What is mediation and how does it work?

Mediation is a way of helping people resolve conflict. It is voluntary, confidential, and non-adversarial. It is not a court proceeding and does not compromise your legal rights.

Mediation is a structured process in which an impartial, professionally trained person, called a mediator, meets with the parties involved in a disagreement and assists them in reaching a solution that is mutually acceptable. In mediation, decision making authority rests entirely with the parties. The process encourages the parties to discuss difficult situations and explore creative options.

Most mediations begin with a joint meeting of all the parties and their representatives. The mediator makes introductions, reviews the process, discusses ground rules and gives each side an opportunity to describe the dispute. Following this opening session, the mediator may choose to split the parties into separate groups and meet with each side privately. These private sessions are often referred to as caucuses.

The objective of mediation is to help the disputing parties reach a mutually acceptable agreement. The mediator assists the parties in identifying issues and fostering joint problem-solving. The mediator, then, is the facilitator, the person who helps disputing parties come to understanding and agreement.

Almost any type of dispute can benefit from mediation. Mediation has been used to successfully resolve conflicts in almost every area, including: business and commercial transactions, community and neighbor association conflicts, creditor/debtor relations, discrimination and sexual harassment claims, legal disputes, marital and domestic issues, real estate claims and health care issues.

For more information...

For a more information on mediation generally (and the Indiana Association of Mediators in particular), download our free PDF file (requires the free Adobe Reader software.) If you would like to contact a representative of IAM directly, please go to the Contact Us page for the names and contact information of the current IAM Officers and Directors.