How To Avoid, Manage, and Resolve Conflicts

1. Recognize that there are different types of conflict that require very different strategies to both manage and solve.

2. Identify the type of conflict you are either facing or believe you may have to face:

Type One: Competitive or win-lose/zero-sum: the strategies for e.g. being the top 7% who will get As, get promoted; being the one person who will: get the job, the scholarship, marry the most desirable person in your social group, win the bid etc. will often lead to serious conflict.  These conflicts can be profoundly altered through mediation.

Type Two: Reactive: when difficult times (natural disaster, illness in oneself or one’s family, job loss among other stressors) cause individuals to strike out, to externalize their emotions (Aggressive behavior associated with PTSD related trauma, is included here.)

Type Three: There are two types: Abusive; when highly defended individuals need to systematically control others, (please see “He Said, She Said” in my ebook for a paper describing these defenses.)  These are conflicts that lead to cruelty and, with our current methodology, very difficult to prove and to protect people, especially children, from.  The other is high conflict when one party is abusive and the other party is destructive as well.  Child custody disputes are a “Type Three” dispute.  My work is dedicated to bringing these types of disputes to light as they impact most cruelly on families.

3. Be Proactive: Act on the directives outlined in the type of conflict you have identified.

The Center for Disease Control says abuse is the most deadly and the most expensive “disease” extant in the United States.  Please support, with a contribution of no more than $5, (more will be returned as you are just familiarizing yourself with me  and my work and it is important we get grassroots support )  or call the New York State Psychological Association (NYSPA) at 800-732-3933 and earmark funds for CCEC, (Child Custody Evaluation Committee.)  These funds will allow me, along with CCEC, to work with The American Psychological Association, (who is working in conjunction with The Department of Justice on this issue) judges, legislatures, NYSPA,  policy makers and researchers for more effective ways to identify abuse, particularly in its early stages.  I will keep you updated on the status of my grant applications.

. . . Peace can only be achieved by understanding. . . . Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler. -Albert Einstein

If you have knowledge let others light their candles at it.  Margaret Fuller

if we could first know where we are . . . we could then better judge what to do and how to do it. -Abraham Lincoln

It is not an overstatement that foreseeing and understanding conflict is the means to a good and productive life and that mishandling conflict can be ruinous.  Yet conflict and its demoralizing effects is rising in our society.  I hope the information herein will help counter this trend so that the responses to conflict described here, become the norm.

About Robin M. Lynch, Ph.D

I am a licensed psychologist, appointed to the New York State Appellate Division’s panel of child custody evaluators and Chair of the New York State Psychological Association’s, Child Custody Evaluation Committee, (CCEC.) CCEC is committed to advancing the court’s ability to identify abuse, addiction and trauma in contested child custody disputes and to increasing the court’s understanding of the dynamics of these disputes.  Also, CCEC is working to change the policies and practices that impact the way disputed child custody cases are adjudicated.  As child custody disputes are the most elemental form of complex conflict, i.e., conflict that is expansive, polarizing, destructive, and immune to mediation, (what I refer to here as Type Three conflicts) I hope that what is learned from their analysis will serve to help diminish the effect of type three conflicts generally.

I received my Ph.D. from Columbia University in Social Psychology, where I was a research assistant for the International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution, (ICCCR).  I am Past-President of The Forensic Division of the New York State Psychological Association, (NYSPA)  and I am on the American Psychological Association’s “Effective Providers” panel which is developing new means for identifying and treating abused and traumatized children.  Also, I have a clinical practice for adolescents and adults.  While I use a client-centered approach my therapeutic work is informed by many great psychological schools of thought as each identifies the vulnerabilities and the strengths of the human condition.

Many individuals from legal and psychological backgrounds were supportive of this undertaking, and the site is being peer reviewed, but I am solely responsible for its content.

I live in New York City with my husband and our two children. For more information please click here.

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