What Type of Mediation is Right For You?
by Bruce P. Matez, Esq. APM
There are generally four different types of mediation.
- Facilitative Mediation
- Evaluative or Directive Mediation
- Transformational Mediation
- Transactional Mediation
FACILITATIVE MEDIATION: In facilitative mediation (generally considered the traditional type of mediation), the mediator facilitates discussions between the parties in conflict. Rather than making recommendations or imposing a decision on them, the mediator encourages disputants to reach their own voluntary solution by exploring each other’s goals and interests. In facilitative mediation, mediators tend to keep their own views regarding the conflict hidden from the participants and do not opine openly as to right or wrong but rather may make suggestions. Often in facilitative mediation, the law is secondary to the needs, wants, goals, and interests of the parties. The mediator helps them fashion a result that works for them, and their family, as opposed to what the law might say or what others do.
EVALUATIVE/DIRECTIVE MEDIATION: In direct contrast to facilitative mediation, an evaluative mediator will make recommendations, suggestions, and express his/her opinion about the strength and weaknesses of each party’s position based on the law. Instead of focusing primarily on the underlying goals and interests of the parties, evaluative mediators express their opinions of the legal merits of the parties’ dispute and make fairness recommendations based on the law and the facts.
TRANSFORMATIVE MEDIATION: In transformative mediation, the mediator focuses on empowering disputants to resolve their conflict while encouraging them to recognize each other’s needs, goals, and interests, similarly to Facilitative Mediation. The process aims to transform the parties relationship by helping them develop and acquire skills they need to make constructive change and be able to communicate and cooperate with one another more effectively. This is most helpful to parents involved in custody and parenting disputes. The mediator is less concerned with whether participants reach an agreement, and more focused on helping them transform their relationship.
TRANSACTIONAL MEDIATION: The only goal of Transactional Mediation is to get to an agreement using a more traditional negotiation style and using the mediator more as a settlement director. This often involves “shuttle” diplomacy, wherein the mediator meets with each party privately and goes back and forth with each side.
These different types of mediation are not mutually exclusive; a mediator can be solely one type of mediator or may be comfortable conducting two or more different types of mediation. Some identify this as ADAPTIVE MEDIATION. While an adaptive mediator can mediate using more than one style or type, in an adaptive mediation the mediator may employ more than one of these four types in the same mediation. For example, a facilitative mediator may be asked to become evaluative or directive during the mediation or the mediation may become transactional. Some mediators are able to shift their style during the mediation to fit the needs and desires of the participants. While the mediators at BorgerMatez, P.A. are generally facilitative in their approach to mediation, we practice all four types of mediation and can adjust our styles depending upon the needs and desires of the participants.
* * * * *
BorgerMatez, P.A. is a law firm that has attorneys trained in mediation and collaborative divorce who can help you through the divorce process with respect, civility, and support for you to best optimize your chances for achieving your goals if divorce is inevitable for you and your spouse. Call at (856) 424-3444 or contact us with this form.