Rose Medical Center
4500 E. 9th Ave. #660
Denver, CO 80220

Conflict Resolution Treatment with Couples: Arenas of Intervention

Like a three ring circus, conflict resolution therapy with couples includes three arenas of interventions.

In Arena A the therapist identifies and guides resolution of the issues over which couples have been experiencing tensions.  Tensions can be manifest in squabbles, fights, or reluctance to address specific issues for fear that talking would lead to arguments.

In Arena B the therapist serves as coach, teaching the couples skills for collaborative partnership.  These skills include

  • talking cooperatively,
  • resolving conflicts in a win-win manner,
  • managing emotions so they are able to stay in the calm zone, and
  • giving forth loving positivity via fun times together, smiles, hugs, and agreement, appreciation, gratitude and affection in their speech with words like “Yes!” or “I agree that…”

In Arena C the therapist heals each individual’s tendencies to experience negative emotions such as anger, anxiety, and depression, and also pathological behavior patterns such as compulsive lying or addictions.  Treatment here can include visualizations for releasing depression and anxiety, anger management, family of origin exploration, changes in interaction patterns between the spouses, medication, and other psychological intervention techniques.

In each arena, the therapist takes a different role.  In Arena A the therapist serves as a mediator.  In Arena B the therapist dons a coaching cap.  In Arena C the therapist becomes a healer.

In sum, the skill set that a therapist needs for effective conflict resolution treatment requires expertise in all three of these realms—mediation, marriage education, and emotional healing.

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