Transformative Mediation Opening Statement
Mediator's statement to begin mediation session:

The objective of mediation is to provide an environment where each of you can clarify your goals,
preferences, options, and resources.  Under the transformative model, “mediation is defined as a
process in which a third party works with parties in conflict to help them change the quality of their
conflict interaction from negative and destructive to positive and constructive, as they explore and
discuss issues and possibilities for resolution” (Bush and Folger, 2005) In mediation, you can
voluntarily make fully-informed decisions.  You may also be interested in better understanding
each others perspectives and give additional consideration to each others goals, preferences,
options and resources.  

A formal agreement is one possible outcome of mediation but others are possible such as new
insights, greater clarity about choices or options.  We might develop a positive shift or more
empathetic understanding of each other’s views and situations.  The choice is yours!          

The mediation session is an opportunity for you to have a constructive conversation.  My only job
is to help you have and continue your conversation as you desire.  From time to time I will try to
grease the skids.  For example, I may summarize your progress; I may ask clarifying questions; I
may suggest conclusions.

The mediation process is all about you.  It is your conversation.  It is voluntary.  Either of you can
decide at any point that you do not want to continue the mediation.  It is your confidential
mediation.  I will strictly honor that confidentiality.  I will not talk to anyone about what happens here
and will not testify or file any reports.

What happens now is up to you.  Now you have an opportunity to talk about or ask about what it is
that brings you here.  Do you have any questions?  Do either of you have any suggestions for how
you would like to have this conversation?  During the mediation, please feel free to make
additional suggestions.

The ball is in your court now.  Have at it!!  Start in any way you want.

Note:  For more information see: Baruch Bush, R.A. and Folger, J.P. The Promise of Mediation:
The Transformative Approach to Conflict. San Francisco, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 2005.