Mediation is a process in which impartial mediators assist individuals in conflict so they may have a
constructive conversation about their dispute in a neutral setting.  In doing so, each party can
develop a better understanding about his/her concerns and the perspectives of other participant.
There are some important principles that are a part of mediation and it is important that participants
are aware of them. These principles include:

  • Mediation is voluntary. Participants should not feel forced into making decisions during
    mediation and always have the option to discontinue the mediation at anytime.

  • Mediation involves informed decision-making. Participants should feel free to access any
    information that may help them make informed decisions during the mediation. Participants
    may want to consult with outside experts if they have specific questions or do not have
    knowledge about a particular issue in order to facilitate the decision-making process.

  • Participants themselves make decisions in mediation. Participants are solely responsible for
    making all decisions. There are many types of decisions that participants may make,
    including whether or not to pursue mediation, who should be involved in the discussion, how
    to explore additional information, what options are preferable, whether or not decisions are
    written, etc.

  • Mediators are impartial. Mediators will not make decisions for the participants or make any
    judgments of who is right or wrong. Mediators have no stake in any particular outcome and
    treat all participants in a fair and balanced way. The main goal of the mediators is to help
    create an environment for the parties to make voluntary and informed decisions.

  • Mediation is a confidential process. Mediators will not reveal anything that happens or is said
    during mediation to any other person, outside of Essentials of Life Mediation, except as
    required by law.  Allegations of child abuse or threats of harm to any person shall not be held
    confidential and may be revealed as appropriate by the mediator. Likewise, participants
    themselves are asked to keep confidential everything that is communicated during mediation,
    except as they agree otherwise or as required by law. No record of the mediation will be
    made, unless the parties want a decision summary to be written by the mediator. The
    mediator will only capture what both parties agree to have written in the document and each
    party will receive a copy.

I have read and understand the principles related to mediation as described in the Guide for
Participants in Mediation
_________________________________________                _____________________
Signature of Participant                                                              Date
_________________________________________                _____________________
Signature of Participant                                                              Date