Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Splitting: Why We Wrote this Book

We met in 2002, when few people going through a divorce had heard of borderline personality disorder (BPD) or narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). Bill was finishing the first practical book for legal professionals about personality disorders (High Conflict People in Legal Disputes, first published by the author in 2003). Randi was the coauthor of Stop Walking on Eggshells: Taking Your Life Back When Someone You Care About Has Borderline Personality Disorder (New Harbinger Publications, 1998), and the author of The Stop Walking on Eggshells Workbook: Practical Strategies for Living with Someone Who Has Borderline Personality Disorder (New Harbinger Publications, 2002), the landmark books for family members of people with BPD. When Bill asked her to endorse his book, Randi was thrilled about his book, because high-conflict divorce was a hot topic in her Welcome to Oz (WTO) online family support community, which she had founded in 1995. WTO members had terrible stories about being misunderstood or criticized by the court system and soon-to-be ex-spouses who created chaos, made false allegations, and refused to follow court orders.

From our different vantage points, we saw a growing international problem. Thus, this book was born. While there are other personality disorders, BPD and NPD are the most common ones in high-conflict divorces. Antisocial personality disorder may appear in some of these cases, and we will mention it where appropriate.

The need for books like Splitting is greater than ever, as high-conflict divorces have increased over the past decade, a trend that may be tied to the growing number of people with BPD and NPD; new research indicates that about 10 percent of the general population meet the criteria for BPD (Grant et al. 2008) or NPD (Stinson et al. 2008).

To learn more about Bill Eddy please visit For information about Randi Kreger please visit To order Splitting: Divorcing Someone with Borderline or Narcissistic Personality Disorder pleas visit

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Splitting: Present Accurate Information in Family Court in Ways that Solve Problems Rather than Escalate Them

We sincerely hope this book will help you, your attorney, and others involved in your case to negotiate reasonable out-of-court settlements whenever possible, or present accurate information in family court in ways that solve problems rather than escalate them.

There is a wide range of possibilities when a divorce involves someone with borderline personality (BP) or narcissistic personality (NP) traits: from fairly manageable out-of-court settlements to highly adversarial court battles with multiple allegations of abusive behavior. This book will give you problem-solving strategies across this range of unknown possibilities. Addressing what to expect and what to do, this book focuses on:
·      Conflict dynamics of people with BP and NP traits
·      What occurs in today’s family courts
·      The importance of the various court-related professionals
·      How court cases with people with BP or NP traits can go badly, unless you’re well-prepared
·      What you can do to protect yourself and your children, and get enforceable court orders

Throughout this book we provide case examples from Bill’s clinical and legal practice, altering all identifying information or using composites of actual cases, as well as alternating between male and female examples.

Attorney, Mediator, and Clinical Social Worker

Co-author of Stop Walking on Eggshells, author of The Stop Walking on Eggshells Workbook and The Essential Family Guide to Borderline Personality Disorder

Thursday, July 21, 2011

SPLITTING: Protecting Yourself While Divorcing Someone with Borderline or Narcissistic Personality Disorder: Blamers and Targets

Excerpted from Splitting...

This book is designed to give you basic information and problem-solving strategies across this range of unknown possibilities. However, the Borderline and Narcissists who become involved in high conflict divorces have some generally predictable patterns. The more you are prepared for anything, the better you will do.

The book addresses what to expect and what to do. The focus is on:
  • What occurs in today's family courts
  • The importance of various court-related professionals
  • How court cases with Borderlines or Narcissists can go badly, unless you are well-prepared
  • What you can do to protect yourself and your children, and get enforceable court orders.
To read more, download the book via to your Kindle. We welcome your reviews!

Learn more about dealing with High Conflict People, Borderline and Narcissistic Personality Disorders and author Bill Eddy by visiting

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

SPLITTING: Protecting Yourself While Divorcing Someone with Borderline or Narcissistic Personality Disorder

We are very excited to announce the July release of our new book SPLITTING: Protecting Yourself While Divorcing Someone with Borderline or Narcissistic Personality Disorder by New Harbinger Press. We wrote it to be the most realistic, honest and practical guide you’ll find anywhere for dealing with a difficult divorce in today’s world. We encourage anyone considering a separation or divorce (or their family, friends or professionals) to read it before taking any further action, so that you are prepared for What To Do and What NOT To Do. It’s available now in bookstores and online.

We’re also asking everyone we know to review the book, so that others will hear about how useful a guide it can be – from how to deal with family court and work effectively with professionals, to methods for staying out of court if possible. People need this information, so we need your help to spread the word by reading and reviewing SPLITTING on Amazon at:

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

BIFF In Action: At the Workplace

A Workplace Example

Rochelle’s boss, Phil, sent an email to the manager of a major project they were working on, explaining that it was running late:
Jim, I hope to have this project in to you by the end of the month. I know we are running about two weeks behind, so I wanted to give you the heads up now. Unfortunately, my assistant Rochelle has been dragging her feet in getting the statistical analysis finished. I’ve been trying to keep her focused, but she keeps getting distracted by other matters. I’m working with her on prioritizing. I’m not ready to fire her just yet, because she already knows the subject matter and the players. So, just to let you know I’m doing the best I can under these circumstances. With best regards, Phil.”
He copied this email to Rochelle as a matter of routine. When Rochelle saw it, she immediately confronted Phil, although she caught herself and stopped short of calling him a jerk and replaced it with: “What’s this all about, boss?”
“Oh, Rochelle. Calm down. Don’t take it so personally. I just had to get something over to Jim. You know how it is,” Phil said, laughing at her. “You’re so emotional.”
Rochelle was really angry now, but she just turned around and went to her desk. She took out a pad of paper, grabbed the email, and went for a short walk. She decided to send a BIFF response as an email to the project manager, with a copy to Phil. 
“Hi Jim, I just wanted to follow up on Phil’s email from yesterday. Regarding the statistical analysis, it’s almost all done. I have followed the schedule completely, even getting some parts of it done early. Now that this is the top priority of our department, I expect you will have the finished results by this Friday. Let me know if you have any questions about the statistical information. Yours, Rochelle.”
Is this a BIFF?
Brief? Yes. Just a paragraph – the ideal length for most BIFFs.
Informative? Yes. She explains what is being done. She reassures Jim that they are on a schedule. She indicates that she is open to questions, rather than being defensive.
Friendly? Yes. She’s friendly to Jim by being helpful, without being antagonistic to Phil or negative about him. Of course, Phil could consider the email to Jim itself as a hostile act, so she will need to be prepared for him to be upset.
Firm? Yes. It ends any questions about her work that were raised by Phil’s email.
She also printed this out as a memo to Jim, so that it would be filed with the other important papers of the project, rather than deleted as a simple email. 
Phil was furious. “What are you doing!?!” he demanded.
But Rochelle remained calm. “I just thought it was important for the project manager to know that we were working hard on this project and that he would have it real soon. I think we’ll look good to him, since we are addressing his concerns about the deadline by speeding things up. Say, do you have any plans for this weekend? Anything fun you’re going to do?”
Rochelle resisted the urge to make her memo a personal attack on Phil. Instead, she kept the focus on what is being done, not what wasn’t being done or what had been done wrong. Before Phil could get too upset, she changed the subject to his weekend plans – a subject that he loved to talk about. By being calm, Rochelle was able to keep Phil from getting too heated up over her memo. 
With many HCPs, changing the subject to another subject about him often helps keep him from getting stuck in his anger, more than directly confronting his anger – which escalates it. Of course, this doesn’t always work, so you have to be careful in how you manage your HCP boss – or any HCP.     
By quickly getting accurate information to the project manager, Rochelle at least created doubt in his mind, before the misinformation settled in Jim’s mind as a “fact.” Such facts could have quickly been passed on to other managers, so timing was very important. Putting it in writing was essential, so that when someone someday looks back in this project’s file, they see Rochelle’s response right next to Phil’s false allegations about her. The effect of this is to at least create doubt in the reader’s mind—even if the reader doesn’t automatically believe Rochelle. 
Without her written comment, a reader would take Phil’s comments as unchallenged fact—because they sound so believable woven into his reasonable-sounding email. Of course, an employee has to be careful in going over a supervisor’s head. In general, it is considered inappropriate. But if you look carefully at the way Rochelle wrote her email memo, it had several important BIFF characteristics that helped.
1.         She didn’t criticize Phil at all. She resisted the temptation to say that he lied or      distorted the facts.
2.         She didn’t indicate that she was going over his head, she was merely “following     up.”

3.         She said what she has done (she always was on schedule) to protect herself, rather            than correcting Phil for falsely saying what she hasn’t done.

4.         She explained it to Phil as helping both of them in the eyes of the project    manager.

5.         She confidently changed the subject to Phil’s weekend plans, which sometimes      works with HCPs (but not always). You have to evaluate your own situation.

This example demonstrates a written BIFF and a verbal BIFF. First, Rochelle wrote the BIFF to the project manager. Then, she responded to her boss’ irritation with her with a verbal BIFF response. It was brief (just five sentences), informative (“just telling the project manager how we are coming along”), friendly (“we’ll look good to the project manager”) and firm (changing the subject to his weekend plans).

Of course, Rochelle knows how to manage her HCP boss pretty well, otherwise she might not take this approach. I don’t recommend this in all cases. You have to be the judge of your own situation. (This example was taken from my book It’s All YOUR Fault! which explains more about how Rochelle “manages” her boss, Phil.)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

July is National Child Centered Divorce Month

The entire month of July is dedicated to Child Centered Divorce. This month of awareness marks the second annual event. Therapists, mediators, educators, social workers, teachers, and attorneys will come together to ensure that, collectively, all efforts are targeted toward making child the first priority in any divorce or separation.

With this mind I wanted to take few minutes to share about New Ways for Families, a program HCI created to help families in separation and divorce. It is intended to inoculate families from becoming high-conflict in the court process, and can also help families after court with difficult, high-conflict co-parenting issue such as child or parental alienation.

How Does it Work?
NWFF is a structured parenting skills method designed to reduce the impact of conflict on children in potentially high-conflict cases. Available in Book and DVD, NWFF can be used whenever a parent or the court believes one parent needs restricted parenting (supervised, no contact, limited time), at the start of a case or any time a parent requests restricted parenting including after the divorce or separation. This method emphasizes strengthening skills for positive future behavior (new ways), rather than focusing on past negative behavior while still acknowledging it.

For more information contact New Ways for Families Network Coordinator, Michelle Jensen, MSW, JD at: or click the link above.