Every so often, patients will bring business or inheritance issues with them to a session, such as:
- a family or non-family business partnership of some type,
- a pre-nup issue, or
- a family estate or inheritance problem.
If you’ve ever wondered if there is more you could offer a patient involved in one of these conflicts, there is! Here are three suggestions that could help you and could save your patient significant distress and anguish. They are based on 20 years of working as psychologist-mediators helping people resolve — ideally prevent — these types of conflicts.
Money and business conflicts can quickly escalate into legal battles that are costly — in every sense of the word. In almost all these cases, you can serve your patient extremely well by steering him or her to mediation. Mediation is a collaborative, consensus-driven process that is “easy” on relationships, as opposed to emotionally consuming adversarial approaches. Mediation keeps business owners and family members in the decision-making role, instead of a judge or arbitrator, at a fraction of the cost of the alternatives. Mediation has a positive, future orientation and it focuses on the business and financial aspects of conflicts while simultaneously being sensitive to the individuals and their personalities. Almost all money and business cases are co-mediated by BMC, employing one mediator with a mental health background and the other with expertise in business or law. Having a therapist-mediator on each team is critical because of the powerful emotional forces underlying most of these conflicts.…Read more about Mediation
Suggest The Partnership Charter
After recognizing some years ago that there was next to nothing written on how to work together as partners or family members, BMC co-Founder David Gage wrote The Partnership Charter: How To Start Out Right With Your New Business Partnership (Or Fix The One You’re In). It describes the business and interpersonal sides of being partners. He uses the book in a course he teaches on the subject to MBA students in the Kogod School of Business at American University. The Partnership Charter is easy to read and full of stories and practical advice. It is also inexpensive and gets rave “Reader Reviews” on Amazon.
Some articles that may also be helpful to you or your patients are:
- Collaborative Family Estate Planning. This describes how to avoid doing battle over the family money or jewels.
- An article about the vagaries of sibling co-inheritors, whom we call “accidental partners.”
- An article on what may sound like an oxymoron: collaborative pre-nuptial agreements.
Read more about the Partnership Charter.
Ask for a Consultation
If you or your patient would like a free phone consultation, we would be pleased to discuss the situation. David Gage and Mike Stadter are psychologists on our team who are available to discuss a case.
To explore ways of working together, please contact us.