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Mediation as a Symphony, Part 1

Conflict transformation starts
with an understanding
of the greater patterns,
the ebb and flow of energies,
times, and even whole seasons,
in the great sea of relationships

(Lederach)

Robert A. Baruch Bush and Joseph Folger, together with John Paul Lederach pioneered the transformative mediation model. Their approach focuses on humanist theory as well as social transformation approaches borrowed from the field of education.

The transformative mediation model focuses on the ongoing relationships between the parties in conflict as opposed to finding a ‘fix’ or resolution to the presenting problems. Empowerment and recognition by the parties of their role in the conflict are key elements in transformative mediation. This approach allows the parties to move from ‘blame to contribution’ and recognizes that both parties hold responsibility in the conflict and need to take responsibility for their actions.

This approach could be described as the contrary model to the traditional-linear model, as it does not focus on the resolution but rather on the relationship between the parties. (Bush & Folger, 1996; Lederach, 2000).

I would like to share with the readers my concept of the transformative mediation method and how this approach fits into my mediation practice. I will begin with the following question.

What do mediation, dog training, sailing, football and a symphony orchestra have in relation to transformative mediation and how I have added transformative elements into my mediation practice.?

Next week I will start responding to this question so don’t forget to come back and read further on our blog.

We invite guest speakers to share their views with us and our subscribers.

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