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Adult Sibling Conflict

I can help you have a good conversation about the care of your parents, the division of an estate, or whatever else you and your sibling(s) are in conflict about. We can adjust the process to meet your needs. Often I start by talking to each sibling separately. Next we have a meeting with the involved siblings, and I support you in saying what you need to say, asking what you want to ask, making any suggestions you want to make, and making any decisions you’re ready to make.

Frequently Asked Questions

One of my siblings has serious issues. Can you still help?

Even if your sibling has challenges around mental health, substance abuse, a controlling spouse, or long-term resentment, a well-facilitated conversation is often worth a try.

Should the spouses also be involved?

I’m happy to facilitate a conversation with whomever wants to participate. If you disagree about who should participate, that can be the first question we mediate.

What's the process?

You are welcome to give input into how you want to approach it. But in general, I often start by having conversations separately with each sibling of 30 minutes to an hour, to help each of you think about how you want to approach a group meeting. Next we have a meeting with everyone involved of 2 to 3 hours. Depending on your situation, you might decide to have other meeting, for example, one that includes a parent, or one between just two of the siblings.

How do you decide what's fair?

I don’t. Part of what makes my process work is that everyone can trust that I won’t make a decision they disagree with. I focus exclusively on helping you have the conversation you want to have. These conversations often lead to agreements about what to do next.

How will you learn about the background of the situation?

As part of the process, each participant is welcome to talk to me privately to tell me whatever they want about the situation.

Our dispute involves the care of our parent. Should our parent be involved?

I’m happy to help whomever wants to participate. If your parent wants to be involved, they are welcome, as far as I’m concerned. If the siblings prefer to have a conversation involving only their generation, that’s okay with me too. I hybrid process is also possible.

Do all of the siblings need to participate?

I’m happy to facilitate a conversation with anyone who wishes to be involved. You’re also welcome to encourage your siblings to participate, if you like.

How many disputes between siblings have you mediated?

I’ve been mediating full time since 1998. I’ve worked on at least a few sibling conflicts every year.