What is mediation?

Goals

Mediation is an informal, voluntary process. A professional, impartial third party helps the contending parties exchange views and explore possible options for resolving the conflict. The goal of mediation is to help parties reach their own mutually-acceptable settlement of issues in dispute.

Often, this will solve the problem, and usually will at least keep it from escalating. Any decision reached is through the efforts and agreement of the parties themselves. Mediation enhances communication, promotes responsibility, and helps people to acquire skills that can assist in preventing or resolving future disputes.

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1. What is mediation?
2. What happens in mediation?
3. What can be mediated?
4. What are the benefits of mediation?