No two mediation sessions are exactly the same, but generally there is a common format. The mediation itself usually begins with an open session where the mediator explains the process and answers any questions that the parties may have. Each participant then has the opportunity to talk about the dispute and the process of working towards a mutually acceptable settlement can begin. Should it prove necessary, smaller sessions can be conducted with each participant sitting down with the mediator individually. In certain circumstances it is not possible to have all the participants in the room together, and in those cases the discussions are conducted in separate rooms.At Hampshire Mediation we adopt the process known as Facilitative Mediation. Mediators who use that approach do not evaluate the rights and wrongs of the case or direct the parties to a particular settlement, but rather they facilitate the conversation and guide the participants towards an outcome of their own. We are the oil in the cogs.Facilitative mediators ensure that every participant has the space and time to express themselves, and will work with each to explore all the issues in dispute. They will not evaluate the strengths of a particular argument or seek to impose either their own solution or the solution of the other party.Throughout the process the participants themselves remain in control of what is discussed and how the conflict will be resolved. The mediator’s sole interest is helping the participants to find a resolution to their dispute.