chapter  13
22 Pages

Confl ict Resolution

Confl ict is inevitable in every close relationship. The question is not whether couples will have confl ict, but how they manage confl ict when it arises. Virtually every couple coming for treatment is in a state of confl ict (even when they deny it). They may be in confl ict over a variety of issues, from expectations, needs, and wants, to money, sex, children, in-laws, and so on. The confl ict may be expressed overtly or covertly and with varying degrees of emotional intensity. When the level of intensity is high and the couple lacks the skills to successfully resolve the confl ict, the fi rst task of the therapist is to de-escalate the feelings, to teach the couple confl ict resolution skills, and to help them resolve their particular issues.