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Section 13
Track #13 - Tools to Overcome Opinion-Based Conflict Resolution

Question 13 | Answer Booklet | Table of Contents | Couples
Social Worker CEU, Psychologist CE, Counselor CEU, MFT CEU

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On the last track we discussed techniques of intimacy discipline.  We examined how discipline is control and we described the first of the 2 techniques of intimacy discipline.  The technique described on this track is a whistle Treating Men in Search of Intimacy counselor CEU coursetechnique for reserving the sanctity of the marriage bed. 

On this track we will continue our discussion on techniques of intimacy discipline.  This track, track 13, will explore one additional technique.  This technique of intimacy discipline is conflict resolution.  There are two major areas of conflict resolution.  The two major areas of conflict resolution are factual conflict resolution and opinion-based conflict resolution.  As you listen to this track, you might consider how the information is applicable to the ways in which you already foster conflict resolution in your male intimacy clients. 

Would you agree that to survive, an intimate relationship must have methods for processing disagreement?  You have probably heard the old saying, “How do I know what I think if I don’t have someone with whom I can argue about it?”  Thus, the presence of conflict, particularly in the early stages of a relationship is necessary.  Therefore, one of the first tests I find which can be applied to the health of a relationship is not so much whether there are conflicts, but whether those conflicts are addressed and resolved. 

For clients like Greg, I find it helpful to focus on the two major areas of conflict resolution, which are fact and opinion. 

Two Major Areas of Conflict Resolution

Share on Facebook # 1 - Factual Conflict Resolution
I stated to Greg, “The first approach to resolving conflict resolution is to ask yourself whether there is a factual, ascertainable answer to the question that is being argued.  If there is, then blow the whistle.  Go to the encyclopedia, newspaper, or even the library.  Find out the answer to the question.  Just keep in mind that when the question is answered, both you and Sheri won.”  Greg asked, “How can we both win a factual argument?” 

How might you have responded to Greg? 

I stated, “The issue isn’t to prove who is right or wrong.  The issue isn’t to punish the other person.  Instead, the issue is simply to answer the question.”

Share on Facebook # 2 - Opinion-based Conflict Resolution
The second area of conflict resolution is clearly not dealt with as easily as fact.  The second area of conflict is opinion.  Here, each side of an argument is equally valid.  I stated to Greg, “The fact that you and Sheri agree on issues of principle need not break up your marriage.  Instead, an ability to disagree will help affirm togetherness as well as individuality.”  Greg asked, “Ok, great.  But how do we gain an ability to disagree?” 

I responded, “One way to deal with conflicts of opinion and principle is by inviting Sheri’s views, and listening with respect and attention.  When she finishes, then you have your turn, stating your opinion as clearly and persuasively as possible.  Try to avoid personal attacks by keeping in mind that insults and bullying are ineffective arguments and also you love one another too much to cause such painful damage.” 

A potentially damaging area of conflict resolution regarding matters of opinion specifically influences intimate relationships.  Opinions regarding sexual issues often cause a significant obstacle in relationships.  For example, one client I treated, Cory, age 32, felt that sexual relationships outside of marriage should be accepted.  Cory’s wife, Emily, disagreed.  Clearly, discussion brought no resolution, compromise, or acceptance of the either person’s position.  Therefore, Cory and Emily’s conflict resolution process had disintegrated into impossibility. 

Emily stated, “This is not something we can compromise on!”  No matter how willing and dedicated Cory and Emily were, their capability to communicate and resolve ongoing issues was being exceeded by Cory’s acceptance of extramarital affairs and his subsequent desire to engage in such activity.  In order to help them decide if their relationship was sustainable in face of this matter, I suggested resuming communication. 

I stated, “I know it may be difficult, but communication and conflict resolution are acts of discipline.  With communication and conflict resolution, you can regain your intimate relationship.  As long as there is love in your communication, you can talk more.  Peel away the layers of fear and distress to reveal the heart of the issue. 

"Both of you have your own sets of fears and uncertainties.  As you talk about those, you’ll rediscover each other and find new ways to view your ongoing conflict.  Ideas and possible solutions will occur to you.  As you move closer together, you also will move closer to the answers that are right for you.” 

On this track we finished our discussion on techniques of intimacy discipline.  We explored one additional technique.  This technique of intimacy discipline is conflict resolution.  There are two major areas of conflict resolution.  The two major areas of conflict resolution are factual conflict resolution and opinion-based conflict resolution. 

On the next track we will discuss how to build intimacy.  Essentially, this track contains 9 techniques to enhance a client’s ability to build intimacy.  The 9 techniques on this track are decide to know the other people in your life instead of taking them for granted, interview people, let go of your need to possess or own the other person, consider how you can earn others’ goodwill, accept your insecurity with others, see knowing as a process, be there fully, be a true friend, and be willing to tell the truth.  

QUESTION 13
What are two major areas of conflict resolution? To select and enter your answer go to Answer Booklet.

 
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