At Six Rivers, our mission is, “to empower and train people and organizations to resolve conflict through mediation, facilitation, restorative justice and other collaborative means of communication.”

As a way to contribute to this mission, Six Rivers offers  40-hour Basic Mediation Training (BMT), to the community twice per year—in the Spring and Fall. Training more local people in conflict resolution helps us contribute to our vision of “a community equipped with the skills to resolve conflict in a healthy, civil and peaceful way.”


Our team often gets lots of questions about Basic Mediation Training, here are the most common ones.

If I don’t want to become a formal mediator, will the training still be useful?

Yes! Although some training students do become “formal” mediators—in private practice, as court-connected mediators, or as certified volunteer dispute resolution center mediators—many Six Rivers Basic Mediation Training students never take this step. However, these graduates report using the listening and conflict resolution skills at home, work, school, and in their communities. 

The skills Six Rivers teaches in Basic Mediation Training are easily transferable—designed to improve communication and enhance relationships in all settings. Many trainees reach out to us after the training to let us know how useful it has been to them. One recent graduate said, “I…have gained a valuable life skill and a new awareness in navigating conflict.”

How is the training structured?

Basic Mediation Training is a mix of interactive small group activities, lectures and role plays. Trainees participate in about 7 role plays of the mediation process, taking turns playing the part of the mediator and a person in a conflict. During role plays, a mediation coach is present to help guide and support the role players.

Basic Mediation Training meets all requirements per Oregon and Washington standards. We provide 5 full days of training (8AM-5PM, with one-hour lunches) to meet the 36-40 hours of required time. 

Training is limited to 12 participants, who receive a copy of The Mediator’s Handbook, and a binder full of course materials to take home.


 Who are the lead trainers?

Ruth Berkowitz
Six Rivers Former Board Member, attorney, author and longtime mediator.

Marti Dane
Six Rivers’ Founder, former Executive Director, and longtime trainer and mediator. 

Colleen Regalbuto
Six Rivers Program Manager, mediator practicum supervisor, and mediator.

Six Rivers Team
All team members join Basic Mediation Training at various points to help with modules and to coach mediation role plays, so trainees get to learn from a variety of mediators with different mediation styles.

One recent trainee remarked, I found it incredibly valuable to have the opportunity to learn from and meet a variety of practitioners in the field. What a gift to be able to learn from such a caring and well-seasoned group of people! The wealth of perspectives, expertise and life experience that each person brought to the table created a fascinating and well-rounded training.”

How do you keep the costs so affordable?

In recent years, we have been able to provide one of the most affordable mediation training seminars in the Pacific Northwest to our Gorge community, with the heavily subsidized rate of $250/person. Actual cost is about $850/person. We are able to offer the training to our Gorge community at such a discounted rate thanks to grants we receive from funders such as the United Way of the Columbia Gorge and to trainers who offer a reduced fee to support the Six Rivers mission.

We also offer scholarships to those facing financial hardship, students, Spanish-speakers and people who will use the skills learned in the training to serve traditionally underserved local communities. Learn more about the scholarship application process by contacting us.

Offering affordable Basic Mediation Training is a key part of our mission. 

Can I get more information about career paths in mediation, mediator certification, volunteer opportunities with Six Rivers and further training?

Check out our training page for more info: Currently, everyone who takes Basic Mediation Training with Six Rivers receives a one year free membership in the Oregon Mediation Association and is eligible to attend Six Rivers’ free monthly Mediator Guild training/discussion sessions. Reach out to Six Rivers with further questions. Call 541-386-1283 or email .