Interest-based mediation sits two stakeholders with or without their problem-solving attorneys at a table along with a mediator to solve a problem.  Caucus can be used if needed.  Participation is voluntary thus producing the least restrictive environment.  The process excludes Rambo tactics, manipulation and bullying.  This power-balanced mediation is a safe place to workout creative solutions without judicial intervention.  Common interests are explored shifting the focus from position-based wants to interest-based needs.  Success evolves from mutual respect, mutual interests, shared decision-making and shared accountability.  Open discussion of differences and disagreements generate "creative tension."  The underlying belief processes, needs and diversity of all are sought to understand their decision-making and behavior.  Mediator skills make a paradigm shift from solely cognitive to cognitive and affective.  Interest-based mediation is an innovative practice providing for early intervention and a fresh start at conflict resolution.