About Elizabeth Bader

Elizabeth Bader has been a lawyer for over 30 years. As part of her legal practice, she successfully represented clients before the California Supreme Court, the Ninth Circuit and other courts of appeal.  As a lawyer/mediator, she has mediated a variety of cases, including complex mass-tort-related litigation.

The Psychology of Mediation

Elizabeth is probably best known for her work on the psychology of mediation.  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

Trauma and Mediation

Elizabeth has also been a pioneer in the area of trauma-informed mediation.  She published a leading article on the subject of trauma and mediation in one of the country’s leading academic journals.

Publications and Honors

Elizabeth’s work on the relationship between psychology, trauma and conflict resolution can be found in various journals and books and on this website. Her articles have been 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.

Teaching Activities

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.