GET TO KNOW ME
Hi! My name is Mordechai Rhine. I grew up in Monsey, NY, a delightful suburban community in New York State. Like many of us, I took marriage for granted. We date, we marry, we have kids, and we parent them. So simple it seemed, until things don’t go so simply.
I started my career as a community Rabbi and served in that capacity for over two decades. I got to see people in their personal struggles and triumphs, in adversity and in joy. On one particular occasion, when supporting a couple who was divorcing, I was introduced to the framework of mediation. I decided to find out more and discovered a style for conflict resolution that was grounded in principles that I had studied and taught all my life. Validating the past, yet focusing on the future, was a principle that I lived with. I had witnessed it as a truism to success in the people I had guided for many years. Shifting the focus from the initial ask, to uncover what people’s interests really are, is a gift of personal discovery that a mediator assists with regularly when trying to discover common ground between the parties.
In 2016 I began training in the field of mediation and found the family focused training to be focused mostly on divorce. Indeed, seeking to achieve an amicable divorce is monumental. To work with couples who are separating after being so close and help them to reconfigure their relationships to successfully parent their children from separate homes, is a challenging but rewarding endeavor. When successful, the amicable divorce enables men, women, and children to move forward in life from a challenging situation, to a bright and supported future.
What interested me most though was a comment that a few mediators shared with me. They told me that a third of the couples that came to them for divorce, reconsidered after they were introduced to healthier communication styles. Many were able to reenter the marriage, engage each other and problem solve in healthier ways, and create a pleasant, if not truly blissful marriage as a result. I was truly intrigued by this and proceeded to expand my research and training to focus on in-marriage mediation.
Today, most of my clients are focused on saving their marriage, and I have adapted a number of key mediation principles to assist couples in understanding themselves and their spouses, in healing, and in building healthier marriages.
One of the great myths about professional mediation is that people think we just identify the area of disagreement and divide that in half. True mediation is far more profound and creative. When we practice mediation professionally, we look for interests and understanding such that we come to recognize how different issues are interrelated. We strive to discover how the topics, personalities, and situations fit together like puzzle pieces and we are able to produce solutions that are respected as win-win.
Mediation is a journey. As a profession it is an ever evolving and improving model to bring difficult relationship situations to resolution. It is also a personal journey for the participants. It is a process of discovering depth of feeling and of practical solutions that can work for you. For me as a mediator it is a journey of creativity to discover each person’s needs and how the participants can be sensitive to each other and (re)build a loving life together or separately, if need be. Moments of admiration are frequent for me as I take note of the effort, progress, and clarity that each person achieves in the process.
The field of mediation charts a path between the legal realities that lawyers typically focus on, and the world of emotions that therapists typically focus on. I have found that by following this middle path that allows for critical thinking as well as deep emotions, very real and meaningful solutions emerge. True resolutions can be found even for fallout in the most treasured and close relationship of husband and wife. That in a nutshell is why I really value marriage mediation.
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Mordechai Rhine is a relationship mediator and coach. As a community Rabbi for two decades, he has assisted many families through the pain of conflict and dispute to resolution. Through careful listening, plenty of encouragement, and creative and thoughtful suggestions, we can, together, move from conflict and pain to resolution. By engaging in facilitated communication, CARE Mediation can provide valuable services to you in your relationships. We focus on divorce mediation, marriage intervention, and personal coaching. As a Center for Alternative Resolutions, CARE Mediation strives to explore new options for you to reach success.
Rabbi Rhine is a certified mediator by mediate.com. He holds a Masters degree in Rabbinic and Talmudic Studies (Beth Medrash Gevoha), and a Masters degree in Educational Leadership (Bellevue University).