Elizabeth Bader has been a lawyer for over 30 years and a spiritual practitioner for over 40 years. As a lawyer, she was honored to successfully represent clients before the California Supreme Court, the Ninth Circuit and other courts of appeal. As a lawyer/mediator, she mediated a variety of cases, including multiparty insurance coverage litigation in a mass tort context.
Elizabeth is probably best known for her work on the psychology of mediation, which integrates psychology, spirituality and conflict resolution. Focusing on the way that ego and issues of “face” dominate mediation, Elizabeth identified the IDR cycle, a psychological cycle of inflation/overconfidence, deflation/disappointment and realistic resolution, which is frequently seen in mediation. She has also drawn attention to the need for mediators themselves to work on their own issues of “face,” ego and self-identity.
Currently, Elizabeth’s work centers on sharing her reflections on the relationship between spirituality, psychology, trauma and conflict resolution. Her writings can be found in various journals and books and on this website.
Publications and Honors
Elizabeth has written about her approach to mediation in articles published in the Cardozo Journal of Dispute Resolution, the Pepperdine Dispute Resolution Law Journal (2010), the International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies (2011), and mediate.com. Her insights have been recognized in both the psychology and legal communities, both here and abroad.
Her writings earned Elizabeth the Margaret S. Mahler Psychiatric Research Foundation’s Literature Prize in 2011. In Europe, her work has also been used to help “train the trainers” on multi-cultural mediation.
Elizabeth’s work has been studied in graduate programs at UC Berkeley (Boalt Hall), Golden Gate University, John F. Kennedy University, and the University of Oregon.
Elizabeth has taught privately and in many different settings. She has presented at the Bar Association of San Francisco, the American Bar Association, the American Group Psychotherapy Association, the Science and Nonduality Conference 2012, Boalt Hall, JFK University and other places. She has also led small groups for lawyers and therapists.
Work Within the American Bar Association
From 2009 to 2013, Elizabeth founded and chaired a committee within the American Bar Association that expressly included both psychology and spirituality in its mandate. In that role, she organized meetings on topics such as meditation, forgiveness and money. She now maintains a website on psychology, spirituality and conflict resolution in order to host collaborative discussions on these topics, and to publish articles of her own.