Disagreements and conflicts crop up in the best of marriages. It’s how conflict is handled that is an important key to marital satisfaction. The management of conflict is no less important when couples have decided to divorce. Finding ways to manage and keep conflict at a minimum is essential. Research confirms that poorly handled conflict between married or divorcing couples can negatively influence mental, physical, and family health. Additionally, children whose parents engage in continual conflict (overt or covert) experience extreme stress, often resulting in problem behaviors, such as sleep difficulties, defiance of parents or teachers, guilt, withdrawal from friends and family, drug/alcohol abuse, or thoughts of suicide/violence.

In the fact of the emotional roller coaster that occurs with couples who are not resolving conflict in a way that takes each other’s needs into account, it is possible to create straightforward dialogue, raise the level of respect for all involved in the conflict, and increase the quality of decisions that are made. How can this be done? There are two psychological inventories (The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and the Thomas Kilmann Conflict Inventory) that can give feedback to help you understand how you each look at the world and approach conflict. The more we know about and respect the person we are negotiating with, the better the negotiation. These instruments can suggest specific strategies we need to learn to increase positive emotions and deal with the negative ones. The feedback you receive will be helpful for any conflict situation you are facing.

If you are interested in taking these tests or have questions, you can contact Dr. Amstutz at (630)510-0669 or email me via the Contact page at www.donnaramstutz.com. Cost is $300.00, which includes the administration and scoring of the tests, as well as a 90-minute feedback session, when you will be provided with your test results and receive specific strategies to improve your approach to conflict.