This post provides a very simple, illustrated discussion of the IDR cycle – the pattern of ego-inflation, ego-deflation and realistic resolution that often occurs during the process of mediation. Elizabeth Bader was the first person to identify the cycle in her award-winning publications. (For Elizabeth’s publications, see the sidebar or www.elizabethbader.com/SelfandIdentity.pdf )
The IDR Cycle in Mediation
Elizabeth Bader’s work focuses on the role of issue of “face” or “ego” in mediation.
Elizabeth was the first person to identify the IDR cycle — the cycle of ego-inflation, ego-deflation and realistic resolution (assuming the case settles) that occurs during the negotiation and mediation of civil disputes.
Her first major article on the subject, “The Psychology of Mediation: Issues of Self and Identity and the IDR Cycle,” reviews psychology, developmental psychoanalytic theory, neuroscience, social science and the conflict resolution literature to explain why and how the cycle occurs. It was published in 2010 in the Pepperdine Dispute Resolution Law Journal.
Another version of her work, “Self, Identity and the IDR Cycle: Understanding the Deeper Meaning of ‘Face’ in Mediation,” was published in 2011 in the International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies, an international peer-reviewed journal.
In 2015, Elizabeth published The Psychology and Neurobiology of Mediation, an article in the Cardozo Dispute Resolution Journal integrating her findings on the IDR cycle with neurobiology, especially the work of Peter Levine and Stephen Porges. This article deals extensively with trauma and mediation.
Elizabeth was awarded the Margaret S. Mahler Psychiatric Research Foundation’s Literature Prize on the basis of her articles. In Europe, her work has been used to help “train the trainers” on the psychology of mediation.
The importance of Elizabeth’s discovery has been confirmed by many other mediators and scholars.