Communication and Conflict Resolution MFCO 502 ... Communication and Conflict Resolution 7 Light University

  • View

  • Download

Embed Size (px)

Text of Communication and Conflict Resolution MFCO 502 ... Communication and Conflict Resolution 7 Light...

  • Communication and Conflict Resolution 1

    Light University Online

    Communication and Conflict Resolution

    MFCO 502

    Module 4

  • Communication and Conflict Resolution 2

    Light University Online

    Module Four

    Table of Contents

    Marital Secrets &Values Conflicts Between Couples Tim Clinton, Ed.D. & George Ohlschlager, MSW, J.D. ...................................................................................... 3

    Four Predictable Areas of Conflict: Conflict Resolution and Living as One John Trent, Ph.D. & Rodney Cox ............................................................................................................................. 8

    Domestic Violence: Confronting Physical & Sexual Abuse Leslie Vernick, MSW .................................................................................................................................................. 13



  • Communication and Conflict Resolution 3

    Light University Online

    Description Counselors can become as bound up as couples who bring their lose-lose secrets and values conflicts into counseling. It is tough to decide what to do and how to live with someone hiding something or who is simply a different person. Throughout this lesson, Dr. Tim Clinton and George Ohlschlager guide students to effective resolution of the confusing knots created by the double- bind dilemmas that couples often face.

    Learning Objectives:

    1. Understand secrets from both biblical and systems perspective. 2. Explain why secrets create double-binds (lose-lose events) for both the

    counselor and the person seeking help, as well a practical ethic for handling secrets in a way that benefits the marriage.

    3. Be able to give guidelines for decision-making when people face secrets in marriage.



    Tim Clinton, Ed.D. &

    George Ohlschlager, MSW, J.D.

  • Communication and Conflict Resolution 4

    Light University Online


    Secrets can destroy most any relationship from children to adults. But what happens when

    the secrets are those kept from a husband or wife? It can tear at the relationship gradually

    and destroy intimacy and unity. How does the counselor handle secrets in a counseling

    session when he/she finds out one partner is keeping something from the other? Tim

    Clinton and George Ohlschlager provide some answers to these and other questions in this


    I. Defining Secrets and Secret-Keeping in Marriage

    A. According to Webster’s

    B. According to Tournier

    C. Secrets as Double-Bind Dilemma

     Defining a double-bind.

     Double-binds are corrosive to marital trust.

     Double-bind dilemmas for counselors.

  • Communication and Conflict Resolution 5

    Light University Online

    D. Confidentiality and the Double-Bind

    II. Resolving the Counselor’s Bind

    A. Family systems lean toward no secrets—all must be disclosed for counseling to work.

    B. Psychodynamic helpers emphasize confidentiality—protect the individual and their secrets.

    C. An intermediate position (which we prefer) opts for disclosure of secrets, but in a way and at a time that does not inflict further harm on the marriage.

    III. Queries for Decision-Making in Counseling

    A. Who is the primary client—the individual or the couple?

    B. Are secrets mandated for disclosure by law or ethics?

    C. Is divorce or other legal action likely in this case?

    D. What if secrets are revealed in the course of counseling?

    E. When secrets are disclosed, how is it best done?

  • Communication and Conflict Resolution 6

    Light University Online

    Bibliography/ Reading List Clinton, Tim & Ohlschlager, George (1997). Marital Secrets and the Counselors Bind:

    Guidelines for Resolving Clinical-Ethical Knots. Marriage and Family: A Christian Journal (v.1, n.1), pp. 39-47.

    Ohlschlager, George & Mosgofian, Peter (1992). Law for the Christian Counselor. Nashville,

    TN: Word Books. Huber, C.H. (1994). Ethical, Legal, and Professional Issues in the Practice of Marriage and

    Family Therapy (2nd ed.). Macmillan. Worthington, Ev (1989). Marriage Counseling: A Christian Approach to Counseling

    Couples. InterVarsity Press.

  • Communication and Conflict Resolution 7

    Light University Online

    Study Questions

    1. Describe how secret-keeping can be either for good or for ill in a marriage, or any kind of relationship. How does one decide whether it is right or wrong to keep a secret?

    2. Describe a double-bind dilemma in a relationship other than one’s own marriage. What did one do to resolve it? Was it successful?

    3. Assume Samson (see Judges 16) is one’s client and he comes in for a session before he plans to take off for a weekend with Delilah. The counselor knows he is smitten with her, and he tells that she is fascinated to know the secret of his strength. How should one counsel with him?

    4. A client discloses that her boyfriend sells drugs at the counselor’s son’s high school and that he has a new shipment of “crank” (methamphetamine) coming in the next day. What should the counselor do with this information?

    Soul Care Notes Psalm 19:12 Psalm 90:8 Prov. 27:5 Eccles. 12:14 Eph. 4:25

  • Communication and Conflict Resolution 8

    Light University Online

    Description Conflict is unavoidable, especially in marriage relationships where so much of "life" and so many decisions are shared. However, marital conflict does not need to erupt into marital "combat." Knowing where conflict is likely to happen allows the married couple to prepare to choose to see marital conflicts in the best light, and plan to handle them effectively.

    Learning Objectives:

    1. Identify four key areas where conflict in marriages is likely to occur.

    2. Understand how spousal differences can drive conflict when change occurs.

    3. Explain ways to diffuse these conflicts, taking into account the differences that exist in how each spouse handles these conflict areas.



    John Trent, Ph.D. & Rodney Cox

  • Communication and Conflict Resolution 9

    Light University Online

    I. Introduction

    A. For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot says, “Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason any less part of the body. And if the ear says, “Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason any less part of the body. If the whole body were any eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body just as he desired. – 1 Corinthians 12:14-18

    B. Jewelers Goals in Setting a Precious Stone

     Wants security for the stone  Wants to perfectly reflect the light  Wants to hide imperfections

    II. Law of Differences

  • Communication and Conflict Resolution 10

    Light University Online

    A. Choice to Despair

     Judge 1. Weakness  Isolation  Death 2. Death means to step away

    Discuss what judging and isolation would be like in your relationship

    B. Choice to Hope

     Value 1. Strengths  Unity  Life 2. Life means to move forward

    The choice that you make with your difference from this day forward will either divide you or unite you.

  • Communication and Conflict Resolution 11

    Light University Online

    III. Four Areas of Conflict

    A. Problem Solving B. Processing Information C. Managing Change D. Facing Risk

    IV. How Do We Problem Solve?

    A. Some respond to change aggressively B. Some approach a problem reflectively C. You have to take YOU out of the equation. You have to stop looking at how you

    would solve the problem and start looking at how the problem should be solved.

  • Communication and Conflict Resolution 12

    Light University Online

    D. When you learn how to value and appreciate our strengths, and allow each

    other to step inside our weaknesses, we can become something together. E. How do we process information?

     Some are optimists  Some are realists

    Discuss your style for problem solving and processing information. Do we let the plan drive the change or do we let the change drive the plan?

    F. How do we face risks together?

     Some prefer structured risk  Some prefer to be pioneering

    Discuss how you prefer to deal with change a