those couples do indeed go on to have a healthy lasting relationship, where they continue to use the communication skills learned though the mediation session.
See the Client Recommendations page for testimonials from clients who have reconciled through mediation.


More about the aspects of Focused Thinking


Communication Focused Thinking Technology can improve communication in every relationship. I teach clients a set of skills to enhance their natural ability to communicate so they can build relationships which are stronger, healthier, and more resilient. At the root of the approach is a unique understanding of how communication helps us understand each other and the world around us at different levels.

Relationship specialists, communication specialists and educators use the Focused Thinking technology, which Stan Posthumus developed, to teach people about how communication works and how healthy relationships are constructed. The focus is on bringing about change and resolving conflicts in a way that builds the relationship.

  • Understanding between individuals is achieved when they communicate in a way that takes their different experiences and combines them into one shared experience.   The mediator helps the couple share different experiences of one and the same reality.   The understanding two people share is their relationship and is more than either individual can experience alone.

  • Focused Thinking theory holds that good communication works between individuals in exactly the same way it does within them. An individual understands reality by the three dimensional experiences of seeing, hearing, feeling. Those experiences happen through natural communication between our two eyes, ears, hands and feet.  The theory holds that the brain mediates (communicates) different experiences from the sensors (eyes, ears, hands, feet) in order to create an understanding of reality, in the same way the brain mediates the different experiences communicated with language (symbols and signs) to create understanding.

  • Language that creates understanding: good communication, as opposed to poor communication, is best for building relationships. Focused Thinking employs language that specifically combines people’s always conflicting experiences into a shared three-dimensional experience, using reflective language.  For example phrases such as "Are you Saying...." are more productive than phrases like "I heard you" or "I don't agree". 

Applying Focused Thinking Technology involves learning a discipline. The goal is to use particular language to bring deep understanding.  We can only truly understand, (see in three dimensions), with two eyes – when the left eye communicates naturally with the right eye.

Building Relationships Every aspect of our lives relies on relationships. Whether you divorce or not the skills you will learn through a Focused Thinking mediation session will help you create a better relationship. Focused Thinking mediation brings the ability to understand and the technology to enhance communication and relationships.
  • We can create the relationships we want: peaceful, happy and successful. That power lies in language (symbols and signs) that communicates (mutually recognizes) different (even conflicting) experiences (points of view) and allows them to vanish and be replaced immediately by a persistent new understanding.
  • The skills learned can help bring peace, happiness and success to intimate and personal family relationships, as well as extended family relationships, and business relationships.
  • These skills can be easily learned by anyone, including young children, teens, married couples, and adults in business relationships.

The use of focused Thinking has expanded from mediation to relationship building programs for couples at all stages of their lives, and training programs for schools, businesses and corporations.

Whether you want to end a relationship amicably or rekindle an unhappy relationship, you will benefit from Focused Thinking Relationship Building.

A Model for Change Divorce brings with it many changes. During the mediation process you will discover areas to focus on changing: for yourself, your children and the success of your future relationships. Change is often hard, and is generally not the focus of mediation. However, with Beyond Win-Win mediation, you will learn how to adopt a simple model for change in your everyday life - one day at a time. This model for change will help leverage your new listening skills and relationship building skills to change - at the deepest level - to be whom you want to be.
Conflict Resolution Most lawyers and other mediators consider their job to be conflict resolution. Focused Thinking Mediation is unique in that very often after working through the communication techniques, the need to build relationships and model for change, the couple finds that what were seemingly insurmountable issues are fairly easily resolved with the help of the mediator.

In fact, many couples are able to resolve their conflicts in a way that makes them change their minds about getting divorced! While not a goal of the mediation, the success rates and reconciliation rates are an important thing to consider when choosing a mediator.