Restorative Mediation is a style of mediation that seeks to let the parties reach their own resolution in partnership with a trained neutral and to find ways to restore the relationship between the parties to a more balanced level of civility. In doing so, each of the parties should be able to move forward from the mediation with a renewed sense of purpose, inner peace, and an understanding of their own humanity. Restorative mediation purposely engenders a sense of understanding, moves beyond wrongful assumptions, and promotes civility. Participants are encouraged to move past the feeling of “well at lease that is over” to a more mature sense of forgiveness for the other participants and for themselves. In essence, it provides the opportunity for each of the participants to be restored and thereby restores relationships to a level of acceptance, understanding, and respect.
Training for restorative mediators takes place in a sixty-hour program that respects the time of the participants and utilizes a state of the art facilitated asynchronous delivery of didactic content with a sixteen-hour, face-to-face cohort hands on practice session for simulations and coached mediations. Participants become certified and begin their practice in partnership with trained instructors/coaches as they develop their skills as neutrals and relationship restorers. Case studies are shared as the new restorative mediators participate in an ongoing shared learning experiences and a sense of professional community. Restorative mediation combines the best elements of mediation and restorative practices and rises to a new level of understanding and compassion.