Conflict is a natural part of relationships.
Whether it is between two people, within a family, a group, or between larger communities, it is possible to relate within a conflict in ways that enrich relationship and lead to deeper understanding for those involved. Conflict is often a way that people attempt to get more of what they want from one another: attention, affection, understanding, validation, and support. When people are unaware of what they need, how to express it, or are unable to acknowledge or respond to the needs of another in a way they understand, conflicts are born.
I support couples, groups, and families move through conflict with increased authenticity, insight, and responsibility. When conflict arises, it easily triggers the nervous system into a fight or flight mode, decreasing our brain’s capacity for empathy, ability to tolerate gray area, and creative problem solving. I use a trauma-informed and process oriented approach to working with conflict that allows people to address their individual feelings, reactions, and valid needs in a situation, and to learn to express themselves clearly and effectively. I am often more directive in this type of work, frequently slowing down communication patterns between people that become heated, role-modeling and practicing active listening, and providing insights and feedback that I see relating to the conflict.
Among the issues we will explore are:
What are the needs of those involved?
How is this conflict an attempt by all parties to have specific needs met?
How can the needs of all be understood and met in the situation?
What function does the conflict serve?
Can those involved imagine themselves without the conflict?