Mediation by any other name would smell as sweet—or would it? The struggle to define mediation and its various approaches



This article reports on two studies. The analysis of the first study, a survey of 250 mediators, finds four distinct groups of mediator “clusters,” based on self-reported strategies. These four clusters are described in detail and mediators' self-defined labels are then correlated with the four clusters. There is little consistency between the labels mediators give their approach and the cluster into which they actually fall in this survey. The analysis of the second study, which involved observation and coding of actual mediations, finds that those mediators who were observed to use any directive strategies tended to use mostly directive strategies and those mediators who were observed to use any elicitive strategies tended to use mostly elicitive strategies throughout the observed mediation case. This challenges the notion that mediators may use both directive and elicitive strategies together in the same mediation.