The ten hallmarks of Transformative Mediation

In a 2007 follow-up article to their book The Promise of Mediation, Robert A. Baruch Bush and Joseph Folger presented a list of 10 hallmarks of transformative mediation that distinguish its practice from other forms of third-party intervention processes, particularly in contrast to the dominant orientation of problem-solving mediation.

These are summarised as follows:

  1. In the opening statement, the transformative mediator explains the mediator’s role, and the objectives of mediation as being focused on empowerment and recognition.
  2. Transformative mediators leave responsibility for the outcomes with the parties.
  3. Transformative mediators are not judgmental about the parties’ views and decisions.
  4. Transformative mediators take an optimistic view of the parties’ competence and motives.
  5. Transformative mediators allow and are responsive to parties’ expression of emotions.
  6. Transformative mediators allow for and explore parties’ uncertainty.
  7. Transformative mediators remain focused on what is currently happening in the mediation setting.
  8. Transformative mediators are responsive to parties’ statements about past events.
  9. Transformative mediators realise that conflict can be a long-term process and that mediation is one intervention in a longer sequence of conflict interactions.
  10. Transformative mediators feel (and express) a sense of success when empowerment and recognition occur, even in small degrees. They do not see a lack of settlement as a “failure.”

Do you need help with an issue or problem? Our approach helps gain clarity about your goals, resources, options or preferences and then assistance to make ‘clear and deliberate decisions.’


  • Bush and Folger, 2007, The Promise of Mediation, pp 266-275.
  • Spangler, Brad. “Transformative Mediation.” Eds. Guy Burgess and Heidi Burgess. Conflict Information Consortium, University of Colorado, Boulder. Posted: October 2003.

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