Two-circle mediation



According to the mediation model of Van Gompel Mediation, each dispute and its resolution is influenced by the interaction between two circles. The inner circle contains the participants. The outer circle consists of factors that influence their specific dispute.

This interaction is often invisible before mediation (because it is not yet discussed). The purpose of mediation is to make this interaction visible (because it is discussed), so a mediated solution becomes possible.


Participants: The central players in a mediation, supported in that process by the mediator. Through renewed dialogue and better insight into their dispute, they aim to find their own solution for their dispute.

Emotions: Emotions are often the great unknown, the ‘bottom of the iceberg’ in a dispute. They need to be brought to the surface and deblocked.

Interests: Interests are generally incompatible but can also be mutual or neutral. In the search for a solution, it is crucial to identify and assess the interests at play.

Law: Because they overestimate the strength of their own legal position, participants are often convinced of their legal right. However, a correct assessment of each other’s legal positions leads to a more realistic attitude.

Cost: The price of an unresolved dispute is difficult to measure (loss of opportunities, costs of litigation, the impact of an infavourable judgment) and is therefore often underestimated. An estimate of this cost provides an important insight.

Time: Most effective solutions require swift action. However, acting hastily is often counterproductive and should be avoided.

Alternatives: The more routes there are towards potentially effective solutions, the greater the chance of actually finding one.