Mediation - 5 Different Methods for 5 Different Purposes

On February 18, 2022 I interviewed via Zoom Tara West, a conflict coach and certified transformative mediator, with a background in law and psychology.

She is the author of The Mediator’s Approach: Five (and a Half) Paths through Conflict, and co-author with Dan Simon of a book titled Self Determination in Mediation: The Art and Science of Mirrors and Lights, which will be released next month.

During our 7-min conversation Tara West explained why she thinks it would be useful for mediators and attorneys to be aware of the key differences between the 5 most well-known approaches to mediation: 

  • Evaluative
  • Facilitative
  • Transformative
  • Narrative
  • Understanding-based

In her short but well researched book, she analyzes the assumptions that each of those 5 different mediation approaches is based on, and provides a list of useful resources (i.e. books, articles) for learning more about that particular approach.

To learn more about Tara West you can go to her website There, in the Services page, notice how, in line with her transformative mediation approach, she describes her mediation services to prospective clients/parties like this: "As a mediator, it’s my goal to help people in conflict have the best conversation they can have.", thus avoiding the term (or any promise of) conflict "resolution".

If you’re interested to watch our interview, you can find it posted on my blog

I hope you'll find this post useful. Any comment is welcome.

Giuseppe Leone

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