Defining High Conflict
high conflict, conflict in relationships
The term high conflict is used regularly across various literatures; such as divorce, family court, and psychotherapy; to describe relationships that are mired in conflict. Despite its widespread use, the term has not been precisely defined in a clinically meaningful way. This article offers a definition of high conflict based on a synthesis of previous literatures related to high conflict, observations of court personnel, and the authors’ own clinical experiences working with this population. A case study illustrates the pervasive negative exchanges and hostile insecure emotional environment that characterize these couples. The implications of this definition for clinical practice are also discussed.
Original Publication Citation
Anderson, S.R., Anderson, S.A., Palmer, K., Mutchler, M., & Baker, L. (2011). Defining high conflict. American Journal of Family Therapy,39:11-27. DOI: 10.1080/01926187.2010.530194.
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Anderson, Shayne; Anderson, Stephen A.; Palmer, Kristi L.; Mutchler, Matthew S.; and Baker, Louisa K., "Defining High Conflict" (2010). Faculty Publications. 2458.
The American Journal of Family Therapy
Family, Home, and Social Sciences
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