In contrast to facilitative mediation, transformative mediation has a different orientation, both in terms of the understanding of the nature of conflict and the intervention of the mediator.
According to Ardagh, facilitative mediation is characterised as being impositional, non-participatory and settlement focused, where conflict is viewed as a problem to be solved (Ardagh, A; 1999).
The mediator is responsible for creating an environment for negotiation, coaching the parties through a negotiation process. Accordingly, facilitative mediators are restricted primarily to process inventions, focused on interest-based negotiation and problem-solving (Alexander, N, 2008).
Unlike the facilitative approach to mediation, the transformative approach does not seek resolution of the immediate problem, but rather seeks to empower the parties to define their own issues and to seek solutions on their own. This approach seeks mutual recognition of the parties involved, enabling the parties to absorb and comprehend (but not necessarily agree with) the other persons point of view – to understand how they define the problem and why they seek a particular solution. Often, empowerment and recognition pave the way for a mutually agreeable settlement, but that is only a secondary effect (Spangler, B, 2003).
- Alexander, N, 2008: The Mediation Metamodel – the realities of mediation practice. ADR Bulletin, Vol 12, No.6.
- Ardagh, A; 1999: Transformative mediation: the opportunity and the challenge,” ADR Bulletin: Vol. 2: No.1.
- Spangler, B, 2003. Problem-Solving Mediation. Beyond Intractability. Eds. Guy Burgess and Heidi Burgess. Conflict Information Consortium, University of Colorado, Boulder. Posted: September.
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