Larry Rosen, Through Understanding

Archived Q&A and Reviews

December 2008

Re: Mediator for uncomplicated divorce & custody
Responding to the need for a divorce mediator. We used Larry Rosen Through Understanding 5625 College, Suite 216 Oakland CA 94618 Bus: 1-415-356-9834

He used Non Violent Communication which really helped. My ex was so impressed he bought the book. (A little late for our marriage) I believe the process was less painful because of him. D.

November 2008

Re: Possible to get over the anger, have a peaceful divorce?

Hello - I read your message about your hope for a peaceful divorce. I do think it is possible. My husband and I have been married for 15 years and have a 7 year old boy. We are just starting the process of divorce mediation with attorney/mediator Larry Rosen. I read positive reviews about him on BPN and Larry was recommended to me by a resource called Divorce With Dignity. His website, resonated with me and the way I'd like to go through this unfortunate process. Having just met Larry last week, my husband and I both felt he was very kind, honest and intelligent. We left his office feeling very positive that, with Larry's navagation, we could find a way to still care for one another so that we can meet our most important need - the well being of our child. I too have been very angry at my husband and I know that holding that type of energy is causing me tremendous physical and emotional pain. Everyday, through all the chaos, fear and unknowing,!

I choose to be peaceful and seek ways to support that choice. Meditation, taking walks & reading helpful books. Knowing that besides being a loving mother, one of the most important things I can do for my child is to find a way to be peaceful with his father is incentive enough for me. Go to the library and get every book that feels right to you. Conscious Divorce, Ending a Marriage with Integrity by Susan Allison is a good one. Using Divorce Mediation, Save Your Money & Your Sanity by Katherine E. Stoner (NOLO) is a very helpful guide. Give peace a chance. We have to believe it is possible. The alternative is bleak. Lazarous

Hi there,

First off, I'm sorry you find yourself in such a difficult situation. I went through it myself and it was a huge challenge: shocking, hard, and painful.

To cut to the chase, though, yes, it is absolutely possible to have a peaceful divorce.

I think there are two issues: first, can you deal with your own anger? and then second, can you have a peaceful divorce? The second part depends in large part on the first. This is absolutely huge. I have some ideas about getting over anger, and I'd be happy to share those with you in a private email if you're interested.

Now regarding divorce, my ex and I decided to go the mediator route. We chose Larry Rosen, who's a lawyer and trained in Nonviolent Communication (NVC). Larry helped us get to the roots of what each of us wanted and needed and figure out how to get it. He helped us communicate calmly and effectively and understand each other better. I heard my ex express things I now realize he had been feeling for years but I never really got, and I think he experienced the same thing. Larry is skillful, insightful, and calm. With his help we created a (very unusual) settlement agreement that addresses our needs and desires in a way that works for both of us.

One very unusual thing about Larry is his pricing structure. He asks for a ''gift'' of a certain amount of money per hour, and then the clients decide whether they can comfortably pay that, and offer what they can. That rate remains flexible; we changed ours as circumstances changed. Larry's first concern is that the process works for everyone: his work is valued and appreciated and the clients feel they can afford his services and remain committed to peaceful separation.

In short, I worked a lot on myself to deal with anger, and we got a great mediator. My ex and I went from barely speaking last December to celebrating Thanksgiving together with our children and my new partner this year. We're not unusual---you can also have a peaceful divorce.

All the best to you. d.

I am 51 yr old woman who a few short years ago ago felt trapped in a very unhappy marriage of 20+ years. I felt alone and helpless. I was afraid of what was going to happen to me and my young child. I had no money, he had total control of everything. I could not talk to my husband about anything he was very verbally abusive. BUT I took a chance and contacted a Mediator whose info I saw online. This choice was was one of the best I have ever made! He was able to connect with my husband (not easy!!!) and sit down with the two of us and workout a peaceful plan and we were divorced but our daughter was not caught in the middle of a ugly scene. This was a miracle!!!! My daughter was in first grade back then and now is in sixth, she is well adjusted and did not have to be put in a middle of a war zone. I am convinced this would have NEVER happened if it were not for one of the most decent and honorable men I have ever met. To tell you the truth I did not think he was for real at first, he was so genuine and caring but I found out that he is truly one of those rare individuals who dedicate their lives to helping others. Thanks to him I do have my life back, and most importantly my daughter is a happy and healthy child who is not in the middle of chaos.

I have to do my part now, don't feel alone. A peaceful divorce is possible. I can't recommend Larry Rosen enough. There are no words. His website is He has an office in Berkeley. His number is (415) 235-8968.

Good luck to you. Remember there is hope. Divorce is difficult but there can be a life for you and your child or children after the details are worked out. My ex and I will never be best buddies but we are able to co-parent and be mature adults. Sara

May 2008

Re: Need a great understanding divorce attorney

I recommend Larry Rosen (offices of Through Understanding). I used him to help me resolve some custody and money issues with a very difficult ex-spouse. He usually mediates but sometimes does this thing he calls ''peaceful advocacy'' where he represents an individual. He knows the law very well but I think what's different about his is that unlike most attorneys he helps bridge the gap. He helped me find a little peace with my ex which is something i couldn't do through 12 years of marriage and 2 other divorce attorneys. He might only be doing mediation these days but it's worth a call. 415-356-9834

Feb 2008

Re: Want unfaithful husband to move out, give me the house
First, I want to say I sympathize with you. My husband cheated on me too--though we were very distant for some time before this. He claims that I divorced him emotionally years earlier. In any case, it was very painful for me to learn he had cheated and then stayed with the woman he cheated with. I first went to an attorney who claimed he could get my husband out of the house (he said courts would feel some sympathy for me even though this is no fault state). I found out after $21,000 that his ''legal'' rights were the same as mine and my attorney and his did nothing to help us resolve the issue. They made it worse! They made us nearly hate each other. A colleague who knew both me and my husband had went through a tough divorce and used mediation instead. I didn't really even know it was an option, or it seemed too touchy-feely for my husband. We ended up seeing Larry Rosen, whose a mediator and attorney. His website is In three sessions, we resolved all the challenging issues before us (including the house and custody), and I even understood why he ''cheated.'' I felt some love for him again, if you can believe it, not in a romantic sense (as i was with a new man by then), but as the father of my children. I don't think you can acheive that kind of outcome without mediation. YOu can't force your husband to allow you to stay in the house--certainly not with dueling attorneys. He has rights that he's unlikely to give up if you fight against him. But you can help him see you as a human with needs, and that's the most likely road to getting your needs met. Mr. Rosen was a fantastic help, and I'd strongly recommend him. And i'm sure there are other good mediators around as well. Good luck and my heart goes with you. Helga

Oct 2007

Re: Affordable mediation for leaving abusive marriage?
I realize this is not exactly what you are asking for but I think that the way to go in almost all situations in divorce and custody is mediation. I (unfortunately) have been divorced twice. The first time my ex and i used two lawyers. We were pretty friendly before the process and ended up really hating each other afterwards. The second time, we were really angry with each other before the divorce. We had hardly spoken a civil word for a month. A neighbor recommend a mediator named Larry Rosen. Since the neighbor was a friend of my husband's he agreed to go. Thank god. After one session we were talking again. We now coparent together really well and get along really well. It is hard and sad to get divorced but find someone who can help you get along afterward--b/c life goes on after divorce. Many mediators don't help you get along, they just help you get divorced. Mr. Rosen's is at 415-356-9834 and I saw him in his Oakland office. His website says he has an office in SF also but i don't know if that's still true. Hang in there. S.

Sept 2004

Re: Family law attorney in East Bay

I would recommend that you speak to Through Understanding (and Larry Rosen). He's a lawyer and mediator. Essentially, he helps couples find a way to divorce in a harmonious way. I saw some really positive posts about him on Berekeley Parent's Network a few months back and then called with a little skepticism. My (soon-to-be-ex) husband and I have now met with him twice and I can't tell you how helpful it's been for us. My husband had an affair a year ago and though I really don't want much of a relationship at all with him, I don't want to fight either. I mean I want what's best for my kids, which is for us to co-parent and at least respect each other, even if we're apart. Larry has helped us move far away from intense anger. My husband has ''heard'' me for the first time in so many years. And I don't forgive him but I do understand him better now, which is interesting. We've put in place some temporary agreements which we plan to finalize in the months to cmoe, and i just feel better about my life. Larry is pretty talented and generous person. He is a lawyer but not in the traditional sense, i guess. I've actually been really looking foward to posting this note for a long time. Jane

ps His web Address is

May 2004

Re: Peaceful way to Divorce??

Hello, wow, I'm really sorry to hear about your divorce but congratulations on going the peaceful route. While I am myself married the reason I'm responding to this post is that my sister was divoced a year ago and is (remarkably) still on warm terms with her husband (he too cheated on her). I didn't think that would be possible, and actually advised her to see an attorney and basically make him pay, but she said she had heard about this lawyer who helps people divorce with kindness and peace, and she wanted that for her kids. And in the years since, it's worked out suprisingly well. Okay, I just received an email from her about it... these are her words, which she told me to post...

I used a man named Larry Rosen, who runs a service called Through Understanding. His website is (415-356-9834. They have offices in Berkely and SF) All I can say is that the approach is shockingly different. In all disputes, he tries to help the people understand each other's perspectives and re-connect. He says that all conflicts are caused by people not understanding each other and that all solutions, if they are to be enduring, must resolve the underlying relationship issues. He helped us be friends again after what was the most painful period of my life. Yes, we're actually friends, or at least we still care about each other, which is the best thing in the world for my kids. And here's the really strange part (which is also really beautiful) the billing system is gift-based, or something like that (I forget what he calls it). Essentially, he has a billable rate that he ''requests'' but then allows you to offer him whatever works best for you. I thought it was scam when my neighbor told me about it, but it's for real. I don't think he's got a psychology background, though I do know he's really into eastern philosophy and has written books about the subject. He is a licensed lawyer though (strange combination of attributes) and so he did all the legal work as well as helping us redefine our relationship. It wasn't easy, and is still sometimes very difficult, but it was kind of like a spiritual divorce (if that's possible). I tell everyone I can about this service because I really do feel like he gave me a gift. I think he's pretty busy these days...but give me a call and please tell him I sent you. I really hope this turns out well for you. Write me if you want more advice. Becky

I would also like to recommend Through Understanding and Larry Rosen, who is an attorney and mediator, and just a surprisingly down-to-earth practitioner. My business partner used Larry for her divorce a year ago and actually came out of the divorce feeling happy about the direction of her life. She actually asked Larry to continue counseling her after the divorce (but I think he declined for some reason). I then had a pretty ugly dispute with this business partner of mine and we used Larry as well. This is the odd part: you actually get to choose your own level of compensation, which I found both refreshing, and yes, a bit strange. Well, we're still in business together, and we chose to compensate Larry fairly well. I'll tell you, I understand more about my partner now and feel closer to her than ever. I'm not saying his approach is right for everyone or every dispute but it's just so basic and clear: he assumes that all perspectives are valid and then helps people understand where the other person is coming from. Like the other person who mentioned Larry, I recommend him at every opportunity . His website is Best wishes, Johny