Tuesday, August 9, 2011

New Ways for Families In Orange County

On Friday (Aug. 5) I provided a workshop for Mediate West in Orange County, California. I presented 4 Advanced Skills for professionals working with high conflict families, using the New Ways for Families method. The 25 people present were mostly therapists, but some family lawyers and others who work in this field. This was an intimate training, so that there was time for numerous questions – and this group showed their wide experience by the excellent questions they asked. I did a role-play demonstration with a high-conflict client in New Ways, we watched clips from the New Ways video and I gave a PowerPoint presentation on how these skills are needed to be effective in  working with high-conflict families.

#1: STRUCTURING is a skill that few family law professionals use, understand or even know about. Yet high conflict people (HCPs) lack the internal structure to accomplish what is expected of them. Parenting classes generally don’t reach HCPs, because they need more fundamental skills first (which the New Ways method teaches). HCP parents won’t do what professionals tell them to do unless they are provided with a sufficient structure.

#2: CONNECTING with HCPs while working with resistance is another skill that few professionals use, understand or even know about.

#3: GUIDING PARENTS to teach their children resilience is necessary because it doesn’t work to have a child therapist be brilliant while HCP parents are undermining their messages – therapists need to serve as “supporting actors” while teaching parents to be “leading actors” in this process. It strengthens parent-child bonds and reinforces the family structure rather than undermining it.

#4: FAMILY DECISION-MAKING requires skills to be reinforce by all professionals involved. Quizzing parents on what they have learned is essential. Quizzing  them on using their skills in the future is essential. Requiring them to use their email skills (BIFF responses), their making proposals skills (Yes, No or I’ll Think About It) and their managing emotions skills will help them make decisions that now professionals make for them (and fail).

It was a great group and I look forward to their efforts to implement New Ways for Families in Orange County eventually.

High Conflict Institute provides training and consultations, as well and books, DVDs and CDs regarding dealing with High Conflict People (HCPs) in legal, workplace, educational, and healthcare disputes. Bill Eddy is the President of the High Conflict Institute and the author of "It's All Your Fault!", "Splitting", "BIFF: Quick Responses to High Conflict People, Their Hostile Emails, Personal Attacks and Social Media Meltdowns" and "Don't Alienate the Kids!". He is an author, attorney, mediator, and therapist. Bill has presented seminars to attorneys, judges, mediators, ombudspersons, human resource professionals, employee assistance professionals, managers, and administrators in 25 states, several provinces in Canada, France, Sweden, and Australia.

For more information about High Conflict Institute, our seminars and consultations, Bill Eddy or to purchase a book, CD or DVD, visit: http://www.HighConflictInstitute.com

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