Your Brain on Mediation: Divorce Mediation Triggers Positive Feelings
August 27, 2020
Divorcing couples choose mediation for many reasons — to speed the process, to reduce costs, and to keep things as friendly and amicable as possible under the circumstances.
A recent study out of the University of Geneva in Switzerland has demonstrated another benefit of mediation of disputes involving couples: it makes you feel better afterwards.
The researchers induced couples to argue about one of a list of issues that commonly lead to relationship conflicts.
And here comes the experiment. One-half of the couples were provided with a mediator who actively worked to mediate each couple’s disputes. The other half were provided with a mediator who remained passive and didn’t assist in any way.
The couples receiving active mediation reported higher satisfaction in a post-experiment questionnaire.
Even more interesting was the fact that Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) showed increased activation in the nucleus accumbens section of the brain, commonly called the “I love you” region.
It only makes sense to believe that couples under relationship stress would feel a sense of relief as well as increased positive feeling toward their partner after experiencing a construction engagement of the type facilitated by mediation.
While the tangible benefits of divorce mediation are important and real, it pays to also consider less obvious benefits. Divorcing couples are often hurting. A constructive approach to resolving emotion-laden conflicts, as provided by divorce mediation, appears capable of providing real psychological relief.
More information on the study is available here.
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