Understanding Different Types of Mediation: A Complete Guide

Mediation is a method of dispute resolution in which a neutral third party assists the involved parties in reaching a mutually satisfactory resolution. There are different types of mediation approaches, each with its own focus and techniques. Here are some common types of mediation:

1. Facilitative Mediation

Facilitative mediation emphasizes the facilitator’s role in managing the mediation process. The mediator helps the parties communicate effectively, identify issues, explore interests and needs, and generate potential solutions. The mediator does not provide opinions or make decisions but instead encourages the parties to find their own solutions.

2. Transformative Mediation

Transformative mediation focuses on empowering the parties and facilitating personal growth and understanding. The mediator encourages the parties to express their emotions and perspectives, helping them to build empathy and reframe their views of each other. The aim is to foster self-determination and positive changes in the parties’ relationship.

3. Evaluative Mediation

Evaluative mediation involves the mediator providing an evaluation or opinion on the merits of the case or potential outcomes. The mediator may assess the strengths and weaknesses of each party’s position, offer legal analysis, or suggest potential settlement options. Evaluative mediation is often used in legal or business contexts to help parties assess the risks and benefits of their positions.

4. Narrative Mediation

Narrative mediation focuses on the parties’ storytelling and the construction of their narratives. The mediator helps the parties explore and understand their personal stories and the meanings they attach to their experiences. By reframing the narrative and exploring alternative perspectives, the parties can work towards a new understanding and resolution.

5. Transformed Mediation

Transformed mediation combines elements of facilitative and transformative mediation. It aims to empower the parties to transform their conflict by focusing on their underlying needs and interests. The mediator helps the parties communicate effectively, explore their emotions and values, and collaboratively generate creative solutions.

6. Community Mediation

Community mediation involves resolving conflicts within communities or neighborhoods. It typically focuses on addressing underlying social issues and strengthening community relationships. Community mediators work with a range of conflicts, including disputes between neighbors, family conflicts, or conflicts within community organizations.

These are just a few examples of the types of mediation approaches available. Mediation can be tailored to the specific needs of the parties and the nature of the conflict. The mediator’s role and techniques may vary depending on the chosen approach and the desired outcomes of the mediation process.