Transformative Orientation


A mediator with a transformative orientation fundamentally believes:

  • Human beings are inherently social or connected beings, motivated primarily by moral impulse to act with both strength and compassion. We have inherent capacities for both self-determined choice and responsiveness to others.

  • Conflict is viewed a crisis in human interaction. (Rather than as a struggle for domination or competition for limited resources.)

  • Therefore, parties in conflict want most of all to change their interaction with each other from destructive to constructive if they only knew how.

  • Parties do not need a third-party mediator to problem-solve or argue for them. Rather, parties need help in overcoming the crisis and restoring constructive interaction.


The Transformative Difference


Settlement is not the goal (as it is with legal or facilitative mediation), but it can be the outcome. Successful outcomes include:

  1. Shifts away from the vicious cycle of destructive communication to a virtuous cycle of interaction

  2. Increased capacity for future decision-making and communication


The intention of the mediator is to foster empowerment and recognition (aka understanding) of and between the parties. If transformative mediators do their job well, parties are likely to make positive changes in their interactions and, as a result, are empowered to find acceptable terms for themselves. Often, parties find more creative solutions than they originally thought possible. Parties are also then poised to have more effective communications - with less destructive conflict - in the future.

Excerpted from Mediation: Principles and Practice (c) 2010 Institute for the Study of Conflict Transformation, Inc.

TECHNIQUES: Transformative Mediation

There are several types of mediation techniques and many theories. Most familiar are the "distributive" or "facilitative" types associated with legal mediation. I am certified in the state of Texas to perform this type of mediation, but I specialize in Transformative instead. Transformative mediation is empowering for those who will need to (or choose to) relate after the mediation process is completed. For example, rather than the mediator going back in forth between you and the other party, we all sit in the same room and work through the issues together. 

My transformative programs and my individual coaching work is complementary to Transformative Mediation and integrates these philosophies. Any choices couples or business partners mutually decide on can be taken to their respective attorneys for legal advice and for drawing the legal documents. I can recommend attorneys who can support your choices. This can potentially save you a significant amount of money, but more importantly, can make relating post-divorce much more peaceful.


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