The saying “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing” applies to mediation. This book pres ents the basic theory and foundational skills essential to any competent mediator. No single publication or training program, however, can provide all of the information, skill, and prac tical experience needed to be a competent practitioner. Most states or territories have stan dards of practice for mediators, and the information in this book covers only one portion of those standards. We encourage readers to explore the standards of practice in their home state or territory and to engage in supervised practice before venturing out as mediators.
The process of mediation is not new. In fact, many cultures dating back thousands of years have used some form of mediation in maintaining the health of their societies. Mediation offers disputants interest-based opportunities to play an active part in the resolution of conflict, instead of relying on a third party to make a decision for them. Other approaches to resolving disputes exist, such as rights-based approaches and power-based approaches.
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