What is Transformative Mediation?
A particular approach used by the neutral Mediator to assist parties in resolving conflict.
The transformative mediator is trained to:
- Support parties in having any conversation they choose
- Empower parties to be in charge of their own decision-making
- Be non-directive
- Listen to each party with undivided attention at all times
- Use specific techniques which are designed to promote changes in the conflict itself
What is unique about the Transformative Approach to Mediation?
Transformative mediation is a particularly effective way to resolve conflict because it works on transforming the conflict at its source – rather than attempting to problem-solve around the underlying conflict.
- There are no “ground rules” for the mediation session
- Your mediator will not have the goal of obtaining a settlement, and will not pressure you into any decision-making
- Your mediator will not predict the outcome of litigation or evaluate the strength/weakness of your case
- You will have full opportunity to speak about any topic that you like
- It is a very efficient approach to dealing with conflict, allowing the parties to speak directly to one another if they choose
- It is designed to promote shifts in understanding of the conflict and other party, assisting people in getting out of the cycle of conflict
What types of cases or conflict is Transformative Mediation used for?
One of the strengths of the transformative model of mediation is its universal applicability. Because transformative mediation works by addressing the source of the conflict itself, it is an effective and appropriate resolution technique for all types of disputes.
Mediation is effective at all points in the litigation process – and can also be used to settle some or all issues before resorting to the Court.
Family Law Mediation
- Divorce, Separation, or Paternity
- Custody, Parenting Time and Child Support
- Property Division, Spousal Maintenance (Alimony), Financial Issues
- Contract disputes
- Business litigation
- Real Estate litigation
- Landlord/Tenant and Neighbor disputes
- Employment cases – both internally in a corporation and when a lawsuit is being considered or has been filed
- Guardianship/Conservatorship cases
Will I lose bargaining power by choosing mediation?
No. It is a common misconception that attempting mediation will result in a weaker settlement than might be obtained through further litigation or trial. However, it is true that some forms of mediation in which the parties do not meet face to face and the mediator attempts to coerce a settlement may result a settlement that does not meet the parties’ needs.
By choosing a transformative mediator, however, you are choosing to meet with the other party face to face, and you will not be pressured into a settlement at any time.
Often, through a transformative mediation session, parties are able to craft a more complete settlement than a court or further litigation can provide. Parties gain the ability to discuss what restitution they really need to solve the problem at its roots, rather than being confined to the limited solutions provided by the legal system.
What if I am afraid of the other party or do not feel that I am strong enough to speak up?
Transformative mediation can be very effective for parties, even when there is an order for protection or other safety concern. The method is designed to promote each parties individual decision-making, and will naturally halt if one party is overpowering another.
Transformative mediators are trained to obtain specific intake information before the session, and notice cues that there might be a safety concern, both verbal and non-verbal. The mediator will take steps to ensure that all parties are safe to the extent possible.
While designed to support a conversation directly between the parties, transformative mediation is also effective when parties choose to participate in a mediation session but remain in separate rooms. The mediator is trained in techniques to address the conflict even though the parties might not be comfortable being in the same room.