« A) Introduction
This article rebuts “Reclaiming Mediation’s Future: Getting Over the Intoxication of Expertise, Re-Focusing on Party Self-Determination,” written by Robert A. Bush and Joseph P. Folger in 2014 for Mediate.com. 1 Their central position is that the mediation community needs to return to the original vision of mediation in order to preserve the sanctity of Self-Determination. They appear to argue that the transformative approach, as envisioned by them, was the original vision of mediation. They assert that the transformative approach is the only way to ensure Self-Determination. The Oregon Mediation Association Core Standards define “approach” as a term used to “signify the behaviors, philosophies, processes, styles, and techniques used by mediators to conduct mediation.”2 Bush and Folger’s argument actually undermines the Self-Determination of the parties, because it gives the parties no choice as to the approach that the mediator will employ. In order to ensure Self-Determination, the mediator needs to obtain the informed consent of the parties for the approach used in the mediation.
Bottom Line: Most mediators’ paradigms accommodate the transformative approach, but Bush and Folger’s paradigm appears unable to accommodate those who mediate differently. It is one thing to advocate for the benefits of transformative mediation; it is entirely another to assert that the rest of us are not even practicing mediation. If Self-Determination is mediation’s driving principle, why are Bush and Folger pre-determining that the parties want the transformative approach? I am advocating for a more inclusive and less divisive future for mediation. By the way, I consider my mediator approach as “hybrid,” moving through the spectrum of approaches with full disclosure and the parties’ informed consent. » (Extrait de mediate.com )
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