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Alan Godwin, PsyD, is a licensed psychologist in private practice with nearly 30 years of experience. Certified in Alternative Dispute Resolution, he has dedicated himself to helping individuals, couples, churches, and businesses develop better ways of handling conflict. In addition to his private practice, Dr. Godwin serves on the adjunct faculty of the Graduate Counseling Department of Trevecca University in Nashville, TN, where he teaches a class for doctoral students entitled "Psychodynamic Psychotherapies." He has also taught undergraduates and has guest lectured in the Marriage and Family department.
Additionally, he has penned a regular quarterly feature entitled "Ask Dr. Alan" for Deacon magazine, writes a weekly email called “The Drama Review: In Relationships and Culture,” and has been a guest on numerous radio and television programs across the U.S. and Canada. Dr. Godwin's book, How to Solve Your People Problems: Dealing with Your Difficult Relationships, explains how and why conflict goes badly and how to make it go well with two types of people: reasonable and unreasonable.
Financial: Alan Godwin maintains a private practice. He receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc.
Non-financial: Alan Godwin has no relevant non-financial relationship to disclose.
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- Identify four categories of conflicts clients experience in relation to assessment and treatment planning.
- Describe the operation of the conflict trap and its different versions as it relates to treatment outcomes.
- Articulate the negative impact of poorly-handled conflict on clients’ mental health.
- Distinguish the cognitive skills necessary to implement the reasoning process and put to practical use in-session.
- Demonstrate the specific steps involved in solving conflict problems to improve client’s level of functioning.
- Explore the therapist’s role to facilitate the client’s problem-solving process in session.
- Articulate the reasoning deficiencies that disable a client from participating in the conflict-resolution process and its clinical implications.
- Describe the manipulator’s methods of exacerbating conflict for purposes of client psychoeducation.
- Assess the psychological impact of conflict with an emotional manipulator to inform clinical treatment interventions.
- Articulate what a client must do in session to move from conflict to resolution.
- Evaluate and restructure the client’s interpersonal interactions as an approach to manage the client’s relationship with an emotional manipulator.
- Describe the objectives for healthy conflict with difficult clients as it relates to case conceptualization.
Step by Step Clinical Guide to Resolving Conflicts
Advanced Conflict Resolution Skills for Difficult Clients
- Categorize conflict to determine treatment approach
- Preference problems
- Perception issues
- Difficulties with process
- Feeling pressure
- Assess operation of the conflict trap
- Heightened altercation
- Inarticulate dispute
- Combination disagreement
- Psychological consequences of poorly-handled conflict
- Recurrent complications
- Diminished attachment
- Alienation from others
- Emotional distress
- Proven strategies for healthy conflict management and resolution
- Teach clients to defuse argument provocation
- Interventions to manage fight or flight reactions
- Strategies to modify immature patterns of behaviour
- Assess ability to resolve conflicts
- Teach clients 5 steps of the problem-solving process
- Implement resolution of conflict in clinical practice
- Focus on process, not issues
- Target one issue at a time
- Achieve understanding
- Compromise and define the solution
- Adjust if the stated solution doesn’t work as intended
- Conflict management techniques for improved mental health
- Exercises to increase cognitive skills
- Interventions to foster secure attachment
- Enhance neural connections
- Build emotional harmony with emotional intelligence
- Case Study: The Conflict Resolution Process
- Assess cognitive impairments in clients with limited reasoning abilities
- Wrong vs right
- Strengths vs weaknesses
- Truth vs blame
- Consideration vs selfishness
- Reliability vs inconsistency
- Identify implicit roles clients play and select appropriate conflict resolution strategy
- Master – “I’m in control”
- Martyr – “I’m the victim”
- Messiah – “I’m the hero”
- Mute – “You should know my role”
- Mirror – “It’s not me, it’s you”
- Strategies to end an unhealthy circular process of conflict
- Prevent vulnerabilities from being exploited
- Interventions to manage reactions
- Teach clients to reason, not antagonize
- Psychological impact of conflict with a manipulator
- Physiological response
- Disorientation from reality
- Emotional debilitation
- Strategies to re-structure interpersonal interactions
- Redefine depth of a relationship
- Assess value and limitations
- Evaluate growth opportunities
- Interventions to move from conflict to resolution
- Develop a plan
- Respond vs. react
- Teach clients to set boundaries
- Assess level of functioning in response to healthy conflict resolution
- Intrinsic motivation to change
- Limited potential for growth
- Dangerous behaviour
- Determine clinical treatment goals
- Accurately assess patterns of behaviour
- Reduce emotional distress
- Respond instead of react
- Create realistic expectations
- Set healthy boundaries
- Establish support systems
- Accept relational limitations
- Objectives for healthy conflict with these clients
- Restrained problems
- Redefine communication expectations
- Improved mental health
- Case Study: The Drama Management Process
- Social Workers
- Marriage and Family Therapists
- Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors
- Case Managers
- Pastoral Counselors
- School Psychologists
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