Conflict Management

At FEC, we offer a variety of services to help couples, individuals, workgroups, schools, and religious organizations deal with conflict and anger management. Our Guided Conflict Resolution process is a formal one, which can be taught in a structured classroom format, or applied on the spot in a crisis.

Guided Conflict Resolution with Couples

Couples find it very helpful to learn effective communication skills and conflict resolution skills as part of the same training. As they become more skilled in encouraging and appreciating each other, they establish an atmosphere of respect and acceptance.  In this atmosphere, they learn and practice listening more effectively, and without judging. They also learn how to form their messages in ways that are not accusing or threatening, and to use these skills to resolve problems in a systematic way.

Couples practice this process with guidance from us. We support them every step of the way, and see that they complete each step before moving on to the next one. The guided process detoxifies conflict because it normalizes it. Couples observe themselves while in the conflict, and they can correct their mistakes and misunderstandings along the way. It is a gentle process that allows couples time to talk about their feelings and what they are learning.


Some Comments on the Guided Conflict Resolution Process

“At first, I thought we could never do this by ourselves, and you would have to come and live with us, or come over whenever we had a tense situation. But with practice, and your help with completing each step before moving onto the next step, we have more courage and more skill to do this on our own. Thanks!

“I like the brainstorming without commenting or evaluating. I didn’t realize how many possibilities there were for solving these issues. Sometimes I felt that there were no options, but it turns out there are many.”

“You interrupt us better than anyone we know. You won’t let us get away with ‘you messages’ when we are pretending to be non-judgmental. You seem to make it less scary to talk about our feelings.”

Couples are often amazed at how different it feels to have someone there to keep them on track, and they are relieved to have that opportunity while they learn this new way of looking at conflict.

In addition, they report less fear of conflict, and less reluctance to bring up issues that are bothering them. They feel that they have a “fallback” option – the ability to talk about a difficult issue “by the book”, when their normal process is not working.

Conflict Resolution in a Crisis

Guided conflict resolution can also be used in a situation in which a conflict must be resolved quickly, and there is no time to teach all the skills necessary to the process. In these types of situations, a guide explains the rules and is much more involved and directive in the process.  Participants must agree to the rules, and adhere to them strictly.

The guide stays with the participants throughout the process, supporting, coaching, and explaining as necessary. While it is a relief to manage the immediate crisis, it is usually helpful for them afterward to take the time to learn and practice the skills in the more formal teaching setting.

Anger Management

Anger is a powerful emotion that can take a great toll on physical and emotional health.  Expressing anger in an angry, hostile and/or threatening way can make personal, social or professional relationships difficult to maintain.  Conversely, dealing with anger appropriately can be of immense benefit to an individual, couple, or group.

At FEC, we teach and coach essential skills of anger management. We teach how to process angry feelings, instead of either venting or stuffing them. Problem solving techniques and communication skills are essential parts of this process.