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“Practical considerations in mediation training: should mediators be trained to adapt to the circumstances of each case?”

Dunham, Kenneth F.
June 4, 2015

Source: (2012) Appalachian Journal of Law. 11:185-207.

In the early years of mediation’s popularity, mediation theorists opined that mediators should be trained to be purely
facilitative. Most mediation trainers have used the purely facilitative approach in training mediators. However, this article
points out that many professional mediators have become directive or evaluative with both process and substance
during mediation. Court-ordered mediation has been roundly criticized for being evaluative, and some mediation theorists
have questioned whether evaluative mediation is ethical. End users of mediation such as business people and attorneys
prefer the evaluative/directive approach, while personal injury plaintiffs and other aggrieved claimants may actually
prefer the purely facilitative approach. This article concludes that mediation trainers should train mediators in both facilitative
and evaluative/directive techniques. The conclusions reached in this article are supported by three surveys and interviews
with end users of mediation. (author’s abstract)


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