In life we are constantly facing an array of spiraling moments, whether it is a spiral in our thought processes, day to day events, or in our relationships. These spirals in life can either move in an upward or downward direction, upward being the more positive of the two. When taking a close look at the possible situations that could take place, there are moments when mediation is a necessary tool for problem solving. Firmly believing that relationships are important factors in our lives, transformative mediation is one of utmost importance because it works to reverse any downward spirals taking place within our relationships. (Bush & Pope, 2002) In the following paragraphs we will take a further look into transformative mediation and how this model can be used in different situations of mediation.
Transformative Mediation defined
Transformative mediation in simple terms can be briefly explained as a form of mediation that wants to solve more than the issue at hand. Transformative mediation seeks to teach and train the parties involved to reach a positive resolution for their current problem but also any problems they may encounter in their future. (Bush & Folger, 1994) It is the major focus of transformative mediation to bring both empowerment and recognition into the session. (Bush & Folger, 1994) The goal of empowerment is to develop the parties enough that they gain the skills to make their own improved decision. The goal with recognition is that the parties involved will have an increased awareness of the situation at hand and the issues taking place within relationships with the other parties involved. (Burgess, 1997) Ultimately, Transformative mediation defined is a mediation style that doesn’t set out to attain a resolution but to motivate involved partied through empowerment and recognition to come to their own conclusion or solution for the issue or issues and hand, whether that means a resolution or not. (Burgess, 1997)
Role of the mediator
The role of a mediator in a transformative mediation is to take on a position of support. It is not the goal of the mediator to portray neither a leadership position nor a follower. The mediator acts as a third party or secondary individual with the purpose to support the involved parties thought processes. It is the goal of the mediator that the parties can direct their own conversation and reach a resolution to the issue at hand and further issues that may arise, on their own. (United States Postal Service Website) In transformative mediation settings the mediator allows the involved parties to speak openly and honestly to one another and the mediator only steps in when summarizing what has been discussed thus far, clarifying an issue that has been brought up, and endorsing the decision making being solely on the parties involved. The mediator does not direct but responds to the actions of the parties. (Burgess, 1997) Two major elements that the mediator must focus on are...