chapter  8
Managing Conflict in Session
ByButch Losey
Pages 12

This chapter looks at the pragmatic aspect of the conflict in session and how to clinically intervene. Clinicians should consider the underlying concern from the perspective of perceived threat and perceived neglect when they are teaching communication skills or processing conflict in session. Dr. John Gottman has been able to categorize couples into five types: Conflict-Avoiding, Validating, Volatile, Hostile, and Hostile-Detached. An important aspect about Conflict-avoiding couples is in the balance between independence and interdependence. Volatile couples have passionate disputes and fairly frequent passionate arguments. Stress of daily life is common for couples. There are many stresses that can intrude on the couple relationship, including job deadlines, pressures from friends and family, and stresses of raising children. Managing affective intensity means using couple affect therapeutically, assuming that effective therapeutic change can best occur when emotional intensity is present between couples.